CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Women's Tennis team earned its toughest win of the season on Tuesday, completing a match that started on Monday afternoon and featured numerous delays due to weather before finishing in a 6-1 final over Louisiana – Lafayette.
The Islanders (5-0) stayed undefeated on the season in a match that featured third sets in three of the singles. ULL (1-3) fought hard, but were unable to overcome the determination of the home team.
"This was a great college tennis match, it's really what it is all about," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "It was one of the longest matches we've ever played. There were lots of variables with rain delays where you can either lose focus and not make good choices or choose to be great at the things you can control."
In a match that started at 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, rain delays at 4:25 and 9:01 p.m. pushed the conclusion of the match back to Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
"I thought the girls did a good job with four different start times," said Moore. "They stayed hydrated and ready. They showed a lot of toughness and resiliency today. This type of match gives you an opportunity to really go up or down."
After the overnight break, the matches resumed with Maider Martin earning the first point that clinched the match for the Islanders, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. Leanne Mascall finished next, fighting all the way back from down a set to dominate the final set in a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 final. Stefania Nicolae completed the sweep of the remaining matches with a win in a third-set tiebreak, earning a 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory to complete play.
"Give a lot of credit to ULL," said Moore. "They have a very young team and competed extremely tough the whole time as well. That was a good team we played today and it was much closer than the score, with three matches going deep into the third set and splitting the doubles by a 2-1 score."
On the previous day, the Islanders got out to a fast start, taking the doubles point with wins by Doris Kuselj and Nicolae at No. 1, and one by Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan at the No. 2 doubles position.
In singles action, Burges dominated her opponent on the way to a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 2 to make it a 2-0 score. The Cajuns struck back quickly, earning the win at No. 1 to make it a 2-1 score.
Celia Rodriguez Delgado put the Islanders on the brink of clinching with her 7-5, 6-2 decision at No. 5 singles, but play was halted for the night with the last three matches in third sets.
After picking up where they left off, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi was able to complete the match in dramatic fashion, taking all three matches in nail-biting fashion.
"I'm proud of them for the fight and teamwork they've shown to start 5-0," said Moore. "We have to stay in the present, stay extremely hungry and keep chopping wood everyday."
Facilities and Operations Manager Joe Kaminski played a big part in the continuation of the match by getting the courts ready for the continuation of the matches.
"I thought our facilities people did a great job getting these courts ready to play and having to dry them on four separate occasions," said Moore. "This match could have easily been cancelled without their hard work.
"I also thought our training staff did a great job of keeping our players ready."
With the teams battling numerous delays and inclement weather, the Islanders match of 19 straight contests with more than 100 people came to an end, with 97 fans showing up throughout the two days.
Next up for the Islanders will be a road match at Texas – Pan American on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Edinburg. The match is set for a 2 p.m. start on the UTPA campus.
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Tennis Match Results
Louisiana-Lafayette vs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
02/11/13 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 6, Louisiana-Lafayette 1
1. S. van den Aarssen (ULL) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-0, 6-4
2. Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Bailey VanDyke (ULL) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
3. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Nicole Breaux (ULL) 6-2, 6-1
4. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Sandra Ahlqvist (ULL) 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Juliette Clement (ULL) 7-5, 6-2
6. Leanne Mascall (AMCC) def. Melissa Burckhartt (ULL) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
1. Doris Kuselj/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Nicole Breaux/Bailey VanDyke (ULL) 8-6
2. Sandra Burges/Chelsea Horan (AMCC) def. S. van den Aarssen/Hannah Appleyard (ULL) 8-6
3. Juliette Clement/Melissa Burckhartt (ULL) def. Maider Martin/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) 8-7 (7-4)
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 5-0
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,5,2,6,4)
Play resumed on Tuesday morning at 10:35 AM