CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Men's Tennis team dropped a heartbreaker on Thursday afternoon, falling 5-2 against Nevada in a match that was closer than the score indicated.
The Islanders (1-4) were nearly equal to the Wolf Pack (4-3) on Thursday, but a few crucial points went the way of the visiting team in the nail-biting match that also served as the home opener of the 2013 season.
Nevada came into the match having beaten nationally ranked UC Irvine 6-1, as well as a 5-2 win over DePaul and a win over Northern Arizona.
"Give credit to Nevada, they're a very good team," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We fought extremely hard today, but a few mental lapses early got us off to a slow start. We've really been competing hard, but we're making some mistakes that young teams make, and we've got to rise up and fix those things."
In doubles, Peter Nagy and Odon Barta teamed up for a gritty 8-7 (7-1) win at the No. 1 position. The Islanders led at both No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, but crucial points went to Nevada as Matt Westmoreland and Andrew Maingot fell 8-6 at No. 2, while Gergo Weidinger and Guillaume Rauseo lost 8-5 in the No. 3 position.
"Eighty-two percent of the time when you lose the doubles point, you lose the match," said Moore. "We've had match point or served for the doubles in every match we've lost this year, and it's just a matter of being a little smarter on a few key points, a little more relentless."
In singles, Nagy got his team on the board in quick fashion, taking a 6-2, 6-2 final at the No. 1 singles position to even the match at 1-1. Nevada struck back quickly however, earning a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win over Rauseo at the No. 4 match.
"I really felt this was a breakthrough match for Peter Nagy, both in the tough smart way he played on the big points as well as really being a vocal leader," said Moore. "That's what you need from your No. 1 singles player, and that's what he gave us today so we're very proud of him."
The biggest heartbreaker of the day came at No. 2 singles, with Westmoreland losing by an agonizing 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) final to make it a 3-1 Nevada lead. The match was clinched at No. 3 singles, with Weidinger falling by a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) score to make it 4-1.
Nearly instantaneously, Javier Pujol won his match at No. 5 singles, rallying back from a set down to earn a 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory to make it 4-2.
"There is a lot of fight in this team, which I really love," said Moore. "Nevada is a very good team, and they won five-of-six first sets, but we fought back and won the next set in four of those five. That's the sign of a team that's fighting and never quitting, but we just have to play smarter at key times. It's our job as coaches to make sure they do."
The Islanders also led at No. 6 singles, with Pietro Jordao coming back from a set down to lead 3-6, 7-5, 3-2 before having to retire due to muscles cramps that prevented him from continuing.
"This is now the beginning of the hot part of the year that has always been our trademark," said Moore. "Fitness is the biggest thing from this point forward, so we will be working incredibly hard to be the fittest team possible and be ready for these upcoming challenges. We'll be fine because this team has good character."
Next up for the Islanders will be a road match at No. 16 Texas in Austin. The match is set for a 6 p.m. start and will be aired live on the Longhorn Network.
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Tennis Match Results
Nevada vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
2/14/2013 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Nevada 5, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 2
1. Peter Nagy (AMCC) def. Victor Ouvrard (NEVADA) 6-2, 6-2
2. Moez Echarqui (NEVADA) def. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3)
3. Fernando Sunago (NEVADA) def. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Robert Allan (NEVADA) def. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
5. Javier Pujol (AMCC) def. Quentin Mege (NEVADA) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
6. Ryan Andrada (NEVADA) def. Pietro Jordao (AMCC) 6-3, 5-7, 2-3, retired
1. Peter Nagy/Odon Barta (AMCC) def. Victor Ouvrard/Robert Allan (NEVADA) 8-7 (7-1)
2. Quentin Mege/Moez Echarqui (NEVADA) def. Andrew Maingot/Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 8-6
3. Fernando Sunago/Andrew Poustie (NEVADA) def. Gergo Weidinger/Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 8-5
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,4,2,3,5,6)