CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's tennis team opened the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center in front of a program-record 241 fans against No. 70 Rice on Saturday afternoon, falling 7-0 to the Owls.
"This was a great college tennis event today," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "This community and University is incredible, with over 240 people showing up at this match.
"Our girls fought like crazy. Give credit to Rice, they played extremely tough today. We have a very, very good team, I believe the best we've ever had."
The Islanders move to 1-1 on the year with the setback, while the Owls improve to 3-0 on the year. The first match at the new facility set a new attendance record for a women's contest since starting the program.
The two teams played three close matches in the doubles portion, with Rice taking all three contests for an early 1-0 lead. In No. 1 doubles, Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj fell 8-4 to Rice, while Stefania Nicolae and Mia Matuszak also lost by an 8-4 final at No. 2. Chelsea Horan and Sandra Burges absorbed an 8-5 loss at the No. 3 position to finish doubles.
In singles action, the first match to finish was No. 2 when Kuselj was forced to retire from the match due to injury, falling 6-2, 2-1, ret. to give Rice a 2-0 lead. Horan lost a 6-1, 6-1 final at No. 5, while Rice won 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4 singles over Burges to clinch the match.
Nicolae fell 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3, while Cicak took her match to a third set before falling in a super tiebreaker, taking a 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 loss at the No. 1 position. The final match to finish was No. 6, with Matuszak rallying from a scoreless first set before suffering a 6-0, 7-5 defeat to conclude the match.
"This team will keep getting 10 percent better every week throughout the season," said Moore. "I love the character of this team, I love the way we played today. This was a special event today; to pack it like this in our first-ever match at this facility says a lot about this team and community.
"This was a great day for Islanders tennis."
Next up for the Islanders will be a Feb. 4 Southland Conference match against Central Arkansas in Dallas at a neutral site. The two teams will meet at 2 p.m. for the first league match of the year.
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#70 Rice 7, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 0
01/28/2012 at Corpus Christi, Texas
1. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) 3-6, 6-2, 10-6
2. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-2, 2-1, retired
3. Ana Guzman (RICE) def. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 6-3, 6-1
4. Katie Gater (RICE) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 6-4, 6-2
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) 6-1, 6-1
6. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) def. Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 6-0, 7-5
1. Dominique Harmath/Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 8-4
2. Ana Guzman/Katie Gater (RICE) def. Stefania Nicolae/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 8-4
3. Kimberly Anicete/Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) def. Chelsea Horan/Sandra Burges (AMCC) 8-5
Rice 2-0; National ranking #70
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 1-0
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,5,4,3,1,6)