Houston - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team was dealt a blow today as they fell to Texas-Pan American in the Hampton Inn Galleria Rice Invite, hosted by the Rice University Owls.

The Islanders fall to 5-7 on the season while UTPA improves to 4-10 on the year.

The Islanders started out the match by winning the doubles point by a 2-1 margin. In No. 1 doubles Aswin Vijayaragavan and Brett Bernstein defeated Mikhail Pavlov and Dmitry Novikov by an 8-6 score. No. 2 doubles saw Laurent Montoisy and Jose Zunino take down Nirvick Mohinta and Beau Bernstein by a 9-7 final. The deciding match had David Pace and Alex Pavlov beating Andrew Irving and Marcus Dornauf by an 8-4 score to take the doubles point and go up 1-0.

In No. 3 singles, Montoisy defeated Mohinta 6-1, 6-3 to gain the only other Islanders point. No. 2 singles was a hard fought match between Brett Bernstein and Novikov, with Bernstein winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Islanders lost in straight sets at No.1, No. 5 and No. 6 singles. No. 4 singles went unfinished.

The Islanders were without the services of the regular No. 5 and No. 6 singles players for violation of unspecified team rules.

"Unfortunately we had to suspend several players," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I'm extremely disappointed with the choices we made both before and during this match.

"It is important for these young men to understand the standards of being on one of the elite Division 1 programs in the nation," said Moore. "I am confident they will learn from this and make better choices in the future."

Although UTPA is a Southland Conference team, this match was a non-conference meeting between the two teams. It is the Islanders first loss on the court to an SLC opponent since Moore's return in 2006. Earlier this season, the Islanders defeated UTPA 6-1 in their regularly scheduled SLC meeting. TAMUCC remains undefeated at 1-0 in SLC action.

"Give credit to UTPA," said Moore. "They made good choices and competed harder than we did."

The Islanders are next in action against DePaul on March 25 in San Antonio.

Texas-Pan American 4, #39 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2
Singles competition:
1. Aswin Vijayaragavan (UTPA) def. Dmitry Novikov (AMCC) 6-3, 6-1
2. Nirvick Mohinta (UTPA) def. Mikhail Pavlov (AMCC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Laurent Montoisy (AMCC) def. Andrew Irving (UTPA) 6-1, 6-3
4. Jose Zunino (AMCC) vs. Brett Bernstein (UTPA) unfinished
5. Beau Bernstein (UTPA) def. David Pace (AMCC) 6-0, 6-3
6. Marcus Dornauf (UTPA) def. Alex Pavlov (AMCC) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)

Doubles competition:
1. Aswin Vijayaragavan/Brett Bernstein (UTPA) def. Mikhail Pavlov/Dmitry Novikov (AMCC) 8-6
2. Laurent Montoisy/Jose Zunino (AMCC) def. Nirvick Mohinta/Beau Bernstein (UTPA) 9-7
3. David Pace/Alex Pavlov (AMCC) def. Andrew Irving/Marcus Dornauf (UTPA) 8-4

Match Notes:
Texas-Pan American 4-10
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5-7; National ranking #39
51st Hampton Inn Galleria Rice Invitational