CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Men's Tennis team used a historic week with two wins over Top 35 teams to vault into the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings, earning the No. 51 spot in the poll.
With the men's team in the rankings for the first time this season and the women's team coming in this week at No. 69 in the ITA poll, the program has its first ever week with both teams in the Top 75. The feat is also the first time on record that any Southland Conference member has had both teams ranked in the ITA Top 70 at the same time.
The women are 8-0 on the season, as they reached the ITA rankings for the first time in program history last week.
This makes Texas A&M - Corpus Christi one of only 34 universities in the country with both teams in the ranked in the ITA national poll, and are the only program with one coach leading both teams.
In addition to the wins over No. 30 Brigham Young and No. 34 Middle Tennessee State on the way to the 47th Annual HEB Tournament of Champions title, the Islanders beat South Alabama on Monday, a team that is now ranked No. 58 in the nation and will be reflected for the first time in the ranking period next week.
The Islanders started the weekend off with a 4-2 win over No. 30 BYU on Friday, taking down the No. 1 seed in the tournament at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. They followed with another 4-2 win in the afternoon, this time over Louisiana – Lafayette, to reach the finals of the event.
Another showdown against a top team was on tap, with No. 34 Middle Tennessee facing the home team for the crown. The Islanders lost the doubles point by a slim margin, but they rallied with singles wins from Ricardo Mayagoitia (No. 4), Gergo Weidinger (No. 3) and Peter Nagy (No. 1) to even it up at 3-3. It all came down to a third set at No. 5 singles, with Javier Pujol earning the win to start the celebration. It was the first time in program history that the team had won the tournament that they now host, an annual event since 1966.
The men are back in action on Friday, March 8, in Beaumont for a neutral site match against Florida A&M on the Lamar campus. The women were off the previous week, but will be back in action on March 9 in Natchitoches, La. to face Northwestern State in a key Southland Conference match.
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