SAN ANTONIO - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team completed another undefeated Southland Conference schedule on Thursday afternoon with a 4-3 win over UTSA at the UTSA Tennis Center to win its fourth Southland Conference title in-a-row.
"Today was an incredible college tennis match," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "Give UTSA a lot of credit, they played a heck of a match and we had to dig as deep as we possibly could to pull out two tough third sets that we were down a break in."
The Islanders improve to 13-9 overall and complete their league schedule at 5-0 on the year. The Roadrunners are now 9-8 overall and 3-1 in the Southland following the loss. It was the 25th win for the Islanders in their last 26 matches of Southland Conference play.
The last team that won four-straight league titles was in from 1973-76 when Lamar completed the feat. It ties for the second-longest streak in league history after a run of five in-a-row from 1968-72 by Trinity.
The team played from behind nearly the entire match after losing the doubles point at the start. Robert Raguz and Alex Pavlov suffered an 8-5 loss at No. 3 while Laurent Montoisy and Gergo Weidinger had match point but fell by a 9-8 (7-2) final at the No. 1 position. James Langford and Aurelien Tave took their match by an 8-6 final to finish the scoring at 2-1 in favor of UTSA.
"Two teams deserved to win this match today," said Moore. "It was just an incredible job by our guys of keeping their heads up and never giving up for a second.
"You only get these opportunities a few times, so you have to rise up and take them and that's exactly what our guys did today."
In singles, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi lost the first set in three matches but kept fighting through the adversity.
Tave was the first to finish with a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 4 position to even the score at 1-1. Weidinger absorbed a 6-2, 6-1 setback to put the Roadrunners back ahead at 2-1.
From there, the Islanders took over, winning the next three matches to claim a 4-3 victory. Montoisy evened the score at 2-2 with his 6-1, 6-3 final at No. 1 singles. He finishes the year with an undefeated record at No. 1 in Southland Conference singles.
"I'm incredibly proud of their resiliency, courage and, at the end, just flat out grit," said Moore. "You always hear how much character matters, well it really, really mattered today."
Next to finish was James Langford after fighting back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 singles.
The youngest Islanders player, Matt Westmoreland, clinched the match for his team with another battle at No. 5 singles, coming back from being down a set to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"For Matt Westmoreland to come back against such a tough senior who everyone has so much respect for and dig out a win after being down a set and then a break in the third set," said Moore. "It was incredible."
Raguz suffered a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 loss at the No. 3 spot to finish the scoring in the dual match.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is finished with its regular season matches and will wait until April 29-30 for the Southland Conference Tournament in San Antonio to play again. The Islanders will be the No. 1 seed in the two-day event.
Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs UTSA
4/7/2011 at San Antonio, Texas
#74 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, UTSA 3
1. Laurent Montoisy (AMCC) def. Martin Ayala (UTSA) 6-1, 6-3
2. James Langford (AMCC) def. Yannick Junger (UTSA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
3. Tyler Brown (UTSA) def. Robert Raguz (AMCC) 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
4. Aurelien Tave (AMCC) def. Daniel Moreiras (UTSA) 6-3, 6-2
5. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Max Stratmann (UTSA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Daniel Moser (UTSA) def. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 6-2, 6-1
1. Martin Ayala/Daniel Moreiras (UTSA) def. Andrew Maingot/Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 9-8 (7-2)
2. James Langford/Aurelien Tave (AMCC) def. Tyler Brown/Yannick Junger (UTSA) 8-6
3. Max Stratmann/Pedro Zanotelli (UTSA) def. Alex Pavlov/Robert Raguz (AMCC) 8-5
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 13-9, 5-0 SLC; National ranking #74
UTSA 9-8, 3-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,6,1,2,5,3)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi wins fourth consecutive
Southland Conference Regular Season Championship