CORPUS CHRISTI – For the second consecutive year junior Peter Nagy has been named the Southland Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year, the league announced today. In addition, Director of Tennis Steve Moore earned the Men's Tennis Coach of the Year honor for the eighth straight year and becomes the first coach in the history of the Southland Conference in any sport to win coach of the year eight consecutive years.
The Islanders (17-9, 6-0 SLC) placed a total of four players on the all-conference teams for singles play with sophomore Ricardo Mayagoitia and sophomore Javier Pujol joining Nagy on the all-conference first team, and freshman Paul Cook earning a spot on the second team.
Nagy, a native of Budapest, Hungary compiled a perfect 6-0 record this season in Southland matches at No. 1 singles, and never lost a set throughout league play. He also finished the regular season with a team-best 18-3 dual-match record in the No. 1 position. Nagy has tallied a 15-1 career record in the Southland, with his only loss in his career in conference play coming during his freshman year. Prior to winning Southland Player of the Year last season, Nagy was tabbed Southland Freshman of the Year in his first year as an Islander. As a team, the Islanders have earned the player of the year honor four times, with Nagy winning the award twice, and Andrey Kumantsov (2007) and Laurent Montoisy (2011) each claiming the accolade once.
"I love that Peter got this award, because he is the hardest working, most motivated guy, and it really validates that hard work pays off," Moore said. "Peter has improved so much, he's changed his body and become much more physical. He has improved every facet of his game. I really believe Peter has a career as a tennis player for 10 years after college. What I am most proud of Peter is how coachable he has become and what a great leader he has developed into. He sets the tone for this team with his fighting spirit and passion.
"Peter is such a great model for our team because he embraces the athletic disciplined lifestyle, the rest, eating, the hydration that allows a player to have the energy to practice hard day in and day out, build and retain muscle, and keep a high immune system. These are the things that really matter in player development, but often are not talked about enough. Peter chooses to be as good at these things as any player as I have ever coached."
Joining Nagy on the first team in singles play is Mayagoitia and Pujol. Mayagoitia garners his second consecutive first-team honor after compiling a 5-1 conference record in the No. 2 spot. The native of Monterey, Mexico is this week's Southland Conference Men's Player of the Week after clinching the final regular-season match for the Islanders. The victory clinched the seventh straight Southland Conference regular-season title for the Islanders. He enters this weekend's Southland Conference Tournament with an overall 13-7 record in No. 2 singles.
"Ricky stands for everything good about the Islanders," Moore said. "Ricky came in playing No. 8 in singles a year and a half ago and through extreme hard work and discipline he has developed into one of the top players in the country. There is no player that I don't believe Ricky has a chance to beat because he is such a fighter and never quits. He has been such a rock for us. I can't believe how fulfilling it is to see the guy that shows up and practices extra everyday become a great player and what a great message that sends."
Pujol is the third Islander to earn a spot on the first team after earning second-team distinction a year ago. Along with Nagy and Cook, the sophomore tallied a perfect 6-0 record in Southland play and is currently on a five-match winning streak. Pujol earned four of his conference wins at No. 3 singles and two at No. 4 singles, while recording an overall 15-9 record.
"Javi showed great courage this year, moving up to No. 3 when we needed him and delivering big for this team," Moore said. "Javi won because he has the biggest heart and an amazing fighting spirit. On a hot windy day he is the guy everyone fears playing. He has matured so much mentally and developed his game tremendously. Over the last year he has been put into some of the biggest matches for us, and been the last guy on the court, and risen up like a gladiator for the Islanders."
In just his first year, Cook tallied a perfect record in conference play in the No. 6 spot with a 6-0 record to earn second-team honors and the conference championship at No. 6. After joining the Islanders in the spring, Cook registered an overall 9-4 mark with eight of those wins coming in the sixth slot. He is currently on a five-match winning streak and has really been a consistent player for the Islanders in singles and doubles play this season.
"Paul grew tremendously this year," Moore said. "He really matured, listened and learned very well. He started making good choices and his game propelled up because of it. Paul really stepped in and became a force for our team in singles and doubles. He showed tremendous competitive spirit and consistency at the end of the year. I'm very proud of Paul for the way he improved this spring. He made a great contribution to our team."
