Islanders Tennis Back on the Road to Face Prairie View Wednesday

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's and women's tennis teams will travel to Prairie View, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 5 to take on the Panthers at 1 p.m. The match was originally scheduled for today but due to the high chance of rain showers the match was rescheduled for Wednesday.

"Our girls are excited at the chance to compete again," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "Anytime you have a tough loss the best thing you can do is get out and compete again as soon as possible. These girls have worked so hard and have such great character. I'm excited about Wednesday's opportunity and the chance to try to max out all the things we can control as a team."

The women's team (1-1) is looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Southern Miss on Saturday. Sophomore Celia Rodriguez and freshmen Kerry Galhos and Judit Vives all picked up singles victories in the loss. The Islanders will meet the Panthers (0-4) who went 7-13 last season and finished 4-3 in the SWAC.

Last season, the Islanders swept PVAM in both meetings, 7-0. In the first meeting, returners Maider Martin, Sandra Burges, Stefania Nicolae, Rodriguez and Ashley Garza each picked up straight-set singles victories at Prairie View. The second time around the Islanders blanked the Panthers in Corpus Christi. This time, Martin, Burges, Nicolae, Rodriguez and Chelsea Horan helped lead the Islanders to victory.

Leading PVAM are seniors Alexandria Young and Brittany Harrell, along with juniors Christine Ngo Gwodog and Erika Bond. The Panthers are coming off a 6-1 loss to UTPA. Prior to that, the squad dropped matches to Maryland Baltimore County, Baylor and Ohio State.

The Islanders men's team (6-3) will return to action after handing UMBC a 5-0 loss at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center in the home opener. The Islanders clinched five singles matches to win its fifth straight match. In the first two weeks of competition, sophomore Guillaume Rauseo and No. 1 singles player Peter Nagy were named the Southland Conference Men's Tennis Athletes of the Week.

"There's a lot these guys need to improve on," Moore said. "This is a very hungry group and they have been getting better every week. We're excited at the chance to compete Wednesday. We have to stay hungry, humble and be ready to play each point with intensity."  

The Islanders will face the Panthers (0-4) in their 10th match of the season, including its ninth match away from the Coastal Bend. Last season, Prairie View A&M clinched its 21st SWAC title and advanced to the NCAA Championships.

The last time the two teams met up was in Corpus Christi on March 21. The Islanders garnered a 5-2 victory with Matt Westmoreland, Ricardo Mayagoitia and Rauseo all earning singles wins to lead the Islanders to victory. Prior to that, both teams met up in Prairie View on Feb. 5. A&M - Corpus Christi handed the Panthers a 6-1 loss with Westmoreland, Rauseo, Mayagoitia and Pietro Jordao each posting singles wins.      

This season, PVAM has dropped dual matches to UMBC, Rice, UTPA and most recently Oral Roberts. The team is powered by seniors Craig Wiltz and David Aldaz along with five juniors, Daniel Vasquez, Bruno Synder, Trenton Johnson, James Jackson Jr. and Jonathan Dingle.

Following Wednesday's match, the women's team will return home to face UTPA on Monday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center. The men's team will next be in action on Sunday, Feb. 16 in Dallas, Texas, against conference foe Oral Roberts.

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