FORT WORTH – The TCU men’s tennis team ended the opening homestand of the 2011 season with a tough 4-3 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
“We have to get better in preparing for our matches,” TCU head coach David Roditi. “As a staff, we have to turn up the intensity in practice to get this team ready to play. I take full responsibility for not having my team ready.”
For the second-straight match, TCU (2-1) swept all three courts to claim the doubles point. After junior Slah Mbarek and sophomore Soren Goritzka cruised to an 8-2 victory from the No. 2 position, senior Zach Nichols and junior newcomer Daniel Sanchez clinched the early 1-0 advantage from the third court with an 8-4 win.
TCU’s No. 55 doubles team of seniors Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price earned another tough-fought victory, moving their early season record to 3-0. With the crowd behind them, the Horned Frog duo topped the Islanders’ top tandem of James Langford and Laurent Montoisy in dramatic fashion, 8-7 (12).
Senior Cameron Nash gave TCU a 2-0 lead in the team scoring, knocking off TAMUCC’s Gergo Weindinger from the No. 5 court in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Nichols pushed the Frogs to within one singles win from winning the match, defeating Raguz from the third court, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
However, the Islanders weren’t going away that easy. After earning a win from the No. 6 singles court, TAMUCC’s Langford brought his team from within one point after dropping Gortizka in three sets from the No. 2 spot, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. The Islanders tied the team score at 3-3 with a three-set winner from the fifth court.
With all eyes left on the top spot, TCU’s Brighiu was in the middle of a battle with Montoisy. After falling in an opening tiebreaker set, 7-6 (5), the Iasi, Romania, product pulled himself together to take the second frame, 6-4. In the final set, with the team win on the line, Brighiu jumped out to an impressive 3-1 lead, only to have Montoisy show enough grit to pull off the upset, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4.
“We missed a chance early in singles to take some open sets,” Roditi said. We let some matches slip out of our hands late, because we couldn’t play well to start singles.”
The 49th-ranked Frogs will now pack their bags for the first road trip of the season, leaving the Lone Star State to take on Wichita State (Feb. 4) and No. 35 Tulsa (Feb. 6).
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-4) def. No. 49 TCU (2-1), 4-3
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center | Fort Worth, Texas
1. Laurent Montoisy (TAMUCC) def. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4
2. James Langford (TAMUCC) def. Soren Goritzka (TCU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
3. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Robert Raguz (TAMUCC) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
4. Aurelien Tave (TAMUCC) def. Slah Mbarek (TCU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
5. Cameron Nash (TCU) def. Gergo Weindinger (TAMUCC) 6-3, 6-4
6. Matt Westmoreland (TAMUCC) def. Santiago Centeno (TCU) 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 5, 3, 6, 2, 4, 1*
1. No. 55 Brighiu/Price (TCU) def. Langford/Montoisy (TAMUCC) 8-7 (12)
2. Mbarek/Goritzka (TCU) def. Raguz/Robinson (TAMUCC) 8-2
3. Nichols/Sanchez (TCU) def. Maingot/Pavlov (TAMUCC) 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3*, 1