Houston - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team lost a 4-0 match against the host team, No. 48 Rice, on the final day of the 52nd Annual Rice Invitational.
The Islanders move to 7-12 on the season while the Owls improved to 8-8 on the year. TAMUCC finished the tourney with a 1-2 record after beating Tulane yesterday and taking a loss to No. 36 North Carolina State on Friday.
In doubles action, the Islanders No. 1 team of Dmitry Novikov and James Langford once again continued to play outstanding, beating the No. 45 doubles team in the nation, Michael Nuesslein and Christian Saravia by an 8-6 final. Robert Raguz and Duje Janjic lost at No. 2 doubles by an 8-3 final to Isamu Tachibana and Bruno Rosa while the No. 3 team of Andrew Maingot and Nathan Robinson lost a heartbreaker by a 9-8 (7-5) score.
"Today's match was much closer than the score indicated; we served to win the doubles point at No. 3 before falling in the tiebreaker," said Moore. "We played a very high level for the third day in-a-row, the team we beat at No. 1 double was nationally ranked and Dmitry was a game away when the match was stopped, from beating a two-time all-American.
"I can't speak highly enough of the level that Dmitry is playing at No. 1 singles and doubles."
In singles action, the Owls won quickly at three matches to take a 4-0 final. Tachibana defeated Alex Pavlov at No. 4 singles 6-2, 6-0 to make it 2-0 Rice. Janjic lost to Saravia at No. 5 singles by a 6-3, 6-3 score and Raguz went down by a 6-3, 6-2 final to Oscar Podlewski at the No. 3 spot.
Although it went unfinished, Novikov led his match at No. 1 singles against Rosa, the No. 34 player in the country, 6-4, 5-3 when play was stopped. At the No. 2 spot, Langford had just split sets with Nuesslein 2-6, 6-4 and Robinson was down 7-5, 4-2 at No. 6 singles when Rice clinched.
"We have played very well at certain times and we certainly played a high-octane schedule this year," said Moore. "We played some of the biggest national tournaments in Division I and some of the best teams in the nation.
"Now, a whole new season starts, our conference season, and hopefully the things we've learned prepared us for this second season."
The Islanders move into the heart of their conference schedule as the final four matches of the year at Southland match ups. The Islanders will try to go for their third straight season without a loss in Southland play. They are 1-0 already with a win over last year's other tournament finalist Nicholls and have won 17 Southland Matches in a row.
"This is a different team than last year's, we're much younger," said Moore. "We have a lot of pride and we are improving every week and we are going to fight with every bit of heart and guts that we have to keep this streak going, I can promise you that."
Next up is Texas-Pan American, a team that beat the Islanders 4-3 earlier in the season during a non-conference match.
"This streak was earned because we played with a very high level of tenacity, focus and smarts on a consistent basis," said Moore. "If we continue that we will be fine, if not, we will be in trouble.
"We try to emphasize those core things every day."
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Rice
3/21/2010 at Houston, Texas
#48 Rice 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 0
1. #34 Bruno Rosa (RICE) vs. Dmitry Novikov (AMCC) 4-6, 3-5, unfinished
2. Michael Nuesslein (RICE) vs. James Langford (AMCC) 6-2, 4-6, unfinished
3. Oscar Podlewski (RICE) def. Robert Raguz (AMCC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Isamu Tachibana (RICE) def. Alex Pavlov (AMCC) 6-2, 6-0
5. Christian Saravia (RICE) def. Duje Janjic (AMCC) 6-3, 6-3
6. Jonathan Chang (RICE) vs. Nathan Robinson (AMCC) 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
1. Dmitry Novikov/James Langford (AMCC) def. #45 Michael Nuesslein/Christian Saravia (RICE) 8-6
2. Isamu Tachibana/Bruno Rosa (RICE) def. Duje Janjic/Robert Raguz (AMCC) 8-3
3. Dennis Polyakov/Oscar Podlewski (RICE) def. Andrew Maingot/Nathan Robinson (AMCC) 9-8 (7-5)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 7-12
Rice 8-8; National ranking #48
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,5,3)
52nd Rice Invitational