ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team held off the University of Arizona, 4-2, in an intense collegiate tennis match today to open play in the Ned and Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff. The Islanders fell behind early 2-0, before bouncing back to win four straight, including two three-setters at the Linda Estes Tennis Center.
Sophomore Ricardo Mayagoitia pulled it together in the end for the No.67-ranked Islanders after being down the whole third set to win the tiebreaker and clinch the match.
"I'm incredibly proud of how we fought collectively as a team," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "This was an incredibly competitive college tennis match. Both teams really deserved to win. It can't get any closer than 7-6 in the third. Arizona is a great team that we have a lot of respect for.
"I thought how we kept playing in the present and fighting for the current point showed a lot of courage from our guys. There were a lot of opportunities that looked like it wasn't going to go our way and the guys kept fighting and pulling each other through. I thought the spirit that the guys showed pulling each other up and cheering each other on was excellence. Fighting hard for each point separately and cheering each other on with great spirit are the principles that we base our program on. I thought the guys did a very good job of those two things that they could control today."
The Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Naoki Takeda notched straight-set victories over Javier Pujol 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 4 spot. Mario Urquidi tacked on another Wildcat point on court five after securing a 7-5, 6-4 victory over senior Matt Westmoreland.
Junior Pietro Jordao put the Islanders on the board and gave the Islanders momentum in the No. 6 slot with a dominating 6-1, 6-3 victory over Dominic Bermudez.
In his first match back since the NCAA Championships last season, Peter Nagy, held off Fredrik Ask in the No. 1 spot in three sets. Nagy grabbed a tight first set 7-6 (3), before Ask answered back with a 6-4 second-set victory. However, in the third it was all Nagy with a 6-3 victory to even the match at 2-2.
In the No. 3 position, Guillaume Rauseo battled Sumeet Shinde to a first-set tiebreaker. The junior stayed neck-and-neck with Shinde until tallying an 8-6 win in the tiebreaker to capture the first set. In the second set, Rauseo downed Shinde 6-4 to push the Islanders ahead 3-2.
With the clinching point on the line for the Islanders and the tying point on the line for the Wildcats to force doubles play it all came down to court two between sophomore Ricardo Mayagoitia and senior Kieren Thompson. In the first set, Mayagoitia cruised to a 6-1 victory before falling behind 4-1 in the second set. The Monterey, Mexico native, however, bounced back to force a tiebreaker. In the end, Thompson registered the 7-2 win in the tiebreaker to force a third set. In the final set, much like the second, Mayagoitia fell down early, but with his teammates' encouragement he came roaring back to win 7-5 in the tiebreaker and clinch the match for the Islanders, 4-2.
"I thought Ricardo showed tremendous courage to keep fighting and keep fighting back when it looked like it wasn't going his way," Moore said. "Just a few days ago we didn't know if he would even be healthy enough to play. Thanks to our athletic trainer Greg Peckles for doing an excellent job of keeping Ricardo healthy the last couple of days."
The Islanders were without the Islanders Open champion, Kevin Bettendroffer, who will remain in Corpus Christi this weekend to finish a winter semester class.
"This is a great event that is so well ran by New Mexico and the format is such a great idea," Moore said. "We're excited for the chance to compete again tonight for what we know will be a great crowd."
The Islanders will continue play tonight at 8:30 p.m. CST against host No. 72-ranked New Mexico at the Linda Estes Tennis Center.
The Ned and Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff features the new shortened college format where singles is played first and the match stops when the team reaches four points. In the case of a 3-3 tie, the winner will be determined by who takes the best two of three 10-point tiebreakers in doubles play.
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. University of Arizona
1/17/2014 at Albuquerque, NM
#67 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4, University of Arizona 2
1. Peter Nagy (AMCC) def. Fredrik Ask (ARIZ) 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-3
2. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) def. Kieren Thompson (ARIZ) 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5)
3. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) def. Sumeet Shinde (ARIZ) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
4. Naoki Takeda (ARIZ) def. Javier Pujol (AMCC) 6-1, 6-1
5. Mario Urquidi (ARIZ) def. Matt Westmoreland (AMCC) 7-5, 6-4
6. Pietro Jordao (AMCC) def. Dominic Bermudez (ARIZ) 6-1, 6-3
Ned & Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1-0; National ranking #67
University of Arizona 0-1
Order of finish: Singles (4,5,6,1,3,2)