2016 season capped off with 10-game win streak

Reinaldo Llerena/ Staff Writer

The No. 43-ranked FIU women’s tennis team put up historic numbers and broke school records on the way to the team’s best season in recent history.

The Panthers’ 15-2 record is the best since 2009, when the team finished with a 20-9 overall record. The team’s .882 winning percentage is the second-best in school history, only trailing the 2000-2001 team’s .885 winning percentage.

During the season, the Panthers broke the school record with their 10-game winning streak. The historic streak began after a 7-0 win over Stetson University on Feb. 6 and was snapped when the team fell to then-No. 48 Columbia on March 15.

The Panthers were undefeated this season when the team clinched the doubles point. In comparison, the team’s only losses of the season came when they lost the initial point. The team’s record when they lost the doubles point was 3-2.

Freshman Maryna Veksler, the team’s No. 1 starter, put up standout numbers in her first season at FIU. She won 25 singles matches on the year and went 10-4 in dual matches this season.

Junior Nina Nagode had an equally successful season as the team’s No. 2 starter. The Slovenian posted an 11-3 record in dual matches and had 21 wins on the season. Nagode and Veksler posted a 9-3 doubles record in dual matches, the second-best on the team.

Redshirt freshman Andrea Lazaro had a breakout season. The Spaniard went undefeated during the regular season, posting a 15-0 record in dual matches. Lazaro’s performance saw her rise from the No. 5 starter to the No. 3 starter on the team.

Lazaro paired up with senior Carlotta Orlando in dual matches to post the best doubles record on the team. The duo went 12-3 during the season.

Seniors Kaitlin Brozovich and Orlando put up respectable numbers in their final season at FIU. Despite dropping from the No. 3 to the No. 4 starter, Orlando posted a 20-9 overall record with 12 of her wins coming in dual matches. Brozovich finished with a respectable 14-11 overall record and had nine wins in dual matches.

Sophomore Nerma Caluk led the team with 26 singles wins on the season. The sophomore was 12-1 as the team’s No. 5 starter and was 14-2 overall in dual matches.

The Panthers will enter the Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championships as the No. 1 seed. Last year, the team entered the C-USA tournament as the No. 5 seed and advanced to the semifinals before losing to No. 1-seeded Rice, 4-1.

FIU will play on Friday, April 22, against the winner of the No. 8 Middle Tennessee and the No. 9 Western Kentucky match. First serve from Murfreesboro, Tenn. is set for 11 a.m.

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