NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's tennis team was unable to match Southland Conference-leading Stephen F. Austin on the road, falling 6-1 against the Ladyjacks at the Schlief Tennis Complex on the SFA campus.
The Islanders are now 11-4 overall and 4-3 in Southland Conference matches. SFA, who is ranked No. 50 in the nation, and were as high as No. 35 three weeks ago, improved to 18-3 on the year, including a league-best 8-0 in Southland play. The Islanders were without Mia Matuszak, who was sitting out the match with an injured ankle she suffered before clinching the match against Texas State last Saturday.
In doubles, the Islanders held an early lead, but SFA came on strong with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to earn the doubles point. Mirna Cicak and Doris Kuselj won an 8-4 final at No. 1 doubles, while Chelsea Horan and Sandra Burges lost an 8-1 match at No. 2, and Ashley Garza and Stefania Nicolae fell 8-6 at the No. 3 position. Garza and Nicolae were up 6-4, 40-15 in doubles, but the Ladyjacks rallied to take an 8-6 final and clinch the point.
"Our girls were fighting extremely hard and I felt like the match was definitely closer than the score, because we had a shot at four points today for sure," said Moore. "I thought we played great doubles, but couldn't quite close it out at end against a nationally ranked team.
"I was very impressed with the way Ashley Garza played. She stepped into a very big match for us, and she really rose up to a high level."
Nicolae would get the only victory for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in the singles portion of the match, winning 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 4 position in the lineup against Malena Gordo.
At the No. 1 spot, Cicak suffered a loss with a bizarre final score, winning the first set before falling 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 against reigning Southland Player of the Week Elena Kordolaimi. Burges also fell in three sets, suffering a 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 setback against Tereza Bekerova in the No. 3 slot of the lineup.
"Sandra and Stefania fought incredibly hard today, and I thought our girls overall are playing with a lot of guts and courage," said Moore. "We're banged up, but we're fighting with all our hearts.
"Sometimes you don't win, but as a coach you're still proud of the character and fight your team shows. This team has great character, and I know they re going to finish this season very strong."
At No. 2 singles, Kuselj fell by a 6-3, 6-1 final against Alina Shazhko, while Horan went down by a 6-0, 6-3 final when facing Antonia Kolovou at No. 5 singles.
The final match of the day saw LeAnne Mascall downed 6-0, 6-4 at No. 6 against Julia Lorca to complete the scoring.
Next up for the Islanders will be a Saturday afternoon match against Sam Houston State in Huntsville. The teams will play at the McAdams Tennis Center with a 2 p.m. start.
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Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Tennis
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Stephen F. Austin (04/05/2012)
#50 Stephen F. Austin 6, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
04/05/2012 at Nacogdoches, Texas
1. Elena Kordolaimi (SFA) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) 1-6, 6-0, 6-1
2. Alina Shazhko (SFA) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-3, 6-1
3. Tereza Bekerova (SFA) def. Sandra Burgess (AMCC) 6-3, 4-6, 10-6
4. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Malena Gordo (SFA) 6-2, 6-4
5. Antonia Kolovou (SFA) def. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) 6-1, 6-3
6. Julia Lorca (SFA) def. LeAnne Mascall (AMCC) 6-0, 6-4
1. Mirna Cicak/Doris Kuselj (AMCC) def. Tereza Bekerova/Malena Gordo (SFA) 8-4
2. Jithmie Jayawickrema/Alina Shazhko (SFA) def. Chelsea Horan/Sandra Burgess (AMCC) 8-1
3. Elena Kordolaimi/Laura Servise (SFA) def. Ashley Garza/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) 8-6
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 11-4/4-3 SLC
Stephen F. Austin 18-3/8-0 SLC; National ranking #50; Regional ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,5,1,6,3,4)