Talk about starting the Jerry Thor era with a bang.
The Eastern Florida State College women's tennis team opened the season under their new coach Saturday with a 7-2 non-conference victory at Ave Maria University.
"It was great to win our season opener against Ave Maria University, a program on the upswing after winning the NAIA Region Championships this past fall," Thor said. "It was a memorable day for half our lineup as they were taking the court for the first time in their college career.
"No matter how well-prepared you were, you are always going to manage some nerves on a day like today and our women did a phenomenal job.
The Titans (1-0) won five of six singles matches, led by freshman Katharina Drebka's 6-1, 6-0 victory over Marianna Vargas Ingoglia at No. 1 singles.
Drebka's win wasn't the only easy match for EFSC. Sophomore Annaleigh Collings (No. 4) won her match 6-0, 6-1 and sophomore Nicole Trio (No. 5) and freshman Ann-Kathrin Zilles (No. 6) both won their matchups 6-0, 6-0.
In the most competitive singles match of the day, EFSC freshman Ana Cristina Orozco (No. 3) outlasted Ave Maria's Camila Branstner 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.
Doubles action saw Drebka and Orzco winning 8-1 in the No. 2 match, while the No. 3 team of Trio and Zilles shut out their opponents 8-0.
Thor, who hopes to build the EFSC program into a national power in short order, was happy to get a win in his Titans debut.
"I'm just very grateful for the opportunity to be here competing alongside these women, doing my best to showcase the college's excellence," Thor said.
Eastern Florida will open up Florida College System Activities Association Athletics Region 8 play on Sunday against two-time defending national champion ASA Miami in a match that should provide quite a measuring stick for the Titans.
ASA Miami was No. 1 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason national rankings.
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