DALLAS – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Women's Tennis team earned a big win to start Southland Conference play on Saturday afternoon, taking a 6-1 final against Central Arkansas at a neutral site in Dallas to open league play.
"This was a total team win," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I thought the girls played totally focused and each girl played extremely hard. They showed a lot of spirit uplifting the other girls."
The Islanders (2-0, 1-0 Southland) have now earned a win over a ranked opponent (No. 75 Houston) and a conference opponent in the two times on the court this season, while the Bears (1-5, 0-1 Southland) have played a much busier schedule in the early part of the year.
"This is a much improved UCA team," said Moore. "I feel this team has a real mission to accomplish, to win the conference, and today was a very focused step in that direction."
In doubles action the Islanders swept the three matches, with Doris Kuselj and Stefania Nicolae earning an 8-7 (7-0) win at the No. 1 position to set the tone. Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan picked up an 8-4 final at No. 2 doubles, and Maider Martin and Mia Matuszak won 9-7 at No. 3 to complete the sweep.
In singles action, the team nearly repeated the feat, suffering just one defeat in a super tiebreaker to finish the scoring at 6-1.
Martin won No. 2 by a 6-2, 6-2 final over Allison Murphy, Burges took down Krizia Buck at No. 3 by a 6-2, 6-1 score and Nicolae cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Kristina Horsikyan in the No. 4 position.
Celia Rodriguez Delgado tallied a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Sasha Ruocco at No. 5 singles to earn the first collegiate win of her career in her opening match, while Leanne Mascall finished the scoring for the Islanders with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 6 against Stephanie Gonzalez-Valero. The only loss of the day came at No. 1, with Kuselj falling in a tough match by a 6-1, 5-7, 10-6 final in a super tiebreaker against Simona Horsikyan.
"I'm proud of their effort today," said Moore. "Now we have to put this behind us, learn from it, stay in the present and get ready to try and get five percent better on Monday.
"We've got a lot of things we need to work on, but this is a very high-character, hard-working group, and what I like about them the most is that they are a true team."
Next up for the Islanders will be a non-conference match on the road at Prairie View A&M. They will play the Panthers on Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. in Houston. Both the men's and women's teams will play Prairie View on Feb. 5. Following that trip, the women will return to Corpus Christi for their home opener against Texas – Pan American. The two teams will meet on Feb. 7 at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis in a match set for 3 p.m.
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Tennis Match Results
Central Arkansas vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
2/2/2013 at Dallas, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 6, Central Arkansas 1
1. Simona Horsikyan (UCA) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-1, 5-7, 10-6
2. Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Allison Murphy (UCA) 6-2, 6-2
3. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Krizia Buck (UCA) 6-2, 6-1
4. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Kristina Horsikyan (UCA) 6-2, 6-3
5. Celia Rodriguez Delgado (AMCC) def. Sasha Ruocco (UCA) 6-3, 6-0
6. Leanne Mascall (AMCC) def. S. Gonzalez-Valero (UCA) 6-1, 6-2
1. Doris Kuselj/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Krizia Buck/Allison Murphy (UCA) 8-7 (7-0)
2. Sandra Burges/Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Simona Horsikyan/Sasha Ruocco (UCA) 8-4
3. Maider Martin/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Kristina Horsikyan/Anna Buyukyan (UCA) 9-7
Central Arkansas 1-5
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 2-0