CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team picked up a 4-2 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Sunday in the final home match of the year. Seniors Nadia Filmalter and Bianca Discordia were honored before the match for their time with the tennis team.
The Islanders improve to 10-5 overall and 7-4 in the Southland for their most conference wins ever in school history. Sam Houston fell to 7-9 overall with a 4-7 finish in league play.
"These girls just showed incredible character, this is a season that could have easily gone the other way with injuries," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I can't tell you how proud I am of the resiliency and perseverance of these girls.
"They have a lot of heart and a lot of character this year."
The Islanders swept the doubles matches to take an early 1-0 lead. The No. 3 match saw Mia Matuszak and Stefania Nicolae take an 8-1 final to give their team an advantage while Sandra Burges and Bianca Discordia took an 8-2 match at No. 2 doubles to clinch the point. Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj won an 8-4 final at the No. 1 spot while Bianca Discordia to finish the sweep.
"This team is really a combination of a lot of high-character individuals," said Moore. "Two great seniors, Nadia and Bianca who led incredibly well by example and a group of very hungry young girls that bought into the team concept immediately and all made huge contributions.
"The thing I'm proudest of the girls is that they truly a team in every meaning of the word and they showed that more than ever today."
In singles play, Kuselj picked up the first win of the day for a 2-0 margin when she won 6-0, 6-4 at the No. 2 position. Burges added to the lead to make it 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles.
"Doris and Mirna basically played hurt all year and just rose up for us every single match," said Moore. "As long as I coach, I will not forget the heart that those two girls had."
Sam Houston fought back however as Mia Matuszak lost 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6 and Cicak led 5-0 in her third set, but eventually lost a 0-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) final at the No. 1 position to make it a 3-2 match.
Nicolae came through with the deciding point at No. 4 singles when she took a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win to give her team a 4-2 dual-match victory.
"For Stefania to clinch today was awesome," said Moore. "We always say we play together and we cover each other's backs.
"That's exactly what happened today."
The No. 3 singles match went unfinished with Discordia up a set and a tie score in the second at 6-3, 4-4 when play was stopped.
The win concludes Southland Conference play for the team with their best league record in school history. The seven wins better last season's performance by two and finishes the year with a 7-4 mark in league play and in a tie for fourth place with Texas State and Stephen F. Austin. Seeding for the conference tournament will be determined by tiebreakers from the Southland Conference.
The final two matches of the year will be non-conference tilts on Tuesday against St. Mary's at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in San Antonio.
Tennis Match Results
Sam Houston State vs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
4/17/2011 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, Sam Houston State 2
1. Imke Jagau (SHSU) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) 0-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Tatyana Postnikova (SHSU) 6-0, 6-4
3. Bianca Discordia (AMCC) vs. Nadya Dubyanskaya (SHSU) 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
4. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Sheridan Currie (SHSU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
5. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Anrinette Botha (SHSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Natalie Seira Petaia (SHSU) def. Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 6-3, 6-1
1. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Nadya Dubyanskaya/Tatyana Postnikova (SHSU) 8-4
2. Bianca Discordia/Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Sheridan Currie/Cally Woerner (SHSU) 8-2
3. Mia Matuszak/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Natalie Seira Petaia/Imke Jagau (SHSU) 8-1
Sam Houston State 7-9, 4-7 Southland
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 10-5, 7-4 Southland
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,5,6,1,4)