Islanders women's tennis falls to defending champion in Southland Conference Tournament

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team completed their 2011 season on Friday with a 4-0 loss against the defending Southland Conference Tournament Champion Northwestern State Lady Demons at the UTSA Tennis Center.

The No. 6 seed Islanders completed their season at 12-6 while No. 3 Northwestern State improved to 17-5 on the year. NSU will move on to play the winner of the No. 2 Lamar vs. No. 7 Sam Houston State match.

"Give credit to NWLA, they played very well today," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "The doubles point was a very big momentum swing and we really fought hard and had our shots at this match.

"It's hard to see this season end because I'm just so proud of these girls and the character they showed all year. Today was tough to swallow because we certainly had our shot, but I'm incredibly proud of the team."

In a match that was closer than the 4-0 score indicated, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi nearly grabbed the doubles point, and with it the momentum, in the doubles portion of the match that last over 1.5 hours.

In doubles, Stefania Nicolae and Mia Matuszak picked up an 8-3 final at the No. 3 position to tie the doubles portion at 1-1. The first match to finish was No. 2 with Bianca Discordia and Sandra Burges falling 8-1 against NSU.

The final match was No. 1 doubles, with both teams battling until the end. Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj fell behind 4-6 before rallying for a 7-6 lead. The Lady Demons then made a run of their own, winning three-straight games to take a 9-7 final and clinch the doubles point.

In singles, Burges absorbed a 6-3, 6-0 loss at No. 5 while Matuszak fell 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 to give NSU a 3-0 advantage. The final point came at No. 3 singles, with Discordia suffering a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to finish the match.

Kuselj won her first set and nearly completed a two-set sweep as she was up 7-5, 5-3 when the match went unfinished. Cicak was ahead 7-6, 5-3 when play was stopped while Nicolae was in the midst of a rally after losing the first set and was down 7-5, 2-4 at the conclusion of the competition.

"This season could have easily gone the other way with injuries but this was such a high-character group and everyone just dug in and worked harder," said Moore. "I'm incredibly proud of the team as a whole, Mirna and Doris played through injuries that most players would not have played through and showed incredible courage.

"I will always remember how much heart those two girls showed and how much they cared about their team."

The loss completes the 2011 season for the Islanders, one in which it saw the program set a new mark for Southland Conference wins at 7-4 and reach double-digit wins for the third time in the last three seasons after finishing with a 12-6 record.

"I was very sad to see this season end for our seniors, Nadia and Bianca gave so much and truly laid a foundation that this team will be built on for a long time," said Moore. "They were very committed to hard work on the court and in the classroom as well as the team concept.

"They represent what the Islanders are all about, we will miss them but they will always be a part of the Islanders family."

Tennis Match Results

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Northwestern State

Apr 29, 2011 at San Antonio, Texas

Northwestern State 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 0

Singles competition:

1. Olga Bazhanova (NWLA) vs. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) 5-7, 3-2, unfinished

2. Adna Curukovic (NWLA) vs. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-7, 3-5, unfinished

3. Martina Rubesova (NWLA) def. Bianca Discordia (AMCC) 6-4, 6-3

4. Bianca Schulz (NWLA) vs. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 7-5, 2-4, unfinished

5. Kathrin Lange (NWLA) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 6-3, 6-0

6. Andrea Nedorostova (NWLA) def. Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:

1. Olga Bazhanova/Adna Curukovic (NWLA) def. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 9-7

2. Martina Rubesova/Andrea Nedorostova (NWLA) def. Bianca Discordia/Sandra Burges (AMCC) 8-1

3. Stefania Nicolae/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Kathrin Lange/Bianca Schulz (NWLA) 8-3

Match Notes:

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 12-6

Northwestern State 17-5

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3)

Official: Chuck Scott T-3:20 A-125