CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 23 against New Mexico State at 2 p.m. CST and Friday, Jan. 24 against Utah State at 2 p.m. CST, in Las Cruces, N.M. at the NMSU Tennis Center.
The Islanders (3-3) opened the season last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M. with six matches in a span of three days against Arizona, UC Irvine and host New Mexico. A&M - Corpus Christi dropped two losses to New Mexico, but posted a pair of wins against Arizona and split with UC Irvine.
Guillaume Rauseo was named the Southland Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week on Tuesday after putting together a solid weekend. The sophomore tallied a 4-2 singles record, including a 4-1 mark in the No. 3 spot. Rauseo showed courage and resilience in leading the Islanders to wins over UC Irvine and Arizona on the final day of play.
Rauseo and the rest of the Islanders will first take on New Mexico State (0-0) on Thursday. The last time the two teams met up was last January in the second match of the season. The Aggies cinched a 7-0 victory in Albuquerque. The Islanders return four singles players from that match, including reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year, Peter Nagy. The junior registered a 3-1 record in the No. 1 position over the weekend, with wins against Arizona and UC Irvine. Also returning to the Islanders lineup is Matt Westmoreland who saved nine match points over the weekend when the match was on the line.
Pietro Jordao is also familiar with the Aggies after battling last season in the No. 6 spot. Jordao picked up a win against Arizona in the No. 6 spot and teamed up with Javier Pujol in doubles play. Pujol captured consecutive victories over UC Irvine in No. 4 singles while Ricardo Mayagoitia clinched the opening match for the Islanders. The sophomore showed tremendous courage in fighting back from an injury to lift the Islanders past the Wildcats in a 7-6 (5) third-set victory.
Freshmen Paul Cook and Philip Kuehnen made their Islanders' debut over the weekend. Cook picked up his first win of the season against Arizona in the No. 6 spot. The England native also teamed up with Westmoreland to mark a 2-0 record in doubles play.
New Mexico State will open their season on Thursday while the Islanders will be playing in their seventh match of the season. The Aggies finished the 2013 season with a 14-9 record after falling in the semifinal round of the WAC Championships. Much like the Islanders, New Mexico State has one senior on their roster, Marc Westgate. In addition, two juniors, six sophomores and one redshirt sophomore make up the Aggies roster. Sophomore Liam Goldberg is ranked No. 18 in the Mountain Region singles rankings while the duo of Thomas Douglas and Naveen Manivannan are ranked No. 8 in the region in doubles.
Utah State (1-1) opened the season with a 4-3 loss to BYU before topping Idaho State 5-2. The Aggies finished the 2013 season with a 7-14 record after falling to New Mexico State in the quarterfinal round of the WAC Tournament. The last time the Aggies and the Islanders met up was in 2012 in Las Cruces. A&M - Corpus Christi downed the Aggies, 7-0, clinching every set, including a 3-0 sweep in doubles. Returning from that match for the Islanders is Nagy and Westmoreland. Utah State returns seven players from a year ago and welcomes four newcomers.
Following Friday's match, the Islanders men's team along with the women's team will host Maryland Baltimore County in the home opener at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m.
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