The Islanders move to 9-10 overall on the year, while the Owls improved to 15-6 this season. It was the third straight road match for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, with number four coming tomorrow against Prairie View A&M in Houston before returning home to face UTSA on April 14.
"Give a lot of credit to Rice, they have a very well-coached team that is really starting to peak here at the end of the year," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We were close in every set, a lot of 6-4 and 7-5 scores, but just didn't quite rise up and take it when it got close to the end of the set."
In doubles play, Aurelien Tave and Matt Westmoreland earned an 8-5 final at the No. 2 position, but it was not enough as the Islanders came up short at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Peter Nagy and Alex Pavlov lost an 8-2 final at No. 1, while Andrew Maingot and Nathan Robinson were on the wrong end of an 8-4 finish at the No. 3 spot.
In singles, Robinson earned the only point of the match in three sets at No. 3, winning the first and dropping the second before finishing with a 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 final. Tave also pushed his match to three sets before coming up just short at No. 2 with an 0-6, 6-0, 6-2 score.
Westmoreland played a pair of close sets at No. 4 before falling 6-4, 7-5. Nagy lost a 6-4, 6-1 final at No. 1 singles, while Gergo Weidinger fell by a 6-4, 6-1 score at the No. 5 position. Fernando Llorens finished the play in singles with a battling 6-4, 6-4 loss at the No. 6 spot.
"I thought we fought extremely hard," said Moore. "Give them credit; I thought they were just better than us today on the big points at the end of the sets.
"We just have to get a little tougher and play a little smarter in those key moments. Overall, the guys fought very hard, and we lost to a very good, well-coached team today."
In addition the men playing Prairie View A&M, the women will play at Sam Houston on Saturday afternoon.
Following the Saturday match, the Islanders will return home on April 14 for senior day. The program will recognize Tave, Robinson and Pavlov for their contributions to the Islanders Tennis program.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs Rice
04/06/2012 at Houston, Texas
#39 Rice 6, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1
1. Sam Garforth-Bles (RICE) def. Peter Nagy (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
2. Christian Saravia (RICE) def. Aurelien Tave (AMCC) 6-0, 0-6, 6-2
3. Nathan Robinson (AMCC) def. Peter Frank (RICE) 6-4, 3-6, 12-10
4. Jonathan Chang (RICE) def. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 6-4, 7-5
5. Michael Nuesslein (RICE) def. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
6. Philipp Seifert (RICE) def. Fernando Llorens (AMCC) 6-4, 6-4
1. Christian Saravia/Justin To (RICE) def. Peter Nagy/Alex Pavlov (AMCC) 8-2
2. Aurelien Tave/Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Michael Nuesslein/Jonathan Chang (RICE) 8-5
3. Leif Berger/Sam Garforth-Bles (RICE) def. Andrew Maingot/Nathan Robinson (AMCC) 8-4
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 9-10
Rice 15-6; National ranking #39
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,5,2,6,4,3)