ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team wrapped a stellar weekend against some of the top competition around today at the Ned and Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff. The Islanders (3-3) topped UC Irvine 4-3 earlier today before taking a 4-2 match against Arizona in the final match at the Linda Estes Tennis Center.
"I never like to single out one guy because we are a team, a family, and we win collectively, but I thought the courage and resilience that Guillaume Rauseo showed was remarkable," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "To have six dual match points in the second set, lose them all, and come back and play as great a third set as he did with the whole match riding on him showed incredible courage.
"I also thought that the grit and toughness that Peter Nagy showed to beat a guy who is a very difficult matchup showed incredible toughness. Paul Cook played an amazing first match and Ricardo Mayagoitia is as tough as they come. The way he battled back through injuries and never makes excuses, but the thing I'm the most proud of is the spirit and energy our team showed. They pulled these guys through and pumped them up constantly."
The Islanders and Wildcats battled early on with Arizona notching the first point of the night in singles play on court five. Mario Urquidi downed Pietro Jordao 6-2, 6-1, but the Islanders answered with a point of their own on court two. Mayagoitia breezed past Kieren Thompson 6-1, 6-2 to knot the score at 1-1. The Wildcats rallied back to push ahead 2-1 after Sumeet Shinde picked up a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the No. 4 spot over Javier Pujol. Cook followed with his first singles win of his career with a 6-2, 6-2 win in the No. 6 spot over Will Kneale to even the score at 2-2.
Nagy, who returned to the Islanders' lineup this weekend after taking the fall off, padded the Islanders lead to 3-2 with a three-set win over Fredrik Ask in the No. 1 position. Nagy fell short 7-6 (8) in the tiebreaker in the first set before capturing the next two sets 6-3, 6-2. With the match on the line for the Wildcats and the threat of doubles play on the line for the Islanders, A&M - Corpus Christi once again pulled through with the help of Rauseo. The sophomore sealed a 7-6 (5) first set win over Naoki Takeda in the No. 3 slot, before dropping an unbelievable 19-17 tiebreaker in the second set to force a third set. In the final frame, Rauseo rolled on to win 6-4 and clinch the victory for the Islanders.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a tiebreaker go 19-17, but to lose that tiebreaker and keep bringing energy and spirit that's the kind of stuff that makes you proud of your team," Moore added. "That couldn't have happened without these guys constantly pumping each other up and fighting for each other.
"Arizona is a very good team that we have a ton of respect for, so this took all we had."
The Islanders wrap the weekend with a 3-3 record after beating Arizona twice in thrilling matches and splitting a pair of 4-3 matches with UC Irvine. The No. 72-ranked Lobos topped the Islanders twice.
The Ned and Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff featured 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.
The men's team will remain on the road to face New Mexico State and Utah State in Las Cruces, N.M. on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, respectively.
For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (IslandersTennis) and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersTennis).
Tennis Match Results
University of Arizona vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
1/19/2014 at Albuquerque, N.M.
#67 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4, University of Arizona 2
1. Peter Nagy (AMCC) def. Fredrik Ask (ARIZ) 6-7 (8-10), 6-3, 6-2
2. Ricardo Mayagoitia (AMCC) def. Kieren Thompson (ARIZ) 6-1, 6-2
3. Guillaume Rauseo (AMCC) def. Naoki Takeda (ARIZ) 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (17-19), 6-4
4. Sumeet Shinde (ARIZ) def. Javier Pujol (AMCC) 6-3, 6-3
5. Mario Urquidi (ARIZ) def. Pietro Jordao (AMCC) 6-2, 6-1
6. Paul Cook (AMCC) def. Will Kneale (ARIZ) 6-2, 6-2
University of Arizona 2-3
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 3-3; National ranking #67
Order of finish: Singles (5,2,4,6,1,3)
Ned and Tina Jacobs Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff