CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's tennis team earned their 20th win of the season today with a 4-0 victory over Central Arkansas (13-11, 5-7 SLC) to advance to the semifinal round of the Southland Conference Tournament. The Islanders (20-5, 11-1 SLC) came out strong to secure the doubles point before winning three straight-set singles matches to earn the victory at the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
A&M - Corpus Christi will face No. 3 seed McNeese State (16-6, 10-2 SLC) in the semifinals on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m. The Cowgirls topped Southeastern Louisiana, 4-2, today.
"UCA was tough, a lot of respect for the program they have built," Director of Tennis Steve Moore said. "I'm very proud of the intensity that we set at the beginning. There were some nerves at the beginning, but we bounced, breathed, and believed through it and started playing good tennis. These girls have been outfighting girls all year with heart and character, to say I believe in them is an understatement."
The Islanders, who earned the No. 2 seed after sharing the Southland regular-season title with Northwestern State, have garnered a program-best 20 wins and have now won five straight including 14 of their last 15 matches.
A&M - Corpus Christi got on board first after earning the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. The freshman-senior duo of Stefania Nicolae and Kerry Galhos topped Krizia Buck and Sasha Ruocco, 8-3, in No. 3 doubles. The Islanders then clinched the point after the sophomore pair of Maider Martin and Celia Rodriguez garnered an 8-4 win over Kristina Horsikyan and Cassidy Crawford in the No. 2 doubles slot.
The Islanders carried over their momentum into singles play to win three straight matches. Galhos dominated in No. 6 singles, with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Bianca Strukelj to tack on the Islanders second point of the day. The freshman has now won four straight in the No. 6 spot to improve her record to 11-1. She has collected a 15-3 overall singles mark in her first season as an Islander.
Burges then followed suit with a 6-4, 6-1 win in No. 5 singles to pad the Islanders' lead to 3-0. The senior cruised past Krizia Buck to win her fifth consecutive match and her 14th win at No. 5 singles. Burges, the all-time singles leader in Islanders history has registered a 60-21 record in her four years.
The Islanders clinched the match in No. 4 singles after Rodriguez breezed past Crawford, 6-2, 6-0, to capture her 13th consecutive singles match. The sophomore has tallied an impressive 20-3 overall singles record this season, including an incredible 16-0 record in No. 4 singles.
In No. 1 singles, Nicolae won her first set 6-4 over Simona Horsikyan, and was leading 3-1 in the second set when the match was clinched. In the No. 2 slot, Vives battled her way back to win the first set 7-5. The Southland Conference First Team honoree was down, 5-4, and clawed her way back to secure the 7-5 win. In the second set, the two were locked at 1-1. In the finals singles match, Martin dropped the first set to Horsikyan, 6-4, and was ahead 3-2 in the second set.
The Islanders will return to the semifinals for the second consecutive year at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
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. For more information on the tournament click HERE.
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Tennis Match Results
Central Arkansas vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
4/25/2014 at Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 4, Central Arkansas 0
1. Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) vs. Simona Horsikyan (UCA) 6-4, 3-1, unfinished
2. Judit Vives (AMCC) vs. Kelsey Williams (UCA) 7-5, 1-1, unfinished
3. Maider Martin (AMCC) vs. Kristina Horsikyan (UCA) 4-6, 3-2, unfinished
4. Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Cassidy Crawford (UCA) 6-2, 6-0
5. Sandra Burges (AMCC) def. Krizia Buck (UCA) 6-4, 6-1
6. Kerry Galhos (AMCC) def. Bianca Strukelj (UCA) 6-0, 6-0
1. Sandra Burges/Judit Vives (AMCC) vs. Kelsey Williams/Allison Murphy (UCA) 4-5, unfinished
2. Maider Martin/Celia Rodriguez (AMCC) def. Kristina Horsikyan/Cassidy Crawford (UCA) 8-4
3. Kerry Galhos/Stefania Nicolae (AMCC) def. Krizia Buck/Sasha Ruocco (UCA) 8-3
Central Arkansas 13-11, 5-7 SLC
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 20-5, 11-1 SLC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,5,4)
2014 Southland Conference Tournament