The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's tennis team lost a heartbreaking match on Friday afternoon at the Southland Conference tennis tournament by a 4-1 score. In a match that started at 1:30 PM, the Islanders fought and fought for five hours but were not able to pull it out as they lost the final point in a match that ended at 6:31 PM at the HEB Tennis Center.
"A team can't fight any harder than we fought," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I'm incredibly proud of the way these girls competed with such extra special heart today."
The loss ends the season for the Islanders, who finish the year with a record of 11-12 while completing the SLC schedule with a record of 4-6 during the regular season.
"I'm especially proud of the seniors, their incredible hard work and determination lifted this program up an entire level and the culture of hard work and team work that they established makes the future very bright for this program."
Pernelle Soulie won the lone point for the Islanders, as she defeated Manami Kuroda in three sets by a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 final at No. 5 singles. Three sets were a theme of the day, as the match came down to the final three matches being pushed to three sets, with the Islanders fighting to stay alive. Match point came when Megan Harless fell in No. 6 singles by a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2 final. Earlier finishes saw Mirna Cicak fall at No. 1 singles to Mariaryeni Gutierrez by a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 score. In No. 2 singles, Nina Ciric fell by a 6-2, 6-2 final to Maria Gutierrez. Other unfinished matches had Alexandra Dyckman leading in the third set for the Islanders at No. 4 singles while Erika Iriarte was trailing by one game in No. 3 singles.
"I will remember the heart that seniors Erika Iriarte and Alexandra Dyckman showed as long as I'm a coach." said Moore.
In doubles action, Ciric and Fabiana Mersan downed Carla Nava and Kuroda by an 8-6 final to tie the match. The first doubles match to be completed was a match between Cicak and Harless and Maria and Mariaryeni Gutierrez at No. 1 doubles that finished at 8-4. The clinching point in the doubles came at the No. 2 position, with Manijee Ashrafi and Salina Aranda defeating Iriarte and Dyckman 8-6.
"I really credit Lamar, this was an absolute battle, as close as you can get, every match was incredibly close coming down to the wire."
Lamar University 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
1. Mariaryeni Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC-W) 7-6, 6-4
2. Maria Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Nina Ciric (AMCC-W) 6-2, 6-2
3. Carla Nava (LU-W) vs. Erika Iriarte (AMCC-W) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-2, unfinished
4. Manijee Ashrafi (LU-W) vs. Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC-W) 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-4, unfinished
5. Pernelle Soulie (AMCC-W) def. Manami Kuroda (LU-W) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
6. Salina Aranda (LU-W) def. Megan Harless (AMCC-W) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2
1. Mariaryeni Gutierrez/Maria Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Mirna Cicak/Megan Harless (AMCC-W) 8-4
2. Manijee Ashrafi/Salina Aranda (LU-W) def. Erika Iriarte/Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC-W) 8-6
3. Nina Ciric/Fabiana Mersan (AMCC-W) def. Carla Nava/Manami Kuroda (LU-W) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,5,1,6)