DALLAS – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women' tennis team overcame a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 over SMU (1-4), who was ranked No. 64 last week and as high as 52 in the ITA national rankings, today in Dallas at the Northwood Country Club. Freshmen Judit Vives and Kerry Galhos each garnered singles victories before sophomore Celia Rodriguez clinched a tight three-setter to seal the victory for the Islanders.
"I cannot tell you how proud I am of the heart, grit and relentlessness of these girls," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "They fight so hard for each other and there's not a team I know that cheers harder for each other and lifts each other up as much as these girls do.
"The courage that Celia showed with the match on the line was amazing. I could talk forever about how proud I am of her, but I'm most proud of us as a team. This was a true team win."
The Islanders (4-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after grabbing a tight doubles point over the Mustangs. Maider Martin and Rodriguez teamed up in the No. 3 slot to earn an 8-5 victory over Hristina Dishkova and Anna Kate Anderson. The Islanders then clinched the point after the freshman-senior duo of Sandra Burges and Vives squeezed out a 9-8 (7-3) tiebreaker over SMU's Yana Erkeeva and Macie Elliott in No. 2 doubles to put the Islanders on the board. Senior Stefania Nicolae and Galhos dropped a close 8-6 loss to Dasha Sharapova and Holly Verner in No. 1 doubles.
SMU answered back with three straight singles victories on the first three courts to take an early 3-1 lead.
Burges fell in straight sets to Erkeeva 6-3, 6-2 in No. 3 singles before Martin dropped a tough three-setter to Sharapova in the No. 2 spot. In the first set, Sharapova captured the first set 6-2, before Martin bounced back to win 6-3 in the second. In the third, the sophomore fell 6-0. The Mustangs notched their final point of the day in the No. 1 slot. Dishkova handed Nicolae a 7-5 first-set loss before winning a close 7-6 (6) second set.
A&M - Corpus Christi battled back to win three straight to clinch the match. Galhos bested Anderson in the No. 5 slot in straight sets to stay undefeated in singles play. The freshman squeezed out a 7-6 (2) first-set victory before winning the second set, 6-4. Vives went neck-and-neck with Verner in the No. 6 position. After Vives secured a 7-6 (6) tiebreaker in the first set, Verner answered with a 6-2 second-set victory. In the third, Vives earned a 6-2 win to stay undefeated and even the match at 3-3.
With the match on the line and her teammates cheering her on, Rodriguez edged Elliott in a three-set battle in the No. 4 position. After falling 7-6 (2) in a close tiebreaker in the first, Rodriguez answered back with a 6-3 victory in the second set. In the third, Elliott pushed ahead 5-4, before Rodriguez rallied back to win 7-5 and clinch the match for the Islanders.
"SMU has a very high-level talented team and we have a lot of respect for them," Moore added. "It's hard to play against your former team and we always wish them the best as well.
"We have really developed a great following for Islanders Tennis here in Dallas that makes playing in Dallas very special for us. I could talk forever about how proud I am of the choices these girls make to be a true team and never quit fighting."
A&M - Corpus Christi has won three straight matches and will take on UT Arlington on Thursday, Feb. 13 in Arlington. The Mavericks (3-2) are coming off a 4-3 loss to McNeese State on Sunday. Prior to that, UTA won three straight at home against Midwestern State, Dallas Baptist, Stephen F. Austin. UTA dropped a 5-2 loss to TCU in its home opener.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. SMU
2/12/14 at Dallas, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4, #75 SMU 3
1. Hristina Dishkova (SMU) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Dasha Sharapova (SMU) def. Maider Martin (AMCC) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
3. Yana Erkeeva (SMU) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Macie Elliott (SMU) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-5
5. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Anna Kate Anderson (SMU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
6. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Holly Verner (SMU) 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-2
1. Dasha Sharapova/Holly Verner (SMU) def. Stefania Nicolae/Kerry Galhos (AMCC) 8-6
2. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Macie Elliott/Yana Erkeeva (SMU) 9-8 (7-3)
3. Maider Martin/Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Anna Kate Anderson/Hristina Dishkova (SMU) 8-5
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4-1
SMU 1-4; National ranking #75
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,2,1,5,6,4)