FRISCO, Texas – Texas A&M – Corpus Christi sophomore Peter Nagy was named the Southland Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year, the league announced on Thursday. Additionally, Nagy, Gergo Weidinger and Ricardo Mayagoitia were named First Team All-Southland, while Matt Westmoreland and Javier Pujol received Second Team All-Southland recognition.
In addition to the award for Nagy, Director of Tennis Steve Moore earned the Men's Tennis Coach of the Year honor for the seventh straight time, setting a new mark in Southland Conference history for tennis coaches, and tying the record for most consecutive Coach of the Year awards in any league sport.
Nagy, a native of Budapest, Hungary, was a perfect 5-0 in Southland Conference matches at the No. 1 singles position, never losing a set throughout league play. He also finished the regular season at 15-2, beating ranked players during the year and being ranked No. 97 in the current Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings. He earned the Southland Conference Championship at No. 1 singles in addition to his Player of the Year honor.
"Peter's determination and work ethic are truly special," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "He has improved as much in one year as any player I've ever coached, and the taproot of that is his drive and work ethic. It's amazing how good a guy can get when he makes a total commitment to becoming a hardcore player."
Nagy was also named First Team All-Southland in both singles and doubles, going 5-0 in singles and 3-0 in No. 1 doubles alongside Weidinger. The duo just missed the conference championship in doubles due to the cancelling of doubles against Lamar and New Orleans.
Weidinger, who also hails from Budapest, Hungary, earned multiple honors as well, as he was named First Team All-Southland in singles and doubles after going 4-1 in Southland singles matches in No. 2 singles, and 13-6 overall.
"I can't say enough about Gergo and how much he grew," said Moore. "He just became so smart and mentally tough. Gergo was playing No. 6 last year, and this year he won almost every match at No. 2. I could not be more proud of him."
Mayagoitia, a freshman from Mexico, also earned first team recognition after a dominating season in his first year, going 15-3 from No. 3 to No. 6 singles, with the bulk coming at No. 4 where he went 9-1 on the season.
"Ricardo improved so much for a lot of the same reasons as Peter, I think those two guys literally had a contest on who could do the most extra after practice," said Moore. "Not a day went by that I did not see Ricardo out on his own hitting on the ball machine after practice. Not only does that work ethic lift your game up, but it also gives you an earned confidence that is priceless."
Mayagoitia also teamed with Westmoreland to take a spot on the second team in doubles.
Westmoreland earned singles recognition as well, using his 5-0 mark in Southland play to garner second team honors and a conference championship at No. 3 singles. He ended up 12-8 overall while going 8-1 in all No. 3 singles matches during the year.
"Matt has been a rock for us for years, both as a leader and on the court," said Moore. "He has added so many dimensions to his game, especially in doubles."
The final Southland honor for the Islanders went to Pujol, who also came up big for the Islanders in singles as a freshman. The native of Spain clinched the 47th Annual HEB Tournament of Champions for the Islanders with a three-set victory, the first time the team has ever won the event that is considered one of the most prestigious team tournaments in the nation.
"I could not be more proud of Javier for his growth and maturity, from January until now is amazing," said Moore. "I'm so proud of him. He has become so mentally tough and so reliable for our team. It's not often that you see a freshman do that, but Javier has been special. The bigger the moment, the more he rises up, and I love that."
For Moore, the Coach of the Year honor was also recognition of the program he has built. It marked the seventh straight time he has won the honor, a record for tennis coaches in the conference, but he knows that he could not have done it without his coaching staff helping him.
"I think everyone knows this award would be more accurately named 'Coaching Staff of the Year,' and there's no group of coaches I would take over Goncalo Figueiredo, Megan Harless and Aurelien Tave," said Moore. "No coaches in the country care more about their players or work longer hours than those three."
In addition to his own hard work, Moore demanded, and received, a lot from his assistants.
"I'm not sure they've had one full day off this entire spring, and they are constantly working to improve some facet of the program," said Moore. "Whether it's attendance, fund-raising, community involvement, some mental toughness point for the players. That group pours their heart and soul into caring for the players and uplifting our program. There's a lot more than being an Islanders Tennis coach than just coaching and recruiting, and they assist me in all these extra areas.
"These are three special people; they were all former Islander team captains, and this team is a huge part of their life and deep in their heart."
Throughout the season, the Islanders have continued past success of the program, and helped add more history to the record books. The men's team earned a high-ranking of No. 51 in the entire nation among NCAA Division I teams, the women were ranked for the first time in school history at No. 60, both teams were ranked at the same time, making them one of just 34 teams in the country to achieve that feat, and the only one with a single coach heading both of the teams. The men's team has a record of 35-2 since in conference matches since Moore returned to the program for the 2007 season.
Additionally, the men and women's team are both currently ranked in the Top 10 of the nation in home attendance. It is the first time in school history that either team has been ranked in the national rankings for attendance.
"I attribute the success for the attendance at the matches to the hard work of Josh Brown, Matt Brady, Megan Allen and our athletic department as a whole," said Moore.
Both the men and women's teams will be in action this weekend at the Southland Conference Tournament in Beaumont. The Lamar Cardinals will be the host team at the event, with the Beaumont Municipal Tennis Center being the venue for the event.
The women start things off with an 11 a.m. match against McNeese State in the first round on Friday, while the men's first match will come at 10 a.m. on Saturday against Lamar. If the women win their Friday match, they will be scheduled for a 2 p.m. match on Saturday against the winner of Sam Houston State and Lamar.
For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (IslandersTennis), follow them on Twitter (@IslandersTennis) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.
Player of the Year: Peter Nagy - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Freshman of the Year: Nico Mertens – Nicholls State
Newcomer of the Year: Rui Silva – New Orleans
Coach of the Year: Steve Moore – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
First-Team Singles All-Conference
Peter Nagy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Dmitry Kozionov, Nicholls State
Nico Mertens, Nicholls State
Gergo Weidinger, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Rob Lee, Lamar
Ricardo Mayagoitia, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Second-Team Singles All-Conference
Matt Westmoreland, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Roy Knight, Nicholls State
Ricardo Campos, New Orleans
Hossam Meligy, New Orleans
Carl-Philip Lundqvist, Lamar
Javier Pujol, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
First-Team Doubles All-Conference
Peter Nagy/Gergo Weidinger, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Ricardo Campos/Hossam Meligy, New Orleans
Dmitry Kozionov/Jeoffrey Noblecourt, Nicholls State
Second-Team Doubles All-Conference
Victor Alves/Thomas-Orestis Panoulas, Texas-Pan American
Rui Silva/Abdelrahman Zaki, New Orleans
Ricardo Mayagoitia/Matt Westmoreland, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 1 Singles- Peter Nagy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 2 Singles- Dmitry Kozionov, Nicholls State
No. 3 Singles- Matt Westmoreland, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 4 Singles- Ricardo Mayagoitia, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 5 Singles- Javier Pujol, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 6 Singles- Lovro Curcija, New Orleans
No. 1 Doubles- Ricardo Campos/Hossam Meligy, New Orleans
No. 2 Doubles- Rui Silva/Abdelrahman Zaki, New Orleans
No. 3 Doubles- Victor Alves/Thomas Panoulas, Texas-Pan American