CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team cruised to a 6-1 victory over New Orleans today at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center to clinch at least a share of the Southland Conference regular-season title. Kevin and Camille Gossett and Corpus Christi CrossFit sponsored today's senior day match for Sandra Burges, Stefania Nicolae, Cassie Shaw and Ashley Garza.
The Islanders (19-5, 11-1 SLC) garnered their 11th straight Southland win after winning the doubles point and three singles match. The team has now won 13 of their last 14 matches.
"For these four seniors, to win the Southland Conference regular season, it just means the world to me for them," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "They deserve it so much. I've been blessed to have the privilege of coaching some exceptional high-character players over the last 21 years. I can honestly tell you we have had players with equal character and commitment to a team, but never anyone better than these four seniors. I will remember them for the rest of my life. To start off 0-1 in the conference and to win 11 straight matches, outfighting and out-grinding teams only happens for one reason, high-character players that love their team and their school."
The Islanders earned the doubles point after the Privateers (6-12, 3-9 SLC) defaulted in No. 3 doubles and the freshman-senior duo of Burges and Judit Vives topped Marta Sans and Soledad Calderon, 8-4, in No. 1 doubles. The sophomore pair of Celia Rodriguez and Maider Martin were leading Hafsa Laraibi and Yasmine Rashad, 6-3, when the doubles point was clinched.
A&M - Corpus Christi tacked on two more points after New Orleans defaulted on courts five and six in singles play. Burges, the all-time singles leader in Islanders history, then clinched the match and the title for the Islanders with a 6-0, 6-1, straight-set victory over Rashad in No. 4 singles. The senior has powered the Islanders this season with an 18-5 overall record and an 11-1 record in the Southland. She holds an all-time career record of 59-21 and a 32-11 Southland record.
"What makes me proud is we tell them everyday, character wins, and this result really validates that," Moore said.
The Islanders tacked on their fifth point of the day after Martin breezed past Laraibi, 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 3 slot. The Privateers' Calderon then answered with a tight three-set win over Nicolae in No. 1 singles. The senior secured the first set, 6-4, before dropping a 6-1 second set. In the third, Calderson came from behind to squeeze out a 10-8 super-tiebreaker win.
Vives followed with her 12th straight singles win to stay undefeated in No. 2 singles. The freshman topped Sans, 6-1, 6-4, for the Islanders final point of the day. Vives has tallied an 18-1 singles record in her first year and an 11-1 mark in the conference. She has also registered a 6-0 mark at No. 2 singles.
"It means a lot to me to give our amazing athletic department two Southland Conference trophies," Moore added. "I could not ask for better athletic administration that is more supportive of our program and always looking to make things better. I attribute the successful we have had largely to the leadership of our athletic department."
The Islanders will host the Southland Conference Tournament this weekend and will open play on Friday, April 25, at 2 p.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
Tennis Match Results
New Orleans vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
4/21/2014 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 6, New Orleans 1
1. Soledad Calderon (UNOW) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8)
2. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Marta Sans (UNOW) 6-1, 6-4
3. Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Hafsa Laraibi (UNOW) 6-2, 6-2
4. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Yasmine Rashad (UNOW) 6-0, 6-1
5. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. No Player (UNOW), by default
6. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. No Player (UNOW), by default
1. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Marta Sans/Soledad Calderon (UNOW) 8-4
2. Celia Rodriguez/Maider Martin (AMCC) vs. Hafsa Laraibi/Yasmine Rashad (UNOW) 6-3, unfinished
3. Stefania Nicolae/Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. No Player/No Player (UNOW), by default
New Orleans 6-12, 3-9 SLC
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 19-5, 11-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,6,4,3,1,2)