NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Women's Tennis team, ranked No. 69 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll, suffered its first loss of the 2013 season on Sunday evening, dropping a 4-3 final against defending Southland Conference Champion Stephen F. Austin. The match at the Schlief Tennis Complex was delayed several hours due to inclement weather in the area.
The Islanders (9-1, 2-1 Southland) swept the doubles point early, but losses in the singles matches gave SFA (5-7, 2-0 Southland) their second Southland win in as many days.
"Give a lot of credit to SFA, they are the defending conference champions, and they played with a lot of pride today at home," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "They outfought us and they deserved to win this match. It's as simple as that."
After seeing match time moved back four hours due to rain in the area, the teams finally kicked off the match at 5 p.m. on the Lady Jacks home courts.
In doubles action, Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan gave their team an early lead with an 8-4 final at No. 2, and the duo of Maider Martin and Mia Matuszak earned an 8-4 mark at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point. Doris Kuselj and Stefania Nicolae made it a clean sweep in the doubles portion with a tough 9-7 (7-5) win at the No. 1 position.
"We played great in the doubles point to go up 1-0," said Moore. "But we got off to some slow starts, and did not do a good job of controlling the things we can control at the beginning of the singles."
Things swung the other way in single action as SFA earned the first four wins in the second half of the match to clinch the first loss of the year for the Islanders.
Despite knowing their team could not win, Martin and Nicolae kept battling and came out with three-set victories to make it a 4-3 final score. Martin won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3, while Nicolae came out on top by a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 mark in No. 4 singles.
In the other singles matches, Kuselj lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1, Burges fell 6-4, 6-1, at No. 2 singles, Horan suffered a 6-0, 6-3 defeat at No. 5 and Leanne Mascall lost 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 6 position to clinch the match.
The team must shake off its first defeat of the season, as they travel to Sam Houston State on Tuesday for another test in Southland Conference action. The team will play the 12 p.m. Southland Conference match in Huntsville on the SHSU campus.
"I believe very deeply in this teams character and the incredible hard work they have put in this season," said Moore. "I know we will learn from this and be better in the long run."
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Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs Stephen F. Austin
03/10/13 at Nacogdoches, Texas
Stephen F. Austin 4, #69 Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 3
1. Malena Gordo (SFA) def. Doris Kuselj (AMCC) 6-0, 6-1
2. Julia Lorca (SFA) def. Sandra Burges (AMCC) 6-4, 6-1
3. Maider Martin (AMCC) def. Margot de Haan (SFA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Kateryna Bugayenko (SFA) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
5. Valeria Terentyeva (SFA) def. Chelsea Horan (AMCC) 6-0, 6-3
6. Laura Servise (SFA) def. Leanne Mascall (AMCC) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
1. Doris Kuselj/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Malena Gordo/Julia Lorca (SFA) 9-8 (7-5)
2. Chelsea Horan/Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Margot de Haan/Laura Servise (SFA) 8-4
3. Maider Martin/Mia Matuszak (AMCC) def. Kateryna Bugayenko/Valeria Terentyeva (SFA) 8-4
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 9-1, 2-1 Southland; National ranking #69
Stephen F. Austin 5-7, 2-0 Southland
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,2,5,6,3,4)