The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's tennis team jumped back into the rankings on Tuesday afternoon after a one week absence, moving all the way up to No. 64 in the ITA Tennis national rankings following their showing at the 46th Annual HEB Tournament of Champions. The Islanders went 2-1 against three ranked teams to finish third in the event.
The Islanders were ranked every ranking period last year, and every ranking period this year until last week. But after only one week out of ITA national rankings, the Islanders used a strong performance at the HEB, with wins over OSU and MTSU, to bounce back into the rankings this week.
"I'm very proud of these guys," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "They've battled through a lot of adversity and injures, while really showing a lot of grit, toughness and resiliency.
"We have a long way to go and a lot to keep working on. Our goal is to get a lot higher than this in the rankings."
It is the highest ranking for the Islanders since March 18, 2011, when the Islanders we at No. 60 in the rankings. The team was ranked as high as No. 54 the week after the HEB Tournament of Champions a year ago, and had a program high of 35 following the HEB in 2009.
The Islanders have been ranked every year since for the last five years, and have been in the NCAA Top 50 the past four years.
"We were not happy to drop out of the rankings, " said Moore. "I think it's safe to say the coaches didn't sleep too well, and I'm sure the players didn't either."
The Islanders will be back in action next against Nicholls on March 11, in Houston for a Southland Conference match. It will be the first league match for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, while the Colonels are currently 2-0 in Southland matches.
"Stay blue collar is our motto, and that is exactly what we plan to do," said Moore. "But these guys come here to play on a nationally ranked team, that's why he players and coaches are here, that is our commitment for this program to the University.
"We just have to stay focused on the things we can control; an extreme work ethic and extreme positive attitude and we'll see what happens."
For the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Tennis), follow the team on Twitter (@IslandersTennis) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.