WACO, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team fell to No. 6 Baylor today, 4-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Championships at the Hurd Tennis Center.
The Islanders (19-10, 6-0 SLC) returned to the championships for the second consecutive year and the fifth time in the last seven years and fell to a tough Baylor (24-5, 4-1 Big 12) team after dropping the doubles point and three singles matches.
"We fought as hard as we could ask our team to fight," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "We played a team that was just a superior physical team and we played as hard as we could ask our guys to play. I was looking around in the doubles and it was a nail biter. We certainly had opportunities, point here, or a point there. I thought we could have dug in, but Baylor to me is a legitimate national championship contender. They are six in the country and there's a reason they are sixth in the country. I have all the respect in the world for Baylor.
"I thought our guys competed as hard as you can ask them to compete today. They played with incredible character and courage. You work all year to get to the NCAAs, and you don't want any should haves, or no I wishes. I really thought they did what we asked of them. We could always play a little smarter, but as far as the way we competed today, I'm very proud of our guys."
Baylor opened with a 1-0 lead after winning a tight doubles point on courts one and three. Peter Nagy and Guillaume Rauseo stayed neck-and-neck with Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch in No. 1 doubles early on and stayed with them to even the match at 5-5. After trading games, the Baylor pair earned the next two games to secure the 8-6 win. In No. 3 doubles, Baylor garnered the doubles point after the sophomore duo of Ricardo Mayagoitia and Javier Pujol fell 8-2 to Robert Verzaal and Mate Zsiga. In the final doubles match in the No. 2 slot, the freshman-senior tandem of Matt Westmoreland and Paul Cook were up 6-5 against Diego Galeano and Vince Schneider when the point was clinched.
The Bears earned three straight wins in singles play to seal the match. Pujol dropped a close 6-4 first set to No. 31 ranked Galeano in No. 3 singles, before falling 6-1 in the second set. Baylor tacked on another point after Mayagoitia dropped a straight-set match to No. 14 ranked Patrick Pradella in No. 2 singles. The sophomore fell 6-2, 6-2, before Baylor clinched the match in the No. 1 slot. Nagy battled No. 3 ranked Lenz in the first set. After falling behind 4-2, the junior won three straight games to knot the set at 4-4. After trading games to tie the set at 5-5, Lenz captured the next two games to win a close 7-5 first set. In the second set, Lenz clinched the match with a 6-1 win.
In the other singles matches, Rauseo forced Zsiga to a third set in No. 5 singles, while Cook dropped a close 7-6 (2) first set to Schneider in the No. 6 spot. Westmoreland was down 5-2 in the second set to Dornbusch in No. 5 singles after dropping the first set, 6-3.
The Islanders had another successful year in the Southland Conference, clinching their seventh straight Southland regular-season title and their second straight Southland Conference Tournament.
Westmoreland closes out a stellar four seasons after making his third appearance into the NCAA Tournament. The senior clinched the Southland Conference Tournament match for the Islanders for the second straight year, and stands behind Associate Head Coach Goncalo Figueiredo in second place all-time in Islanders singles history with a career mark of 48-33. This season, he notched an 11-10 overall mark.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Baylor
5/10/2014 at Waco, Texas
#6 Baylor 4, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 0
1. #3 Julian Lenz (BU) def. Peter Nagy (AMCC) 7-5, 6-1
2. #14 Patrick Pradella (BU) def. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) 6-2, 6-2
3. #31 Diego Galeano (BU) def. Javier Pujol (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
4. Michel Dornbusch (BU) vs. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 6-3, 5-2, unfinished
5. Mate Zsiga (BU) vs. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 6-1, 2-6, 3-0, unfinished
6. Vince Schneider (BU) vs. Paul Cook (AMCC) 7-6 (7-2), 5-3, unfinished
1. Julian Lenz/Michel Dornbusch (BU) def. Peter Nagy/Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) 8-6
2. Diego Galeano/Vince Schneider (BU) vs. Matt Westmoreland/Paul Cook (AMCC) 5-6, unfinished
3. Robert Verzaal/Mate Zsiga (BU) def. Ricardo Mayagoitia/Javier Pujol (AMCC) 8-2
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 19-10
Baylor 24-5; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (3,2,1)