PRAIRIE VIEW – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's tennis team started out the 2012 season in strong fashion, taking a 7-0 victory over Prairie View A&M in a road match on Thursday afternoon. Next up for the Islanders will be the grand opening of the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. when the Islanders host No. 70 Rice.
The Islanders are now 1-0 on the year with the decisive victory, while the Panthers fall to 0-2 on the year with the loss. The other loss for Prairie View came in 5-2 fashion against No. 6 Baylor on the road.
"I am very proud of the focus these girls showed today," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We knew Prairie View had a much improved team that was very dangerous and saw they lost 5-2 to Baylor, who is Top 10 every year. We dug a couple holes for ourselves in doubles, but really fought hard to come back.
"I thought this group played with a lot of energy and spirit today, and showed a lot of focus."
In doubles, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi made it a clean sweep, with Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj combining to win 8-4 at the No. 1 position, Stefania Nicolae and Mia Matuszak winning 9-7 at No. 2 and Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan completing the round with an 8-2 final at the No. 3 position.
In singles action, the Islanders once again made their way through the match unscathed, taking all six matches in straight sets against a tough Prairie View team.
At No. 1 Cicak, earned a 6-1, 6-3 win to pace her team. No. 2 saw Kuselj take a 6-2, 6-1 final, while Nicolae flipped those scores, winning 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 3 position.
Burges took a 6-0, 6-1 final at No. 4, Horan made her singles debut with a 6-2, 6-1 final at No. 5 and Matuszak tallied a 6-1, 6-1 finish at No. 6 singles.
Cassie Shaw also saw action, playing a practice match against PVAM and taking a 6-2, 7-5 final.
"We're really excited about this season," said Moore. "But we know the type of tennis we have to play and the type of team we have to be to achieve our goals.
"I thought today was a good first step."
Now the Islanders will move on to one of the biggest home matches in school history on Saturday. They will play host to national-ranked Rice, who sits at No. 70 in the latest ITA rankings, in a 2 p.m. contest at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. It will be the first ever regular season match at the facility as the Islanders will try to break the NCAA single-match attendance record for a women's contest.
"This was a tough, focused effort by every one of these girls," said Moore. "We need to have this type of focus on Saturday, because Rice will present a great challenge."
Admission is free as fans are welcome to come be a part of history in the new, state-of-the-art complex on Nile Drive.
For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Tennis), follow them on Twitter (@IslandersTennis) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs Prairie View A&M
01/26/2012 at Prairie View A&M
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 7, Prairie View A&M 0
1. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) def. Brittany Harrell (PVAM) 6-1, 6-3
2. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Raven Lewis (PVAM) 6-2, 6-1
3. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Lerato Ndlovu (PVAM) 6-1, 6-2
4. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Christine Ngo Gwodog (PVAM) 6-0, 6-1
5. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Alejandra Barrera (PVAM) 6-2, 6-1
6. Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Alix Thomas (PVAM) 6-1, 6-1
1. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Brittany Harrell/Alejandra Barrera (PVAM) 8-4
2. Stefania Nicolae/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Lerato Ndlovu/Raven Lewis (PVAM) 9-7
3. Sandra Burges/Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Christine Ngo Gwodog/Alix Thomas (PVAM) 8-2
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1-0
Prairie View A&M 0-2