The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team pulled off another spectacular run in the Southland Conference tennis tournament, winning 4-0 once again over the Nicholls State Colonels at the HEB Tennis Center to win the 2009 SLC Tennis Championship.
The Islanders have still never lost a match in the SLC tournament under Director of Tennis Steve Moore and now have back-to-back regular season and tournament championships.
"I think that this group deserved this, the way they stuck together," said Moore. "All year long we worked hard and played hard to get to this point."
The Islanders have never lost a match in the Southland Conference Tournament. Since Moore returned, they are 16-0 in the tournament, winning both match 4-0 last season and both 4-0 this season. This is also the 10th NCAA tournament Moore will be involved with as either a head coach or an assistant. Moore has been to the NCAAs with SMU twice, three times with Texas Tech, twice at Texas A&M and three times with TAMUCC.
The Islanders started out by taking the doubles point quickly, winning at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Laurent Montoisy and Jose Zunino took the No. 2 doubles over Phenyo Matong and Eric Fischer by an 8-2 final for the first win of the day. No. 3 doubles finished next, with James Langford and David Pace winning 8-2 over Rohan Shetty and Sami Mouline to win the doubles point.
"They focus on what they can control, they out work people and stick together," said Moore. "This is an extra high character group"
With the Islanders up 1-0 in the match, they went to the singles round where TAMUCC continued to dominate. Montoisy added the first singles point when his match against Fischer was retired by the Colonels player due to injury. Montoisy led 5-0 in the first set at the time of default. Langford was the next to finish, blanking Mouline in No. 6 singles by identical 6-0, 6-0 scores. That setup the final point for the Islanders, as Mikhail Pavlov defeated Radu Ionescu 6-0, 7-5 to win the match and the championship for the Islanders.
The Islanders now await their destination on Tuesday afternoon. The NCAA selection show will be shown at 4:20 PM on national TV. The Islanders will be holding an event for fans to come out and watch the selection show live at the Corpus Christi Country Club. The event will be held in the pub area and is open to all Islander fans to attend.
"It will be a fun two weeks getting ready for the NCAAs, we'll work as hard as we can and take our shot," said Moore. "I think this group has the potential to win several matches and it will always be a close battle.
"The seniors on this team will be pretty dangerous in the NCAAs."
Tennis Match Results
Nicholls State vs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Apr 26, 2009 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, Nicholls State 0
1. Dmitry Novikov (AMCC-M) vs. Abhaya Prakash (NICH-M) 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
2. Mikhail Pavlov (AMCC-M) def. Radu Ionescu (NICH-M) 6-0, 7-5
3. Laurent Montoisy (AMCC-M) def. Eric Fischer (NICH-M) 5-0, retired
4. Jose Zunino (AMCC-M) vs. Phenyo Matong (NICH-M) 6-3, 5-3, unfinished
5. Jaume Farras (AMCC-M) vs. Rohan Shetty (NICH-M) 7-6 (7-1), 5-2, unfinished
6. James Langford (AMCC-M) def. Sami Mouline (NICH-M) 6-0, 6-0
1. Mikhail Pavlov/Dmitry Novikov (AMCC-M) vs. Radu Ionescu/Abhaya Prakash (NICH-M) 4-4, unfinished
2. Laurent Montoisy/Jose Zunino (AMCC-M) def. Phenyo Matong/Eric Fischer (NICH-M) 8-2
3. James Langford/David Pace (AMCC-M) def. Rohan Shetty/Sami Mouline (NICH-M) 8-2
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 14-8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (3,6,2)