HAMMOND, La. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Women's Tennis team won a tough 5-2 match against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday afternoon, knocking the Lady Lions out of first place in the Southland Conference standings, and moving up to second place in the process. SELA had only lost one match all year before Friday and were undefeated in conference matches.
The Islanders (12-2, 4-1 Southland) moved into second place with the win over SELA (14-2, 4-1 Southland), trailing only Stephen F. Austin, the defending Southland Conference Champions and the only team in the league to beat the Islanders to this point in the season, with the road contest coming down to the third set of the final singles match. The only other loss for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi was against Rice, a team currently ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division I national rankings that are administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
The team has gone 28-7 over its last 35 matches, and was ranked for the first time in school history earlier this season, reaching No. 60 in the ITA national rankings
"I'm very proud of the way these girls fought today on the road," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We have a ton of respect for SELA, and they are having a great season. I'm very proud of how mentally tough these girls choose to be on the road."
In doubles action, the Islanders jumped out to an early lead with an 8-3 win by Doris Kuselj and Stefania Nicolae at the No. 1 position, and got an 8-6 final at No. 3 as Maider Martin and Mia Matuszak clinched the first point of the match for the team. The final doubles match went unfinished, as the point had already been decided.
The Lady Lions knotted the match at 1-1 when Sandra Burges lost a 6-1, 6-3 match at No. 3 singles, but her doubles teammate, Chelsea Horan, regained the lead for the Islanders with a 6-2, 6-1 final at the No. 5 position.
Kuselj put the Islanders on the brink of winning with a 6-2, 6-4 final at No. 1 singles to make it a 3-1 lead, and Celia Rodriguez Delgado finished it off with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph at No. 6 singles.
Martin finished out her match with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 final at No. 2 single that made it 5-1, and the final point went to SELA when Nicolae lost a hard fought 4-6, 6-1, 11-9 match at No. 4 to complete the scoring at 5-2.
"I love the way they stick together and push each other to fight hard on every point," said Moore. "We played a very good team today, I have a lot of respect for Coach Jason Hayes; both as a coach and for all the hard work and time he has put in serving on national committees to improve college tennis.
"I'm just very proud of these girls, I could go on forever about how proud I am of their heart and character."
It was another big test for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, with the team already having played three matches over a four-day span when they faced Northwestern State, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State on one road trip earlier in the year.
Having completed the longest road trip of the season, the Islanders will return home to host McNeese State on April 6 and Lamar on April 7 at the Thomas J Henry Tennis Center.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs Southeastern La.
03/29/13 at Hammond, La.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 5, Southeastern La. 2
1. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Nastya Tokareva (SLU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Reginka Nychytailova (SLU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
3. Renee Villarreal (SLU) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 6-1, 6-3
4. Valya Rusakova (SLU) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 4-6, 6-1, 11-9
5. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Adriana Castillo (SLU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Isabel Brito (SLU) 6-3, 6-1
1. Doris Kuselj/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Valya Rusakova/Nastya Tokareva (SLU) 8-3
2. Adriana Castillo/Renee Villarreal (SLU) vs. Sandra Burges/Chelsea Horan (AMCC) unfinished
3. Maider Martin/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Isabel Brito/Reginka Nychytailova (SLU) 8-6
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 12-2, 4-1 SLC
Southeastern La. 14-2, 4-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (3,5,1,6,2,4)