After a long weekend battling the elements, the men's final of the Third-Annual Islander Open will come down to one match that will feature a pair of familiar faces to Texas A&M – Corpus Christi fans. Senior Aurelien Tave and sophomore Matt Westmoreland will meet at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. to decide the winner.
Westmoreland, a sophomore, was the No. 1 ranked junior player in Hawaii and reached as high as No. 26 in the United States Junior Rankings and had the team's second-best record at 15-8 as a true freshman. Tave, a native of St. Gilles les Bains, Reunion Island, posted the best record on the team with a 14-7 mark. The two combined for 29 singles victories on a team that reached as high as No. 52 nationally last year, won the Southland Conference regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Championships. For their efforts, Westmoreland was named the Southland Freshman of the Year while Tave earned Newcomer of the Year honors.
"We're looking forward to a very competitive match between two players that competed extremely hard this weekend," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "Both have taken their games to another level over the last six months, and I think this will be a very entertaining event for the University and the city of Corpus Christi. It is our first chance to really showcase this incredible new facility, so we're very excited about Tuesday night. "
Both players made their way through a talented field, beating players from UTSA, Abilene Christian, Laredo Community College and Tyler Junior College to reach the finals. It will be the first time the two have officially played each other, with previous matches coming against each other during practice last season and this summer and fall.
In the three years of the tournament, the Islanders have had five-of-six participants in the men's singles final. The first year of existence, former Islander Dmitry Novikov lost to Ashwin Vijayaragavan of Texas – Pan American. A year ago, James Langford and Laurent Montoisy battled for the title at the Corpus Christi Athletic Club, with Langford besting his teammate for the championship.
This year two more Islanders will give it a go, playing each other for the title, with a Texas A&M – Corpus Christi player guaranteed to earn the honor for the second year in-a-row.
The match is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free to all fans. The athletic department will also host a live chat for the match through CoverItLive!. Fans can sign-up for the event by visiting this link.
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