CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The powerhouse Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tennis team is back on the courts of the Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.
I'm excited," said Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "We have a really high character, hard-working group. It's really not that complicated though; it's about culture, earning it, paying the price and doing tough, sacrificial things that a lot of others aren't willing to do. If we make the choice to do these things, with the talent this group has, we'll have a very successful season."
The Islanders opened fall practice this afternoon, welcoming eight new players to the fold with six men and two women joining the roster.
The Blue and Green is coming off a historic season for the women's team, which finished the regular season 21-0 before winning the Southland Conference Championship and reaching 24-0. The Islanders were the only team in the nation to finish the 2016 regular season undefeated before falling in the NCAA Tournament to eventual national champion Stanford.
The men are coming off a 10th consecutive season reaching the national rankings. Four seniors return to lead the men while the Islanders welcome a stout and highly-rated recruiting class which includes six new players.
"It ultimately comes down to being great at a few simple things you can control," said Moore. "Not hard work, but extreme hard work – Not being a good teammate, but being a great teammate – And being willing to make tough sacrifices that are probably a bit too much for most people. If they're willing to make those choices, then this can be a memorable season for both of these teams.
"It's our job as coaches to make them understand that the athletic discipline lifestyle gives them a full tank of gas to work hard every day," Moore continued. "There are a lot of people that want to work hard, but they don't have the disciplined lifestyle to allow themselves to work hard and improve at a great rate. So we run a tight ship to allow them to be their best."
The Islanders open their fall season with the men at the Rice Pro Future Qualifier on September 3-4. The Blue and Green will host the Islanders Open on September 16-18 and then welcome the return of the Mercedes Benz Fundraiser Tournament the following weekend, September 24.