Moore earns his eighth consecutive coach of the year award after leading the men's team to seven straight Southland Conference regular-season titles. Under his leadership the men's team only allowed five points in Southland play this season, for a total season record of 35-5. The Islanders have won 12 consecutive regular-season conference matches in three years. In addition, the men's team has lost just one regular-season Southland Conference match in the last eight years since Coach Moore returned to take over the men's team in 2007. Moore was previously tied with Aaron Fox of UTSA in indoor track and field and Sonny Jolly of Lamar in outdoor track and field at seven straight awards.
A&M - Corpus Christi also placed a pair of doubles teams on the all-conference teams with the tandem of Nagy and Guillaume Rauseo earning first-team honors and the sophomore duo of Mayagoitia and Pujol on the second team.
Nagy and Rauseo collected a 4-1 record in the conference in the No. 1 spot and an overall mark of 9-6. The pair is currently on a three-match winning streak and earned the conference championship at No. 1 doubles.
"Peter and Guillaume really grew as a team," Moore said. "They are playing excellent doubles at the time of the year that matters the most. They really made a commitment to play the right style and work hard on the right things, and they just kept improving every week. They compete extremely hard and compliment each other very well. Peter was used to playing No. 1 doubles and has been a great leader. I'm very proud of Guillaume for the way he has risen up and developed as a doubles player. These guys both have a great future in doubles as well as in singles."
Mayagoitia and Pujol teamed up together for the first team this season at Lamar in the No. 3 spot to win, 8-1. The pair then won their next three out of four matches at No. 3 doubles for a conference mark of 4-1 to win the conference championship at No. 3.
"Ricky and Javi stepped in and just started outfighting people at No. 3 doubles," Moore said. "They are tough and smart. Their weapons are their footwork and their hearts. They are extremely tenacious competitors and have really become a high-level doubles team. I'm very proud of the improvement they have made."
Also earning a conference championship in doubles play was the senior-freshman duo of Matt Westmoreland and Cook at No. 2 doubles. The pair registered a 3-1 mark in conference play in the No. 2 position. The duo started the season on a four-match winning streak and has put together a 7-6 overall mark.
The Islanders will host the men's and women's Southland Conference Tournament this weekend at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The men's team earned the No. 1 seed and will face No. 4 New Orleans at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 26. For more information on the tournament click HERE.
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2014 All-Southland Conference Men's Tennis Teams and Individual Awards
Player of the Year: Peter Nagy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Freshman of the Year: Partha Adavelly, Nicholls
Newcomer of the Year: Josip Smoljan, UIW
Coach of the Year: Steve Moore, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
First-Team All-Conference Singles
Peter Nagy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Nico Mertens, Nicholls
Partha Adavelly, Nicholls
Ricardo Mayagoitia, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Javier Pujol, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Josip Smoljan, UIW
Second-Team All-Conference Singles
Paul Cook, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Nikita Lis, Lamar
Bernard Wezeman, Nicholls
Marco Bensley, Abilene Christian
Juuso Laitinen, Lamar
Nico Agritelley, Abilene Christian
First-Team All-Conference Doubles
Peter Nagy/Guillaume Rauseo, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Partha Adavelly/Bernard Wezeman, Nicholls
Borta Cortes/Guilherme Gesser, Abilene Christian
Second-Team All-Conference Doubles
Ricardo Mayagoitia/Javier Pujol, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Jason Proctor/Nico Agritelly, Abilene Christian
Evan Karatzas/Nico Mertens, Nicholls
No. 1 Singles: Peter Nagy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6-0)
No. 2 Singles: Nico Mertens, Nicholls (5-0)
No. 3 Singles: Josip Smoljan, UIW (6-0)
No. 4 Singles: Bernard Wezeman, Nicholls (5-1)
No. 5 Singles: Jeandre Hoogenboezem, Lamar (3-0)
No. 6 Singles: Paul Cook, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6-0)
No. 1 Doubles: Peter Nagy/Guillaume Rauseo, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-1)
No. 2 Doubles: Paul Cook/Matt Westmoreland, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-1)
Jason Proctor/Nico Agritelly, Abilene Christian (3-1)
No. 3 Doubles: Ricardo Mayagoitia/Javier Pujol, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-1)