Albuquerque, N.M. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team will start the 2010 spring schedule on Saturday, Jan. 23 against New Mexico. The Islanders, ranked No. 58 in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls, will play two matches in two days, following the first match with one against New Mexico State on Sunday.

"I think that you'll see them play with a ton of grit and passion and energy, which has become their trademark," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We just try to be very disciplined about maxing out what we can control."

Coming off of another successful season and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in school history, TAMUCC will be looking to replicate their regular season success despite being ineligible for the Southland Conference and NCAA tournaments.

"This is a very high character team and I think the way they have handled this has shown a lot of class and character," said Moore. "This NCAA stuff is not something we can control so it is not part of our thought process.

"We will do the best we can with the cards we are dealt."

TAMUCC will return senior Dmitry Novikov, junior James Langford, sophomore Alex Pavlov and redshirt freshman Andrew Maingot. Newcomers include sophomore transfer Nathan Robinson from Tyler Junior College and freshmen Duje Janjic, Robert Raguz and Gergo Weindinger.

The Islanders have not lost a regular-season conference match under Moore and have not given up a single match in the Southland Conference Tournament under him. The Islanders have outscored opponents 16-0 in the previous two seasons at SLC Tournament.

The team also has the distinction of having the second-highest average ranking at No. 36 of all I-AAA schools in the nation at #36 being the second-highest ranked I-AAA team in the nation. Division I-AAA is all Division I schools that do not field a football team.

The match against New Mexico will begin at 5 PM on Saturday and the Sunday contest against New Mexico State is set for an 11 AM start.