URBANA, Ill. – In his debut match of the 2013 NCAA Men's Singles Championship, 88th-ranked Peter Nagy of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tennis team was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by 57th-ranked Malte Stropp of Mississippi State on Wednesday. Nagy became the first Islander to take part in the men's singles draw in program history.
"Peter had a great season, it was tough to see it come to an end today," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "Malte Stropp played a great match, give Mississippi State credit. This was a very tough matchup for us – a big, left-handed guy with weapons. I thought Peter prepared very well and competed very well. This is the style of guy that we need to work on being able to beat for him. There's probably seven or eight matchups in tennis, and this was probably the toughest one, so it's an area that we can improve on.
"Peter is an extremely motivated guy and as he matures and gets stronger, this is the kind of player I'd like to see him get another opportunity to play against next year," Moore continued. "I'm so proud of Peter and the improvement he made this year. His future is incredibly bright. He showed up and played every match as hard as you can ask this season, and as he matures and continues to get older and stronger, the sky is the limit for him.
The defeat brought to an end a historic season, as the Islanders men's team won their sixth straight Southland regular-season championship and the women had their finest season in school history, finishing second in the regular season and advancing to the tournament championship match.
"It's tough to see this season come to an end, but I'm already excited for next year," Moore said. "We'll be back to chopping wood tomorrow, working to get better."
Moore was also quick to credit the University of Illinois for putting on a first-class event.
"I can't speak highly enough of the University of Illinois, coach Brad Dancer and his staff did this week running the NCAA Championships," Moore said. "This was one of the most highly organized, well-run tournaments we've ever played. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for the experience they gave these student-athletes."
The match was played on Court No. 1 of the Khan Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center on a huge stage, and Nagy became a fan favorite.
"It was really special for our university to be put on Court 1 at the NCAA National Championships against an SEC opponent," Moore said. "It meant a lot to see so many people in the college tennis world cheering for Peter and the Islanders on such a big stage. I never like to lose, but I felt so proud of our university, our athletics department and our tennis community."
Nagy completed his spring 16-4 in the dual match season, with three of his four losses coming to ranked opponents. He went 3-3 against foes in the national rankings. In the fall, he lost just one match, winning the Marco & Co. Islanders Open and the Rice Galleria Fall Invite, both ITA-sanctioned events, while reaching the Round of 16 at the ITA tournament.
Nagy was an automatic qualifier from the Southland Conference after winning the conference championship at No. 1 singles and being ranked in the top 125 singles players in the nation. He was named the Southland Player of the Year in addition to being a First Team All-Southland selection for both singles and doubles.
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