CORPUS CHRISTI – Three student-athletes from the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's and women's tennis teams earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete honors. Sophomores Javier Pujol and Guillaume Rauseo from the men's team and senior Ashley Garza from the women's team were each recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom.
"I'm very proud for three Islanders to be recognized nationally as scholar-athletes," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I think these three players represent our core values extremely well. Ashley made a 3.75 GPA in one of the most rigorous and difficult majors and has now been accepted to The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. Javi and Gui both achieved above 3.5 GPAs in challenging majors as well.
"I'm extremely proud of the hard work and discipline this took from these Islanders. They also accomplished this while missing significant amount of classes traveling to help the men's and women's tennis teams win Southland Conference titles and advance to the NCAA Championships."
Pujol, a native of Barcelona, Spain, earned the honor after posting a 3.56 GPA in economics. The sophomore garnered First Team All-Southland and all-academic accolades after registering a perfect 6-0 record in Southland singles play. He put together a solid year in doubles play with Ricardo Mayagoitia in No. 3 doubles to earn second team all-conference honors and the conference championship at No. 3 doubles. Pujol finished the season with an overall 16-10 singles record. One of the most thrilling moments of his career came in 2013 when he clinched a thrilling 6-4 third set to secure the first ever HEB Tournament of Champions title for the Islanders in program history against No. 34 Middle Tennessee State.
Rauseo, who also picked up First Team All-Southland and all-academic honors, achieved a 3.55 GPA in mechanical engineering. The native of Morschwiller-Le-Bas, Alsace, France was a consistent player in singles and doubles action. Rauseo won his last four singles matches for an overall 12-10 mark and teamed up with Peter Nagy in the No. 1 slot to win their last five out of six doubles matches. One of his top moments of the season came at the Lobo Tennis Winter Kickoff against Arizona. He won a thrilling three-setter to clinch the match over the Wildcats for their first win against a Pac-12 opponent.
On the women's side, Garza, who was accepted to dental school after graduating with a 3.75 GPA, was part of the Islanders women's team that clinched their first Southland Conference regular-season and tournament championship along with their first NCAA Tournament berth. The women's team joined the men's team as one of only 34 universities in the nation to have both teams ranked in the top 75 during the week of March 5, 2013.
Garza was also a member of the 2013 Islanders team that reached No. 60 in the ITA national rankings. In 2012, she teamed with Stefania Nicolae to help the Islanders clinch the doubles point in the conference tournament and defeat- defending champion Northwestern State. The victory marked the Islanders first ever win in the Southland tournament.
To earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must be a varsity letterwinner, have a GPA of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year and have been enrolled at the present school for at least two semesters.
"Each of these three players played great roles in helping the Islanders propel to some of the most important wins in program history, and I'm very proud of these three on the court and in the classroom," Moore added. "They have been extremely motivated, committed and have had huge hearts for the team."
For all the latest on Islanders Tennis, like the team on Facebook (IslandersTennis) and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersTennis).