Beaumont The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's tennis team did something that no other team had done before it at the university, they qualified for the Southland Conference Tournament. The Islanders did so with a win over the Nicholls State Lady Colonels by a 6-1 final.
"These girls were so determined to raise the level of this program," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "They fought very hard to win these two matches and get into the conference tournament.
"By getting into the conference tournament they have taken this program to the next level."
The Islanders are now 9-11 overall on the year and finish at 5-6 in SLC play. The Colonels fall to 8-9 on the season and 2-8 in SLC matches.
With the win, the Islanders took the next step in building the program, as they became the first women's team from TAMUCC to qualify for the SLC tournament. They continue to improve under Moore and look to compete for a conference championship in the upcoming SLC Tournament this weekend.
The Islanders won the doubles point by a 2-1 score to take the first point of the match. No. 2 doubles saw Erika Iriarte and Alexandra Dyckman take an 8-6 win. In No. 3 doubles, Nina Ciric and Fabiana Mersan won 8-2 to clinch the match for TAMUCC. No. 1 singles came down to the wire, as Mirna Cicak and Megan Harless lost 9-8 (7-3).
In singles action, Cicak won her match by a 7-5, 6-4 score to add to the Islander lead. No. 3 singles had Iriarte winning a three-set match by a 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 score. In No. 4 singles, Dyckman won by a final of 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Pernelle Soulie won the No. 5 match when, after leading late in the second set with a set advantage, Cisca Wouters from Nicholls retired to give the point to the Islanders. No. 6 singles was defaulted by Nicholls to give Megan Harless the victory and finish the match scoring at 5-2.
"All the players competed like warriors, but if I had to single out one, Erika Iriarte gave a heroic performance the last two days," said Moore. "It is kids like that which make you love coaching."
Iriarte was key in the Islanders success over the past two days, winning all three of her matches.
"To win against Lamar and then have to clinch the match at 7-6 against Southeastern Louisiana in the third set and win a third set tie-breaker again today," said Moore. "That is playing 8 hours of high level tennis yesterday and coming back and doing it again today."
The Islanders are now finished with their SLC schedule but have two final matches on Tuesday. The Islanders travel to take on Centenary in a pair of matches in Shreveport, La.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6, Nicholls State 1
1. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) def. Florina Nosca (NICH-W) 7-5, 6-4
2. Natalia Zamora (NICH-W) def. Nina Ciric (AMCC) 6-0, 6-2
3. Erika Iriarte (AMCC) def. S. Kaylanasundram (NICH-W) 6-1, 3-6, 10-6
4. Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC) def. Sanja Stanojcic (NICH-W) 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
5. Pernelle Soulie (AMCC) def. Cisca Wouters (NICH-W) 6-4, 5-0, retired
6. Megan Harless (AMCC) def. Nicole September (NICH-W), by default
1. Florina Nosca/Natalia Zamora (NICH-W) def. Mirna Cicak/Megan Harless (AMCC) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Erika Iriarte/Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC) def. Sanja Stanojcic/S. Kaylanasundram (NICH-W) 8-6
3. Nina Ciric/Fabiana Mersan (AMCC) def. Nicole September/Cisca Wouters (NICH-W) 8-2
Nicholls State 8-9, 2-8 SLC
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 9-11, 5-6 SLC