The nationally-ranked Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's tennis team will open its 2012 home schedule in grand fashion on Sunday afternoon by playing host to No. 14 Texas at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The match, scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, will be the first ever for the Islanders men's team at the state-of-the-art facility.
"The Islanders have waited a long time for this moment, and a lot of hard work by a lot of very good people went into making this such a special day," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We can't thank Thomas J. Henry enough, as well as our president, our current and former athletic directors and Dr. Trent Hill.
"A lot of people have poured their heart and soul into helping this team succeed."
The Islanders come into the match at 4-3 on the year after a pair of wins on Thursday at St. Mary's. The Longhorns are 5-2 on the season, having lost a 4-3 match against No. 11 Texas A&M in Houston the last time out.
The Islanders, a team that has been ranked in the NCAA Top 50 for four years in a row, has won the Southland Conference Championship four years in a row, and has advanced to the NCAA Championships in every year they have been eligible since 2007, will face perhaps its toughest test of the year on Sunday when the Longhorns come to town.
"I think our team has been known for the way they compete, and that's what we will focus on tomorrow," said Moore. "We always have the same goals; focus on the things we can control, stick together and out-compete everyone we play.
"We try to focus on those things rather than results, that's always been our formula."
Texas has been ranked in the NCAA Top 10 for five years in a row and currently sits at No. 14 in the NCAA rankings. The Longhorns have consistently been one of the last teams standing during that time, having made the NCAA semifinals or better in three of the last five years.
"This will be a great day for this University, this tennis team and the city of Corpus Christi," said Moore. "I believe that we have one of the best tennis facilities in the country, and to have our first men's home match be against the University of Texas speaks for itself.
"This is a team that has made the NCAA semis or better three of the last five years. They have been one of the elite teams in college tennis, if not the best, for a long time."
Admission to the match is free to the public, with fans encouraged to come out and cheer on the Islanders in the first home match of the year.
In case of inclement weather, the match will be moved indoors to the Corpus Christi Athletics Club on the corner Airline and Holly. Fans can check www.GoIslanders.com, as well as on Facebook (Islanders Tennis) and Twitter (@IslandersTennis) for the latest information on the match.