The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team lost a 4-3 thriller against Louisiana-Lafayette in their final match at the HEB Tournament of Champions on Saturday morning. The match lasted nearly five hours before falling in a match that came down to the final doubles point.
"I'm extremely proud of the way we fought and competed in this tournament," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "This is one of the top tournaments in the country and it is an honor to host it.
"It is an incredible positive for our school and out community."
The Islanders fall to 4-8 on the year while ULL improved to 3-8 on the season.
In singles action, Dmitry Novikov started the scoring with a quick 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 1 singles position. No. 3 singles saw Robert Raguz fall by a 6-2, 6-3 final to even the match at 1-1. The Islanders regained the lead when James Langford won a 6-3, 6-4 match at No. 2 singles. Duje Janjic lost 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 5 singles and Nathan Robinson lost 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 at No. 6 singles to put the Islanders behind by a 3-2 score. Alex Pavlov sent the match to doubles when he won the tiebreaker in the third set to take a 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 4 singles.
In doubles action, the two teams split at No. 1 and No. 3 with Novikov and Langford winning 8-3 at No. 1 and Andrew Maingot and Robinson losing 8-4 at the No. 3 spot. That left the match resting on the shoulders of Raguz and Pavlov at the No. 2 spot. The duo battled to the end but fell by a 9-7 final to give ULL a 4-3 win in the final match for the teams in the HEB Tournament of Champions.
"These players competed extremely hard and had dual match point in two matches," said Moore. "We are on one road and that is to stay positive and get ready to come hard and with energy again.
"They are extremely persistent and resilient, those are qualities you have to have to win day in and day out."
The Islanders are back in action on Tuesday when they play St. Louis University in San Antonio at 12 PM. Following that match, they return to Corpus Christi to play Texas-Pan American in a Southland Conference match at the Corpus Christi Country Club starting at 4 PM.