LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The No. 73 Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's tennis team will begin the 2012 season on Thursday afternoon in a 3 p.m. contest against No. 53 New Mexico State at the New Mexico State Tennis Complex. The match will be the first of a four-match, five-day road trip in the state.
The Islanders come into the season with five returners from the 2011 Southland Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Champion team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in a four-year span. For Director of Tennis Steve Moore, it was the fourth-straight regular season title for the team and third tournament title in the past four years. The team also has been ranked in the NCAA Top 50 in each of the last four seasons.
The returners will be led by seniors Aurelien Tave, Nathan Robinson and Andrew Maingot, with junior Gergo Weidinger and sophomore Matt Westmoreland rounding out the group. The team will also feature three newcomers in freshmen Pietro Jordao of Brazil, Fernando Llorens from Spain and Peter Nagy of Hungary.
The trio of freshman will complement the group of returners that fell to Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Championships a year ago. The Islanders lose their top two players in Laurent Montoisy and James Langford, but the familiar faces continue to be part of the program as student assistants this year.
Against New Mexico State, the Islanders will face a familiar opponent, having played the Aggies during the first week of the season the past two years. After the first match on Thursday, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will play in Las Cruces, N.M. two days later against Utah State on Saturday, Jan. 21. Following the first two matches of the year, the Islanders travel to Albuquerque for a pair of back-to-back matches on the 22nd and 23rd.
On the 22nd, Nevada and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will square off in a neutral court match at the Linda Estes Tennis Center. The trip finishes on the 23rd in a match between the Islanders and No. 53 New Mexico on the Lobos home court.
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