AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team battled the No. 6 Texas Longhorns today before coming up short 6-1 at Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the UT campus. The Islanders (8-5) will look to bounce back tomorrow at 12 p.m. when they host UT Arlington at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
"We played a great team today," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "Give them a lot of credit. They are a very talented team and a class act group. The thing about playing the best like this is you truly learn what you must do better and you learn also what you must not do to reach the next level.
"We must set the tone with better energy at the beginning. We can't let the other team start with more energy than us, and anything that is mediocre or sloppy must be eliminated. Against a team like this you can't play nine out of 10 points like a competitive pit bull, you must play 10 out of 10 points like a competitive pit bull."
The Longhorns (11-2) secured the doubles point after wins on courts one and three to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Texas's Søren Hess-Olesen and Sudanwa Sitaram teamed up to take an 8-2 victory over Islanders Javier Pujol and Pietro Jordao in the No. 3 slot. The Longhorns then captured the point in No. 1 doubles after Jacoby Lewis and David Holiner topped the Islanders' tandem of Peter Nagy and Guillaume Rauseo, 8-2. In No. 2 doubles, the freshman-senior duo of Matt Westmoreland and Paul Cook were battling George Goldhoff and Nick Naumann when the point was clinched. The duo was down 5-3 after taking an early 2-1 lead.
Texas carried its momentum into singles play to push ahead 2-0 after a straight-set win in No. 4 singles. Holiner garnered a 6-2 first-set win over Pujol before defeating the sophomore 6-0 in the second set. The Longhorns captured their third point of the night in No. 3 singles after Rauseo fell in straight sets to Clement Homs, 6-2, 6-1. Prior to Homs win, Rauseo had clinched seven straight singles matches.
The Longhorns clinched the match in No. 6 singles after Lewis squeezed out a 7-5 first-set win over Cook and a 6-0 victory in the second set. The Islanders kept fighting in the final three singles matches. Nagy battled Naumann in the No. 1 slot to force a super tiebreaker. After dropping the first set, 6-2, Nagy clawed his way back to win the second set 6-4. In the super tiebreaker, Nagy jumped out to an 8-5 lead before Naumann came back to earn five straight points to win, 10-8.
In No. 2 singles, Ricardo Mayagoitia dropped a close 7-6 (2) first set before falling 6-2 in the second set to No. 32-ranked Goldhoff.
"Ricky and Peter played very close matches at No. 1 and No. 2 singles," Moore said. "They made some very key adjustments, but they just couldn't quite finish the job. I really thought Peter competed extremely hard, but one or two unfocused points were the difference in that tiebreaker. I thought his energy and aggression in the second set was much better than the first."
In the final singles match of the day, Westmoreland went neck-and-neck with Sitaram in No. 5 singles. After Sitaram captured the first set 6-4, Westmoreland roared back to win the second set 7-6 (2) to force a super tiebreaker. The senior came out strong with a 4-0 lead before extending his lead to 8-4. After Sitaram won the next two points, Westmoreland sealed the next point to take a 9-6 lead. Sitaram answered with consecutive points before Westmoreland clinched the Islanders' lone point of the day, 10-8.
"I was very proud of Matt Westmoreland," Moore said. "I think his match is a great illustration of what happens when you stay in the present and play each point separately and with intensity."
The Islanders will return to action tomorrow when they host UT Arlington at 12 p.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
"We tell them all the time it's a long journey," Moore added. "Every good team is working hard and improving, but who is improving at a higher rate than others. That is our challenge. That is how we must separate ourselves.
"We need to learn from this, get our minds refocused, and be ready to play with great spirit and intensity against a very tough UT Arlington team. We have had incredibly tough matches against them and we are expecting a battle tomorrow."
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. No. 6 Texas
02/23/14 at Austin, Texas
#6 Texas 6, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1
1. Nick Naumann (UT) def. Peter Nagy (AMCC) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
2. #32 George Goldhoff (UT) def. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
3. Clement Homs (UT) def. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 6-2, 6-1
4. David Holiner (UT) def. Javier Pujol (AMCC) 6-2, 6-0
5. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-8)
6. Jacoby Lewis (UT) def. Paul Cook (AMCC) 7-5, 6-0
1. Jacoby Lewis/David Holiner (UT) def. Peter Nagy/Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 8-2
2. George Goldhoff/Nick Naumann (UT) vs. Matt Westmoreland/Paul Cook (AMCC) 5-3, unfinished
3. Søren Hess-Olesen/Sudanwa Sitaram (UT) def. Javier Pujol/Pietro Jordao (AMCC) 8-2
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 8-5
Texas 11-2; National ranking #6; Regional ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,3,6,1,2,5)