CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's tennis team used a gritty performance from its entire singles lineup to take a 5-2 victory over UTSA after falling behind following the doubles point.
The Islanders are now 7-2 overall and 2-1 in Southland Conference play. UTSA drops to 7-5 on the year, 2-2 in league play.
In what looked like the Islanders point to be had, UTSA rallied early to take the doubles portion of the match. Things started quickly for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, with Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan dominating at No. 2 double for an 8-0 victory.
UTSA evened the doubles at 1-1 after Stefania Nicolae and Mia Matuszak came up short by an 8-6 final at No. 3. The final point went in UTSA's favor, with Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj falling by a nail-biting 9-8 final at No. 1 doubles.
With the score 1-0, UTSA earned the first point in singles as well, as Kuselj fell by a 6-4, 6-0 final at the No. 2 position.
That is when the Islanders began the rally, with Matuszak taking a quick 6-2, 6-3 final at No. 6 singles to get her team on the board. Burges followed with a 6-1, 6-3 final at the No. 4 position to even the match at 2-2 with three singles left to finish.
"This was a great team win, we started off slow and dug a hole for ourselves losing the doubles," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "But these girls really showed great courage coming back and winning four quick first sets in singles.
"I thought that Chelsea Horan, Mia Matuszak and Sandra Burges played incredibly focused singles and really gutted out their matches. I also thought Mirna Cicak played an unbelievably high-level singles match after a doubles that was tough for us to swallow. That's what a great leader does."
The next two matches to finish happened within to minutes of each other, with Horan fighting off a tough challenge in the second set for a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) final the No. 5 singles. In a finish that came immediately after, Cicak gained a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 1 to clinch the match for the Islanders.
"I'm very proud of the level of tennis and mental toughness that Mia Matuszak, Chelsea Horan and Sandra Burges have reached," said Moore. "They have worked incredibly hard.
"They put in a lot of work on their games, but have also really reached another level in their mental games."
In the hardest fought match of the day, Nicolae rallied from a first-set loss to take a 3-6, 7-5, 10-4 final at No. 3 singles to finish the scoring.
"UTSA is a very good team," said Moore. "They pushed us hard today, but I'm very proud of the character and resolve they showed.
"I think this is a very motivated team with very strong character and leadership. To go down 1-0 after doubles, and then fight back the way they did really shows that. There are things we have to get better at, but these girls are very hard workers, and they will."
Next up for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will be a match this Saturday, March 17, at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The Islanders will play Texas – Pan American as part of the Islanders Women's Team Shootout. Other matches scheduled for the event are Sam Houston State vs. Texas – Pan American on Friday at 11 a.m., and a 2 p.m. Sunday match between Sam Houston and Laredo Community College.
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UTSA vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
03/14/2012 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 5, UTSA 2
1. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) def. Stefanie Peana (UTSA) 6-3, 6-4
2. Isabelle Jonsson (UTSA) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-4, 6-0
3. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Micaela Silva (UTSA) 3-6, 7-5, 10-4
4. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Kavya Menon (UTSA) 6-1, 6-3
5. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Natalie Hand (UTSA) 6-2, 7-6 (7-1)
6. Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Irene Gonzalez (UTSA) 6-2, 6-3
1. Stefanie Peana/Isabelle Jonsson (UTSA) def. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 9-8 (7-2)
2. Sandra Burges/Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. Micaela Silva/Vivian Carrillo (UTSA) 8-0
3. Kavya Menon/Natalie Hand (UTSA) def. Stefania Nicolae/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 8-6
UTSA 7-5, 2-2 Southland
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 7-2, 2-1 Southland
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,6,4,5,1,3)