CORPUS CHRISTI – For the third straight year, the Marco & Co. Catering Islanders Open will feature an all-Islanders men's singles final. Sophomore Ricardo Mayagoitia and freshman Kevin Bettendroffer will face each other at 3 p.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center in the finals of the singles draw. The women's doubles draw will also feature an all-Islanders matchup with the duo of Stefania Nicolae and Maider Martin set to take on Sandra Burges and Chelsea Horan at 3 p.m.
"A lot of gutsy efforts out of our players today," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I thought that Kevin Bettendroffer and Paul Cook showed great maturity and mental toughness today. I like the way our team managed their bodies and made good choices through two very long days. It takes a lot of discipline to stay ready, hydrated and loose when you arrive at 7:30 a.m. in the morning and don't leave until 8:30 p.m. two days in a row. That's how you build mental toughness in players. If it was easy there would be a lot more tougher players out there.
"I can't thank Marco and Cathy Mattolini enough for bringing every player, coach and staff in this tournament breakfast, lunch and dinner today. I also want to give a heartfelt thanks to Gerald Tjon-a-joe and HEB Tennis Center for allowing us to use their facility on back-to-back rain days. This is a very prestigious event for our university and we would have been rained out if it weren't for the Corpus Christi Athletic Club and the HEB Tennis Center."
After another day of inclement weather the Islanders had another impressive day at the HEB Tennis Center. In the men's draw, freshman Paul Cook powered his way to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over senior Matt Westmoreland to advance to the semifinals. After dropping the first 6-2, Cook bounced back to win the second set 6-4. In the super tiebreaker, the freshman fell behind 6-2 and rallied back to win 11-9.
Bettendroffer also secured his quarterfinals match with a 6-4,6-4 victory over Jair Assuncao of UIW and faced Cook in the semifinals. The two freshmen battled it out in the semifinals with long rallies until Bettendroffer sealed a 6-4, 6-4 win.
The other Islanders' quarterfinal match featured Mayagoitia and Pietro Jordao. Mayagoitia captured a 6-1, 6-1 victory and followed it with a 6-1, 6-4 semifinals win over Josip Smoljan of UIW. The sophomore will take on Bettendroffer in the singles final at 3 p.m. It will mark the third time the Islanders will crown a men's single champion. Last season, Peter Nagy topped Westmoreland in the finals and prior to that Aurelien Tave beat out Westmoreland for the title.
Sophomore Javier Pujol won all three of his consolation singles matches to advance to the finals of the consolation draw tomorrow. In his first match of the day, he squeezed out a 7-6 (0), 3-1 victory over Mauricio Fosado of UTPA, who retired due to an injury. In the quarterfinals, Pujol won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3 over Boburjon Kamijanov of UTSA and followed it with a 5-7, 6-2 (6) clinching victory over Leonard Ivic in the semifinals to move on to the consolation finals at 10 a.m. He will face Sebastien Job of UTPA.
The doubles finals will feature the pair of Bettendroffer and Guillaume Rauseo against Harley Pearson and Kamijanov of UTSA at 10 a.m. The freshman-sophomore duo notched an 8-5 victory over Ricardo Hopker and Chetan Panditi of UTPA in the semifinals to advance. Pearson and Kamijanov topped Islanders duo Westmoreland and Cook this morning 8-2.
The women's doubles draw will feature an all-Islanders matchup after the pair of Nicolae and Martin and the duo of Burges and Horan clinched their semifinal matches. Nicolae and Martin pulled out an 8-7 (3) quarterfinals win over Florence Boinon and Sasha Khadzhyan of St. Edwards. The Islanders pair then clinched an 8-7 (3) win over Rocio Fernandez and Tina Rupert of Houston in the semifinals to advance. Saturday's matches ended with the duo of Burges and Horan sealing an 8-4 victory over Phillips and Sanders of Houston in the semifinals to advance. Prior to that, the Islanders pair secured an 8-3 quarterfinals win over the Islanders duo of Celia Rodriguez and Ashley Garza. Nicolae and Martin and Burges and Horan are set for a 3 p.m. start but the match could be pushed back depending on the women's singles final matchup.
Nicolae and Martin also both advanced to the semifinals of the singles draw and depending on the outcome could face each other in the final round. Nicolae topped Hana Elving of Lamar 6-2, 6-3 and followed it with a 3-6, 6-2 (6) win over Charlotte Phillips of Houston. She will face Fernandez in the semifinal round at 10 a.m. Also advancing to the semifinal round is Martin. The reigning Marco & Co. Catering Islanders Open women's singles champion won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals over UIW's Ivana Catavia. She will face Dariya Dashutina of Lamar in the semifinals at 10 a.m.
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Sunday's Schedule at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center:
Men's final doubles (Bettendroffer/Rauseo vs. Pearson/Kamijanov)
Men's singles consolation (Pujol vs. Job)
Women's singles semifinals (Nicolae vs. Fernandez, Martin vs. Dashutina)
Women's singles consolation (Lapayeva vs. Porte)
Women's final singles (Winner of Nicolae vs. Fernandez and Martin vs. Dashutina)
Women's final doubles (Nicolae/Martin vs. Burges/Horan)
Men's final singles (Bettendroffer vs. Mayagoitia)