Islanders Tennis Set to Host Southland Conference Championships
WOMEN'S TENNIS: NO. 2 TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (19-5, 11-1 SLC) VS. NO. 7 CENTRAL ARKANSAS (13-10, 5-7 SLC)
Southland Conference Tournament • Friday, April 25 • 2 p.m. • Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
MEN'S TENNIS: NO. 1 TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (17-9, 6-0 SLC) VS. NO. 4 NEW ORLEANS (6-10, 2-4 SLC)
Southland Conference Tournament • Saturday, April 26 • 10 a.m. • Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's and women's tennis teams will host the Southland Conference Tournament this weekend for the first time in program history. The women's team (19-5, 11-1 SLC) received the No. 2 seed after clinching a share of the Southland Conference regular-season title, and will open play Friday, April 25, at 2 p.m. against No. 7 Central Arkansas.
The men's team (17-9, 6-0 SLC), who clinched their seventh straight Southland Conference regular-season title on Monday, will open play on Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m. as the No. 1 seed and will face No. 4 New Orleans.
"I want to encourage the Corpus Christi community to please come out and support the Islanders' tennis teams in the Southland Conference Tennis Championships," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "The Corpus Christi tennis community has been an incredible fan base and advantage to Islanders Tennis, and I can't tell you how much the great Corpus Christi tennis community has helped our players by creating a tremendous atmosphere and home-court advantage. We need your support this weekend more than ever as a birth into the NCAA Championships are on the line for our men's and women's teams. This will be an electric event as teams compete to win that bid to the NCAA National Team Championships."
The women's team has garnered a program-best 19 wins and garnered their 11th straight Southland win on Monday. The team has now won 13 of their last 14 matches and will come into Friday's play as the No. 2 seed. The Islanders and Northwestern State earned a share of the Southland Conference regular-season title after they each lost one match in Southland play.
On Wednesday, the Islanders continued their historic season as Judit Vives became the first Islanders freshman to garner First Team All-Southland honors in singles play, while Celia Rodriguez was named Second Team All-Southland for the second consecutive year. In addition, Maider Martin (No. 3), Sandra Burges (No. 5) and Rodriguez (No. 4) each earned conference championships in singles play.
Vives has been outstanding for the Islanders in singles play and will come into Friday's action on a 12-match winning streak and an 18-1 singles record. After compiling a 6-0 record at No. 6 singles, she moved her way up to No. 4 and tallied a 1-1 record, before picking up five wins at No. 3. Vives, in her current position of No. 2 singles has put together a perfect 6-0 mark.
Rodriguez also comes into Friday's match on a 12-match winning streak and an 19-3 overall record. This season she has compiled a perfect 15-0 record in the No. 4 slot. In her two years, she has only dropped two conference losses for a combined 16-2 record.
Last season, the Islanders came up just short of an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships, falling 4-1, to Northwestern State in the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament.
The Islanders will face the No. 7 Bears (13-10, 5-7 SLC) who they faced in a neutral-site match in Dallas on March 25. The Islanders secured their third conference victory of the season over UCA with a 6-1 victory. A&M - Corpus Christi secured a tight doubles point before picking up five straight-set singles victories. Martin, Vives, Rodriguez, Burges and Kerry Galhos all picked up singles wins.
The Islanders men's team will enter Saturday's opening round against the Privateers (6-10, 2-4 SLC), who they topped Monday night, 6-1, to clinch the regular-season title. Today the Islanders were recognized for their accomplishments in the Southland Conference this season. Peter Nagy was named the Southland Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year while Moore earned the Men's Tennis Coach of the Year honor for the eighth straight year. He became the first coach in the history of the Southland Conference in any sport to win coach of the year eight consecutive years.
The Islanders also placed a total of four players on the all-conference teams for singles play with sophomore Ricardo Mayagoitia and sophomore Javier Pujol joining Nagy on the all-conference first team, and freshman Paul Cook earned a spot on the second team.
The Islanders only allowed five points in Southland play this season, for a total season record of 35-5. In addition, the Islanders have won 12 consecutive regular-season conference matches in three years.
Nagy has powered the Islanders this season with a perfect 6-0 record in Southland matches at No. 1 singles. He never lost a set throughout league play and finished the regular season with a team-best 18-3 dual-match record in the No. 1 position. Nagy has tallied a 15-1 career record in the Southland, with his only loss in his career in conference play coming during his freshman year.
Also highlighting the Islanders in singles play has been Mayagoitia and Pujol. Mayagoitia compiled a 5-1 conference record in the No. 2 spot and will enter Saturday's action with a 13-7 record in No. 2 singles. Pujol has tallied a perfect 6-0 record in Southland play and is currently on a five-match winning streak. Pujol earned four of his conference wins at No. 3 singles and two at No. 4 singles, while recording an overall 15-9 record.
Last season, the Islanders returned to the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in six years, after securing a 4-2 victory over the Privateers to win the Southland Conference Championship. In the opening round of the Southland Conference Tournament, A&M - Corpus Christi blanked Lamar, 4-0, to advance to the finals.
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