CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's tennis team will look to defend their sixth straight Southland Conference regular-season title when they open conference play Sunday, Feb. 16 against Oral Roberts in Dallas. The Islanders are coming off a 5-0 victory over Prairie View on Feb. 5 and will look to build off their perfect 5-0 conference record from a year ago.
"Sunday is our first conference match of the year," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "We have to be ready to play every point with intensity and max out everything we can control, each guy individual, and collectively as a team. I feel like this team is working extremely hard. We've been off for a couple weeks so it's time to start competing again.
"We always look forward to playing in Dallas because we have developed a strong fan base there that we appreciate. I'm incredibly grateful to Coach Dan Holden and Johnny Tallent and the Seay Tennis Center for allowing us to use their facility. We have a lot of respect for Oral Roberts and we will be ready to compete. "
Oral Roberts comes into Sunday's contest with a 1-5 record including a 0-1 mark in conference play. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 6-1 loss to Nicholls in conference play on Saturday. Prior to that, ORU clinched its first win of the season, 5-2, over Prairie View A&M in Edinburg, Texas. Last season, the Islanders swept the Golden Eagles 7-0 in Dallas. The Islanders grabbed the doubles point and returners, Peter Nagy, Matt Westmoreland, Ricardo Mayagoitia, Javier Pujol and Guillaume Rauseo each claimed straight-set singles wins.
A&M - Corpus Christi (7-3) is coming off their sixth straight Southland Conference regular-season championship and their fifth Southland Conference Tournament title. Moore was named the 2013 Southland Coach of the Year for the seventh consecutive year while Nagy is the reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year. The Islanders No. 1 singles player finished the 2013 regular season undefeated in conference play, having never even lost a set against any No. 1 player from another team in the league. This season, Nagy holds a 7-1 record and has won six consecutive matches. He has been named the Southland Conference Player of the Week twice this season and five times in his career.
"This is a very hungry group and we need to be because we have a lot of hard work ahead of us," Moore added.
The Islanders will return to non-conference action along with the women's team at Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
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