Steven Melendez // Contributing Writer
Senior day was a success as the No. 30-ranked FIU women’s tennis team (18-1) extended its winning streak to 16 by defeating the UCF Knights (12-7), on April 1 at the FIU Tennis Courts.
This victory marks the Panthers’ 11th home win of the season.
“We play as a team. Everybody fights for everybody, that’s the key. I didn’t think we played that well today, but as long as everyone plays for each other that’s the key,” said Coach Katarina Petrovic.
The doubles portion of the competition was extremely competitive with FIU earning the needed point. It started with Natalie Serrano and Emilia Granstrom of UCF defeating Maryna Veksler and Ulyana Grib 6-1, and then Mina Markovic and Gabriela Ferreira of FIU defeating Nicole Jimenez and Elizabeth Bagerbaseh 6-0, bringing it to 1-1.
The final doubles match to decide who receives the important point was between senior Nina Nagode and Andrea Lazaro of FIU and Cortney Cesarini and Monica Matias of UCF. Nagode and Lazaro started off inconsistent, losing 1-4 in the early part of the match, but with their teammates backing them up and Nina’s energy in full display, they mounted an incredible comeback with a 7-6, (7-2) in order to earn their team the doubles point.
“We started really tight and it was tough with the ceremony and all the emotions. I’m glad we won,” added Nagode.
After obtaining a 1-0 advantage heading into the singles portion the Panthers wanted to make sure they left nothing to chance by claiming three straight points. It started with Ferreira defeating Jimenez 6-1, 6-0 followed by Grib earning her 21st singles victory of the season, which ties Veksler for most on the team this season, defeating Elizabeth Bagerbaseh 6-1, 6-0.
The Panthers’ next game is the last of the season, they will be taking on Florida Atlantic University Saturday, April 15 in Boca Raton. First serve is set for 10 a.m.