CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - On an extremely windy day at the Corpus Christi Country Club, the nationally-ranked Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team picked up another important Southland Conference victory with a 6-1 final over Texas - Pan American.
The Islanders are now 12-9 overall and improved to 4-0 in the Southland Conference. The Broncs fall to 1-10 overall and 1-2 in league matches.
The win by Texas A&M - Corpus Christi improved their overall record in Southland matches to 24-1 in the last four seasons. The lone loss had come at the hands of the Broncs last season on the road as the team got a measure of payback with Monday's win.
"I just think these guys really wanted this match very badly and competed as hard as you can ask them to compete," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "A lot of us remember the UTPA match last year and committed to compete with incredible spirit today."
The Islanders started the match by taking the doubles point as James Langford and Aurelien Tave won an 8-3 final at No. 2 while Andrew Maingot and Robert Raguz clinched the point with an 8-5 victory. Laurent Montoisy and Gergo Weidinger fell in a tightly contested 8-6 final at the No. 1 position.
"I thought Andrew Maingot came up big for us in the doubles point," said Moore. "He gave our team a shot in the arm with his spirit and energy."
In singles, Weidinger was the first to finish with a 6-1, 6-1 final in No. 6 singles to put his team up 2-0. Tave pushed the match to the brink with his 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 3 singles. UTPA temporarily staved off defeat as James Langford fell in a 6-4, 6-2 match at the No. 2 position to make it a 3-1 match.
Matt Westmoreland finished off the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 5 singles to give his team the win. Raguz battled back from being a set down to take a 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 match to extend the final margin.
The final match of the day to finish featured Montoisy, playing in the final home match of his career, taking on the two-time Southland Player of the Year Aswin Vijayaragavan at the No. 1 position. After taking a quick first set, Montoisy battled back from being down 5-3 with match point for Vijayaragavan to take a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) final to complete the match.
Seniors Montoisy and Langford played the final home matches of their careers with the 6-1 victory over the only team they ever lost to in Southland play during their careers.
"It was kind of bittersweet with it being the final home match for Laurent and James," said Moore. "I always say the hardest part about college sports is you only get these incredibly special kids for four years."
Both have above a 3.0 GPA and have won six Southland Conference regular season titles combined, one for every year they have been a part of the program. They also have each been a part of two Southland Conference Tournament Championships along with two NCAA appearances.
"When we came here as coaches in 2005, we made a commitment to find only one type of player; someone with incredible character who would be a great teammate and work hard in the classroom," said Moore. "Of course they need to be an exceptional tennis player, but what was equally important is how they cared about the team, worked hard in the classroom and on the court while being high character players with big hearts.
"That was exactly James and Laurent, they have cared about the Islanders with all their heart since day one. We may find guys equal, but we will never find two better as far as the right fit for our team."
The two seniors have won a title each year they have been here and are hoping to go out on top with a win on Thursday. They are two of the most successful and dedicated tennis players in program history.
"Those guys will always be Islanders and represent everything we're about," said Moore. "Those are the kind of kids that every time you think about them, they make you so glad that you chose this profession."
Next up for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will be their final regular-season match of the year against UTSA. The two teams are undefeated in league play and will battle for the Southland Conference Championship on Thursday, April 7 at 2 p.m. in San Antonio. A win would give the Islanders their fourth regular-season title in-a-row.
Tennis Match Results
Texas-Pan American vs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
4/4/2011 at Corpus Christi, Texas
#75 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6, Texas-Pan American 1
1. Laurent Montoisy (AMCC) def. Aswin Vijayaragavan (UTPA) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
2. Beau Bernstein (UTPA) def. James Langford (AMCC) 6-4, 6-2
3. Aurelien Tave (AMCC) def. Ricardo Hopker (UTPA) 6-1, 6-3
4. Robert Raguz (AMCC) def. Matt Teivans (UTPA) 4-6, 6-2, 10-8
5. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Sebastien Job (UTPA) 6-3, 6-4
6. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) def. Abdel Riani (UTPA) 6-1, 6-1
1. Aswin Vijayaragavan/Beau Bernstein (UTPA) def. Laurent Montoisy/Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 8-6
2. James Langford/Aurelien Tave (AMCC) def. Sebastien Job/Matt Teivans (UTPA) 8-3
3. Andrew Maingot/Robert Raguz (AMCC) def. Ricardo Hopker/Victor Alves (UTPA) 8-5
Texas-Pan American 1-10, 1-2 Southland
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 12-9, 4-0 Southland; National ranking #75
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,3,2,5,4,1)