ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The No. 73 Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's tennis team was unable to get on track Monday night, falling to No. 56 New Mexico by a 7-0 final to conclude its four-match road trip in the state of New Mexico.
The Islanders moved to 2-2 with the loss, while New Mexico improved to 2-0 on the year with the win. Next up for the team will be a Jan. 25 match at No. 52 TCU before returning to Corpus Christi for the first home match of the year against No. 19 Texas on Feb 12.
"We lost to a very talented and very well-coached team that, in my opinion, belongs in the Top 25," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "They are incredibly tough to beat at home on their indoor courts, and they are always a team that is tough and well coached.
"Our guys actually competed very hard. These were the cards we were dealt today, and I felt this group competed extremely hard."
Playing without No. 1 player Peter Nagy, who returned to Corpus Christi to attend class, and No. 6 player Nathan Robinson, who suffered an injury during doubles, the Islanders were forced to shuffle the lineup without two of their top six players. Aurelien Tave played the No. 1 spot, with Gergo Weidinger at No. 2, Matt Westmoreland at No. 3, Fernando Llorens at No. 4, Pietro Jordao at No. 5 and Andrew Maingot at No. 6 in singles.
"Certainly we'd like to have those two guys, but our focus is to control the things we can control, and max out the cards we're dealt," said Moore. "I felt these guys competed very hard and never quit. They say you're either winning or you're learning, and I think we learned a lot today with some other guys getting a shot.
"Our job is to stay in the present and control the things we can control, and I thought the guys who were available played especially hard today."
In doubles, Maingot and Jordao started things off by falling 8-1 at the No. 3 position, while Alex Pavlov and Nathan Robinson suffered an 8-2 loss at the No. 2 spot. Tave and Westmoreland battled to the end before losing an 8-6 battle at No. 1 doubles against Jadon Phillips and Phil Anderson, who are in the Top 20 of the ITA National Rankings.
Singles began with Maingot and Jordao taking losses at No. 5 and 6, respectively, to give New Mexico a 3-0 advantage. The Lobos clinched the match with a win at No. 3 singles against Gergo Weidinger.
Westmoreland suffered a setback at No. 3, while Tave fell 6-2, 6-4 against the No. 1 player from UNM. Llorens closed out the match with a tough battle before falling 7-5, 6-2 in No. 4 singles.
"Aurelien Tave and Westmoreland hung very tough against a nationally-ranked team," said Moore. "I like the character of this group a lot, and tonight was a very good learning experience for us. We'll keep chopping wood and getting better."
Wednesday will be the final match of the season-opening, five-match road trip for the Islanders. They will face No. 52 TCU in Fort Worth, the third ranked opponent in the first five matches this season. Following the Jan. 25 match, the team will return home and will have a break from action until hosting one of the elite teams in college tennis, No. 19 Texas, at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center for the first regular-season men's match.
For all of the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Tennis) and follow them on Twitter (@IslandersTennis).
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs New Mexico
1/23/2012 at Albuquerque, N.M.
#56 New Mexico 7, #73 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 0
1. #81 Jadon Phillips (UNM) def. Aurelien Tave (AMCC) 6-2, 6-4
2. Ben Dunbar (UNM) def. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 6-0, 6-2
3. Phil Anderson (UNM) def. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 6-1, 6-2
4. Conor Berg (UNM) def. Fernando Llorens (AMCC) 7-5, 6-2
5. Carl Ho (UNM) def. Pietro Jordao (AMCC) 6-1, 6-0
6. Mads Hegelund (UNM) def. Andrew Maingot (AMCC) 6-0, 6-1
1. #16 Jadon Phillips/Phil Anderson (UNM) def. Aurelien Tave/Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 8-6
2. Ben Dunbar/Conor Berg (UNM) def. Alex Pavlov/Nathan Robinson (AMCC) 8-2
3. James Hignett/Carl Ho (UNM) def. Andrew Maingot/Pietro Jordao (AMCC) 8-1
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 2-2; National ranking #73
New Mexico 2-0; National ranking #56
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,5,2,3,1,4)