Nationally Ranked Islanders Win Sixth Straight Southland Title on Senior Day
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Men's Tennis team, ranked No. 58 in the nation among all NCAA Division I teams, closed out another undefeated Southland Conference schedule on Saturday afternoon, winning 7-0 against Texas – Pan American in a match sponsored by the family of Islander legend Nathan Robinson. It was also Senior Day for Andrew Maingot and Gergo Weidinger.
"How fitting it is for the Robinson family to sponsor the Senior Day, last home match of the year," said Moore. "When I talk about great teammates, Nathan Robinson will go down as one of the greatest ever, and it was him and Andrew Maingot that pulled this team through in 2010 to win the conference.
"I'll never forget what they did on the court as well. 2010 was a challenging year for this team; we were going through a lot. We had lost our first conference match badly and traveled to play first-place UT Arlington on the road. Maingot and Robinson, the two Texas kids who were best friends, clinched the doubles point by winning 9-8 in a tiebreaker that helped us win a thriller on the road and turn things around. That was such a defining year for our program, and we went on to win the conference."
Robinson is a former Islander who won the Southland Conference's F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarship for the student-athlete with the highest GPA in the entire conference. He was also the scholar-athlete of the year from the Islanders and won the scholarship awarded to the top economics student at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.
"As great as Nathan was at all of those things," said Moore. "He was an even better teammate and the perfect sponsor on Senior Day for his friends."
Both players finish their careers with Southland Conference Championships in each season they played, and they will be looking to earn a third trip to the NCAA Championships in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament. Both players were in the program when the Islanders advanced to the national tournament in 2009 and 2011.
Maingot, a team captain this season, is a senior from Corpus Christi who has helped the Islanders win the Southland Conference Championship each year he has been on the team. He teamed with former Islander Alex Pavlov last season for All-Southland Doubles honors.
"I just cannot speak highly enough about these seniors and what they brought to this program," said Moore. "People talk a lot about being a great teammate, it's almost a cliché, but these two guys were legitimately great teammates and really helped build the Islanders culture for every guy in the future. They poured their heart and soul into making this a great team experience for every other guy. They were unselfish and they gave so much. I'll take the culture and camaraderie of our team over every other team in the country, and Andrew Maingot and Gergo Weidinger made that happen."
Weidinger is in his third season on The Island. Over those three years, he has amassed 27 wins in singles and 24 in doubles. In addition to his play on the court, Weidinger was also named Southland All-Academic last year after garnering a 3.84 GPA in finance.
He is currently 13-6 on the year in singles, including a 4-1 mark in Southland matches. He is also 5-1 overall, 3-0 in Southland matches, since teaming up with Peter Nagy at No. 1 doubles. He earned the win in the clinching the match against UTSA to win the 2011 Southland Conference Tournament and send the team to the NCAAs where he won his singles match against Dennis Lengsfeld, the No. 96 player in the entire country.
"I'm so proud of Gergo's maturity and the way he has developed," said Moore. "He really persevered and had such tenacity of purpose to become a great player, and that's exactly what he's become. I think Gergo will always be known for coming through for us in the clinching match of the Southland Conference tournament two years ago against UTSA. It was one of the gutsiest performances I've ever seen when we needed it the most."
Weidinger has become a superstar for the Islanders at No. 2 singles this year, his senior season, after playing at No. 6 the year before. He won all of his matches against nationally ranked teams in the HEB Tournament of Champions and has been a rock at No. 2 singles.
In the final home match of both seniors' Islanders careers, they once again came up big in doubles to give their team the early lead. Weidinger and Nagy won first, taking an 8-2 match at No. 1 doubles for the early lead. After Matt Westmoreland and Ricardo Mayagoitia came up short in a match that allowed UTPA to even the doubles matches, Maingot and Guillaume Rauseo picked up a gritty 8-6 win at No. 3 to clinch the point for the Islanders.
In singles play, Javier Pujol started the scoring with a dominant 6-0, 6-1 final at No. 5 to give his team a 2-0 advantage. Weidinger then stepped up for a 6-3, 6-2 scoring in No. 2 singles to make it 3-0 for the Islanders. As he did on Thursday against Lamar to clinch at least a share of the Southland Conference Championship, Peter Nagy won a 6-2, 6-1 final to clinch the outright title for his team heading into the Southland Conference Tournament.
Nagy finished his regular season undefeated in Southland Conference play, having never even lost a set against any No. 1 player from another team in the league.
In the others singles matches Matt Westmoreland finished first, rallying in the first set and then dominating the second for a 7-5, 6-0 final at No. 3. Pietro Jordao followed with the only three-set match of the day, falling in the first before coming back with a furious rally to win 4-6, 6-0, 10-0 in super tiebreak at No. 6. The final to finish was Ricardo Mayagoitia, with the freshman winning No. 4 singles by a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) final.
"I'm very proud of this team as a whole and the way they grew and matured this year. This was a very young team with five freshmen in the top eight. It's very fulfilling to see them rise up to become savvy, hard-nosed blue-collar competitors, and that's exactly what they did. I'm excited about this upcoming Southland Conference Tournament, because the way this team came together this year was special."
The Southland Conference Tournament will be the next thing on the schedule for both Islanders teams with the regular seasons for both now completed. The women are set for a first round matchup against McNeese State next Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m. on the courts at the Thompson Family Tennis Center. The men will play the next day, Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m. when they face Lamar on their home courts in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament.
Live updates will be available throughout both matches by following the teams on Twitter (@IslandersTennis).
For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (IslandersTennis), follow them on Twitter (@IslandersTennis) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.
Tennis Match Results
Texas-Pan American vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
04/20/13 at Corpus Christi, Texas
#58 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 7, Texas-Pan American 0
1. #102 Peter Nagy (AMCC) def. Thomas Panoulas (UTPA) 6-2, 6-1
2. Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) def. Ricardo Hopker (UTPA) 6-3, 6-2
3. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) def. Chetan Panditi (UTPA) 7-5, 6-1
4. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) def. Sebastien Job (UTPA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Javier Pujol (AMCC) def. Felix Hasselberg (UTPA) 6-0, 6-1
6. Pietro Jordao (AMCC) def. Joseph Bishop (UTPA) 4-6, 6-0, 10-0
1. Peter Nagy/Gergo Weidinger (AMCC) def. Felix Hasselberg/Sebastien Job (UTPA) 8-2
2. Ricardo Hopker/Chetan Panditi (UTPA) def. Matt Westmoreland/Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) 9-7
3. Andrew Maingot/Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) def. Thomas Panoulas/Victor Alves (UTPA) 8-6
Texas-Pan American 8-17, 1-4 Southland
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 15-7, 5-0 Southland; National ranking #58
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,1,3,6,4)