Houston - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's tennis team won the Southland Conference regular season championship despite playing with less than half the scholarships of the other teams and the women secured their highest seed in school history in the conference tournament and will make the tourney for the second year in-a-row.
"Guts and character, a lot of both, that's what I have to say about our tennis teams," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We won this before but never has it been with such tough odds and so much adversity.
"This team is like one big family, the girls pulled the guys through and the guys pulled the girls through, I can tell you this group is pretty jazzed right now."
The men's tennis team pulled off one of the greatest feats in college sports this year, winning the Southland Conference championship with just 2.04 scholarships, less than half than their competition and while redshirting their top two players.
"No matter what we won in the past or win in the future, what these guys did was simply incredible," said Moore. "I don't think I can begin to describe how focused you have to be and how much you have to absolutely max out in every aspect to win a conference playing with less than half the scholarships of your competition.
"That is what these guys faced and they rose up and did it. To me this team is like a microcosm of the entire university, they faced adversity and rose up big time."
If the Islanders were eligible for the conference tournament, they would go in as the No. 1 seed after finishing 4-1 in the conference and winning head-to-head against UTSA. They are ineligible for both the Southland Conference and NCAA tournaments due to violations that occurred before any coach or current player arrived at the university.
"These two young teams rose up pretty big today and represented this school in a pretty special way," said Moore. "I can't begin to tell you how focused you have to be and how everyone has to max out in every aspect to play with half the scholarships of your competition and still win.
"That's what these guys did."
The women's team that boasts three freshmen and one sophomore in their top six players had the best season in school history and will enter the Southland Tournament with the highest seed in the program's history.
"This was an incredible win for the girls and a great step for the program to be as young as they are and face the injuries they had and deliver the best year in program history speaks so much of their character," said Moore. "They just kept growing and improving and getting better each week.
"They knew they needed to be big today and they played the best they've played all year."
The men's team won 4-1 over the Cardinals and the women's team used a 5-1 victory over the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions to secure the No. 6 seed in next weekend's Southland Conference Tournament. The Islanders faced the Lady Lions knowing that the winner would get the 6th seed and the loser would get the 8th seed. The tournament will be held at the HEB Tennis Center starting Friday, April 23rd at 9:30 AM.
The men finish the year at 10-13 overall and 4-1 in Southland Conference play while the women finish the regular season with a 10-10 overall record and a 5-6 record in the Southland Conference. The Lady Lions fell to 8-13 on the year, 4-7 in the Southland as both teams played their final regular season match.
Both matches had to be moved indoors to the Metropolitan Racquet Club of Houston due to weather in the Beaumont area.
"I want to give a very heartfelt thanks to the MET Racquet Club and their Director of Tennis Keith Christman for allowing us to use their facility," said Moore. "This day would have been rained out and never happened had it not been for their generosity."
The women's match started at 11:30 AM on the Lamar campus but was rained out. With nonstop rain in the forecast, the match had to be moved indoors to MET Racquet Club.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Lamar
4/18/2010 at Houston, Texas
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, Lamar 1
1. Dmitry Novikov (AMCC) def. Richard Filkuka (LU) 6-3, 6-0
2. James Langford (AMCC) def. Robert Lee (LU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Robert Raguz (AMCC) def. Dusan Savkovic (LU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Alex Pavlov (AMCC) def. Denis Ermilov (LU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Marton Horvath (LU) def. Duje Janjic (AMCC) 7-6, 6-3
6. Diego Snyder (LU) vs. Nathan Robinson (AMCC) unfinished
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Southeastern Louisiana
Apr 18, 2010 at Houston, Texas
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5, Southeastern Louisiana 1
1. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) def. Audrey Chelini (SLU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Morgane Dadot (SLU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Bianca Discordia (AMCC) def. Camille Pilon (SLU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Adrienne Kovacs (AMCC) def. Nina Schmied (SLU) 6-4, 6-2
5. LeAnne Mascall (AMCC) def. Isabel Brito (SLU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Annika Hanke (SLU) def. Nadia Filmalter (AMCC) 6-1, 7-6