HOUSTON – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team fell to Southern Mississippi, 4-3, in a heartbreaker Saturday afternoon at John E. Hoff Courts. The Islanders dropped the doubles point before winning three singles matches to knot the match at 3-3. The final point came down to court three where the Golden Eagles captured the match.
"In a match that could not have been any closer, the teams were tied at 3-3 and it came down to a 10-point super tiebreaker in the third set," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I thought our team competed extremely hard today. This was a great college tennis match that couldn't get any closer. We definitely have some things that we need to fix, and improve and I have the greatest confidence that we will because these girls have the highest character and commitment.
"Southern Mississippi deserves a lot of credit today. For as tough as they competed. I give first-year head coach Dominic Modise the highest respect to how quickly he has turned around their team. We played a very tough team today."
The Golden Eagles (2-2), who feature just one player from last season's team, jumped out to a 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point on courts one and three. USM's duo of Carolin Drescher and Alex Kitchen defeated the senior-freshman duo of Stefania Nicolae and Kerry Galhos 6-1 in No. 1 doubles. The Golden Eagles clinched the point after Lisa Noderer and Kathrin Waidner topped Maider Martin and Celia Rodriguez in the No. 3 slot, 6-3. The Islanders team of Sandra Burges and Judit Vives were trailing Mahitha Dadireddy and Karina Gurgenyan 4-3 when the point was clinched.
Southern Miss padded its lead to 2-0 after Drescher sealed a 6-4, 6-2 straight-set victory over Martin in the No. 2 spot. Vives answered with the Islanders' first point of the day in the No. 6 slot. The freshman bested Kitchen 6-4 in the first set before capturing the second set 6-3 to stay undefeated in her first two matches as an Islander. The Golden Eagles stayed in front after Dadireddy picked up USM's third point of the day in the No. 1 position over Nicolae 6-4, 6-4. A&M - Corpus Christi came roaring back with two victories on courts four and five to even the match at 3-3. Galhos garnered the Islanders' second point with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Waidner in the No. 5 spot. The freshman is now 2-0 on the season. Rodriguez also answered with a singles win in the No. 4 slot over Gurgenyan. The sophomore cruised through the first set with a 6-1 win before edging Gurgenyan in the second 7-5.
The match came down to court three between Burges and Noderer. After dropping the first set 7-6 (4), Burges bounced back to win the second set 6-2. In the third, Noderer captured a 10-6 super tiebreaker to seal the match for the Golden Eagles.
"I'm very proud of Sandra," Moore said. "She competed with incredible courage today against a very strong opponent. She fought until the end. I just wish I had done a better job of guiding her to make the right adjustments."
The Islanders match tomorrow against Houston has been postponed to a later date due to the possibility of rain in the area. The women's team along with the men's team will travel to Prairie View on Feb. 4 to take on the Panthers at 2 p.m.
"I always tell the team that we are either winning or learning and in the big scheme of the season it was an important day to do some learning," Moore added.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Southern Miss
2/1/2014 at Houston, Texas
Southern Miss 4, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 3
1. Mahitha Dadireddy (USM) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 6-4, 6-4
2. Carolin Drescher (USM) def. Maider Martin (AMCC) 6-4, 6-2
3. Lisa Noderer (USM) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 10-6
4. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Karina Gurgenyan (USM) 6-1, 7-5
5. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Kathrin Waidner (USM) 6-1, 6-4
6. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Alex Kitchen (USM) 6-4, 6-3
1. Carolin Drescher/Alex Kitchen (USM) def. Stefania Nicolae/Kerry Galhos (AMCC) 6-1
2. Mahitha Dadireddy/Karina Gurgenyan (USM) vs. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) 4-3, unfinished
3. Lisa Noderer/Kathrin Waidner (USM) def. Maider Martin/Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) 6-3
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1-1
Southern Miss 2-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,6,1,5,4,3)