CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's tennis team came out strong tonight to win their second consecutive Southland Conference match, 6-1, over Southeastern Louisiana at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The Islanders clinched the doubles point to build an early lead before winning five out of the six singles matches to improve to 8-4 on the year.
"I'm incredibly proud of the way these girls competed against the defending regular-season Southland Conference Champions," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I really felt their spirit and energy were excellent, and the way they encouraged each other made all the difference in the world. The girls are really coming together as a team and starting to outcompete people. I can't say again of how proud I am of the choices they made today.
"I have the highest respect for Southeastern Louisiana and Head Coach Jason Hayes. They are tough every year. This took a very focused match to win today."
The Islanders (8-4, 2-1 SLC) gained momentum early, winning two out of the three doubles matches to take an early 1-0 lead. The senior-freshman duo of Stefania Nicolae and Kerry Galhos topped Southeastern Louisiana's (9-3, 4-2 SLC) Adriana Castillo and Reginka Nychytailova 8-5 in No. 2 doubles before the tandem of Celia Rodriguez and Maider Martin edged Margaux Kaltenbacher and Nastya Tokareva 8-6 in the No. 3 slot to garner the doubles point. The Lions Valya Rusakova and Renee Villarreal squeezed out an 8-6 win over the pair of Sandra Burges and Judit Vives in No. 1 doubles.
A&M - Corpus Christi kept things going, winning the first four singles matches to build a 5-0 lead. Rodriguez won her ninth singles match of the season with a 6-1, 6-2 straight-set victory over Nychytailova to improve her mark in No. 4 singles to a perfect 6-0.
Galhos followed suit with her third consecutive singles victory in the No. 6 position. The freshman secured a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Avika Sagwal to earn the Islanders their third point of the night.
The Islanders then clinched the match on court one after Nicolae edged Villarreal in two straight tough matches. In the first, the senior won a close 7-6 (3) first-set tiebreaker victory. She then defeated Villarreal in the second set, 6-4. With the Islanders in front 4-0, Burges followed with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Kaltenbacher in No. 5 singles for the Islanders fifth point of the match and her third straight singles victory.
The Lions responded with a win in the No. 2 slot after Tokareva rallied past Martin. Tokareva won 6-4 in the first set before Martin battled back in the second to take an early 5-2 lead. However, Tokareva won five straight games to win 7-5 in the second set for Southeastern Louisiana's first point of the match.
A&M - Corpus Christi capped off their victory with a three-set win in No. 3 singles. Rusakova captured the first 6-4 before Vives bounced back to register the 6-3 second-set victory. In the third, with all her teammates, coaches and fans behind her Vives won the 11-9 tiebreaker to tally the Islanders' sixth and final point of the match. The freshman earned her first win in the No. 3 spot and improved her singles record to 8-1.
The Islanders will head back on the road for a three-match conference road trip. First up for the Islanders will be Central Arkansas on Tuesday, March 25, in Dallas, Texas. The Islanders men's team will return to action on Friday, March 21, in Houston, when they take on Rice.
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Tennis Match Results
Southeastern La. vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
3/20/2014 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 6, Southeastern La. 1
1. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Renee Villarreal (SLU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
2. Nastya Tokareva (SLU) def. Maider Martin (AMCC) 6-4, 7-5
3. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Valya Rusakova (SLU) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9)
4. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Reginka Nychytailova (SLU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Margaux Kaltenbacher (SLU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Avika Sagwal (SLU) 6-2, 6-3
1. Valya Rusakova/Renee Villarreal (SLU) def. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) 8-6
2. Stefania Nicolae/Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Adriana Castillo/Reginka Nychytailova (SLU) 8-5
3. Celia Rodriguez/Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Margaux Kaltenbacher/Nastya Tokareva (SLU) 8-6
Southeastern La. 9-3, 4-2 SLC
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 8-4, 2-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,1,5,2,3)