October 13, 2012

Islanders Enjoy Friendly Rivalry at Finch Family Blue-Green Intrasquad Match

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Tennis program had a little friendly competition on Saturday in the annual Finch Family Blue-Green Intrasquad Match at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The event was sponsored by the Chad Finch family and featured the Islanders facing off in a friendly rivalry match against teammates.

"We had some very close matches today, a lot of pride on the line and some very intense competition," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "I think this is a good way to determine the seeding for regionals because it shows who can be extremely mentally tough in the wind, show poise and make the right chess moves with and against the wind.

"Overall I thought everyone did a good job of the things they can control like competing hard, playing each point with intensity and positive body language."

The Green Team on the men's side consisted of Aurelien Tave, Andrew Maingot and Pietro Jordao. They won a 3-1 match over Odon Barta, Javier Pujol and Daniel Erbacher of the Blue Team.

On the women's side, Sandra Burges, Maider Martin and Cassie Shaw comprised the Green Team that faced off against the Blue Team of Leanne Mascall, Venesa Figueroa and Stefania Nicolae.

The Green Team came out quickly starting with doubles, picking up an 8-4 win as Maingot and Jordao came out on top against Barta and Erbacher. On the women's side, Green Team members Martin and Burges won their match 8-3 over Nicolae and Mascall to give the men's and women's Green Team members a 1-0 lead.

"I thought Andrew and Pietro played exceptionally well in the doubles," said Moore. "They've really improved their doubles game and played very smart, especially in the conditions today.

"I also thought Sandra and Maider played very tough today in both singles and doubles. They really worked hard with their feet in the wind and paid the price."

In singles action, Burges won 6-1, 6-3 against Nicolae to give her team a 2-0 lead, while Figueroa got the Blue Team on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 final over Shaw to make it 2-1. The final women's match featured Martin taking a 6-4, 6-1 win over Mascall to complete the 3-1 win for the Green Team.

On the men's side, Maingot won 2-6, 6-2, 10-6 over Erbacher to make it 2-0, but Pujol earned a tough 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 final against Jordao to make it 2-1. Tave avoided a tie on the men's side with a win a 3-6, 6-3, 14-12 win against Barta, the talented freshman who had three match points before Tave rallied for the win.

"The key is that our team, especially some of our younger players, need to keep learning how to play extremely savvy, smart tennis in the wind because it makes all the difference." said Moore.

The Finch Family Blue-Green Intrasquad match was both a friendly competition among fellow Islanders, and a way for the team to continue improving in the lead up to the ITA Texas Regionals next weekend.

"This is a great event that we think is going to become a great tradition for the Islanders," said Moore. "We're very grateful to Chad Finch and his family for sponsoring this match and making this great event possible.

"We had a couple players injured which made us have to play the shortened match format, but five hours of intense competition only makes our team better prepared for this upcoming weekend."

Players from the men's team will travel north as TCU hosts the ITA Texas Regional on the Horned Frogs campus in Fort Worth. The women's team will not have as far to go as Baylor is set to host the women's side of the regional on the Waco campus of the Bears.

"We're looking forward to the ITA Texas Regionals and going there to compete with incredible spirit and fight as hard as we can," said Moore. "This is a very high-character group that has been working incredibly hard, so I'm really looking forward to seeing them play against the best Division I schools in Texas."

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