NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team powered past Stephen F. Austin, 4-3, today at the Schlief Tennis Complex. The match was resumed from Saturday after heavy rain showers suspended the match. The Islanders were up 3-2 and Judit Vives was late in her third set at No. 4 singles when rain came down and halted the match.
The Islanders (7-4, 1-1 SLC) left Nacogdoches, Texas on Saturday and drove to Natchitoches, La. to play defending Southland champion Northwestern State on Sunday. The Islanders lost in a four-and-a-half hour battle, 5-2, with two matches late in the third match. A&M – Corpus Christi then had to drive for the third day in a row back to Stephen F. Austin (7-6, 3-1 SLC) to complete Saturday's match.
Vives came out strong today and played with incredible courage to win 6-3 in the third to clinch the match for the Islanders and garner the team's first Southland win. Last season, the Islanders dropped just two conference matches, including a 4-3 loss to the Ladyjacks. This season, the Islanders answered with a 4-3 victory over SFA.
"Our girls showed incredible courage and resiliency over the last three days," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "There were a lot of variables and adversity, but they chose to just fight, and make no excuses. They competed as hard as you can ask a team to compete. I can't stay I have ever been involved in a match like this one.
"Stephen F. Austin really fought hard at home. I have a lot of respect for Coach Aspillaga and the way Stephen F Austin competed. These were two teams that really competed extremely hard in a very intense environment and that is what college tennis is all about especially in conference matches."
On Saturday, Sandra Burges put the Islanders on the board first with a straight-set victory in No. 5 singles. The senior downed SFA's Macarena Acosta, 6-0, 6-0, to improve to 7-3 in singles play. The Ladyjacks pushed ahead 2-1 after Malena Gordo topped Maider Martin, 6-2, 6-4, in No. 2 singles and Denise Maxl defeated Stefania Nicolae 6-4, 6-2, in the No. 1 spot.
A&M - Corpus Christi answered back with wins on courts three and six to garner a 3-2 lead. In No. 3 singles, Celia Rodriguez secured her eighth singles victory of the season to improve to 8-3. The sophomore sealed a 6-1 first set over Julia Lorca before notching a 7-6 (2) second-set tiebreaker. Kerry Galhos then captured the Islanders their third point of the day in No. 6 singles with a three-set victory. The freshman lost the first set 7-5 before bouncing back to earn a 7-5 second-set win. In the third, Galhos clinched a 6-3 victory to improve to 6-2 in singles play.
In the final singles match of the day in No. 4 singles, Vives was battling Valeria Terentyeva in a third set when play was suspended. Vives fell short 7-6 (4) in the first set before responding with a 7-5 win in the second set. In the third, Vives was up 3-2 and it was 40-40 when play was stopped. The freshman came out with intensity today to win the third set 6-3 and clinch the match for the Islanders. The Barcelona, Spain native is now 7-1 in singles play.
"I can't emphasis enough of how proud I am of Judit and the mental toughness she showed especially for a freshman," Moore added. "This was a blue collared true team win."
In doubles play, the Islander pair of Martin and Rodriguez fell to Maxl and Acosta, 8-1 in the No. 3 slot. The Islanders answered back with a win in No. 2 doubles. The senior-freshman duo of Burges and Vives edged Servise and Rachel Pierce in No. 2 doubles, 9-7. The Ladyjacks sealed the doubles point in No. 1 doubles after Gordo and Lorca topped Nicolae and Galhos, 8-4.
The Islanders will return home to host Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, March 20, at 6 p.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Stephen F. Austin
3/15/2014 at Nacogdoches, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4, Stephen F. Austin 3
1. Denise Maxl (SFA) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 6-4, 6-2
2. Malena Gordo (SFA) def. Maider Martin (AMCC) 6-2, 6-4
3. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Julia Lorca (SFA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-2)
4. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Valeria Terentyeva (SFA) 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-3
5. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Macarena Acosta (SFA) 6-0, 6-0
6. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Laura Servise (SFA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
1. Malena Gordo/Julia Lorca (SFA) def. Stefania Nicolae/Kerry Galhos (AMCC) 8-4
2. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Laura Servise/Rachel Pierce (SFA) 9-7
3. Denise Maxl/Macarena Acosta (SFA) def. Maider Martin/Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) 8-1
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 7-4, 1-1 SLC
Stephen F. Austin 7-6, 3-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,2,1,3,6,4)