CORPUS CHRISTI – The 60th-ranked Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's tennis team roared from behind, scoring the final four team points in a 5-2 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The Islanders improved to 12-7 overall and 11-2 in their last 13 matches with the victory.
"This was another match where we were able to prevail on pure grit," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I'm so proud of our ability to fight back when we get down, and today Matt Westmoreland and Gergo Weidinger were the prime examples. Those two veterans earned huge points for us after battling from behind, and they showed great leadership today."
The Islanders won despite losing the doubles point in the match, something the team has done several times throughout the year.
"In college tennis, the team that wins the doubles point wins 78 percent of the time, and we've defied those odds all season," Moore said. "But I think it's a testament to the mental fortitude our team possesses that we've been able to win when our back is against the wall. No matter the score, we almost always find a way to put it behind us and play tough – that has been our calling card this year."
The match was sponsored by attorney David Harris, a strong supporter of the Islanders Tennis program. A total of 122 fans came through the turnstiles on the day.
"I can't thank David Harris enough for putting his name behind this match," Moore added. "Our program is so blessed to have such amazing people willing to support it, and my gratitude for David's generosity goes beyond words. He is a wonderful person, and we're glad to have him behind Islanders Tennis."
The Islanders started out behind the 8-ball, as Lafayette took two of the three doubles matches to earn a 1-0 lead in the match overall. Guillaume Rauseo/Andrew Maingot fell 8-4 to Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson at No. 3, and then the duo of Westmoreland/Ricardo Mayagoitia dropped an 8-6 decision to put the Ragin' Cajuns up 1-0. The match at No. 1 doubles was stopped with Peter Nagy/Weidinger leading Edgar Lopez/Jarred Wynan 7-4.
In singles, the Islanders took the first set in five of the six matches to roar right back into it. Mayagoitia defeated Jake Wynan in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) at No. 4, but Rauseo was topped by Hunter Johnson (6-4, 6-1) to put ULL back in front at 2-1.
The Islanders then took the next two points to regain the lead. Javier Pujol took a 6-2, 6-4 decision at No. 5 to tie the match at 2-2. Weidinger then got a critical point over Lopez, winning the first set 7-5 and coming back from down a break in the second set to win 6-4.
At No. 3, Westmoreland won a tremendous first set, earning a break while down 6-5, then winning 7-5 in the tiebreak to take a one set to none lead. He carried that momentum into the second, downing Damian Farinola by a 6-1 score to clinch the victory for the Islanders.
Nagy cruised in the opening set to a 6-2 win at No. 1, but de Groot roared back with a quick start to post a 6-4 win in the second set and tie things up. With the match decided and Nagy up 3-0 in the third, the coaches decided to finish the match at No. 1. Nagy was able to hold off a strong effort from de Groot, taking the third by a score of 6-2 to wrap things up.
The Islanders return to conference play with a neutral site match against Nicholls in Beaumont on Tuesday, April 9. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start, in what should be a crucial match in the battle for the Southland regular-season championship. For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@IslandersTennis).
Tennis Match Results
Louisiana-Lafayette vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
4/5/2013 at Corpus Christi, TX
#60 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 5, Louisiana-Lafayette 2
1. Peter Nagy (AMCC) def. Rick de Groot (ULL) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
2. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) def. Edgar Lopez (ULL) 7-5, 6-4
3. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Damian Farinola (ULL) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
4. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) def. Jake Wynan (ULL) 6-3, 6-1
5. Javier Pujol (AMCC) def. Jarred Wynan (ULL) 6-2, 6-4
6. Hunter Johnson (ULL) def. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
1. Peter Nagy/Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) vs. Edgar Lopez/Jarred Wynan (ULL) 7-4, unfinished
2. Rick de Groot/Jake Wynan (ULL) def. Matt Westmoreland/Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) 8-6
3. Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (ULL) def. Guillaume Rauseo/Andrew Maingot (AMCC) 8-4
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 12-7; National ranking #60
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,6,5,2,3,1)