Red Raiders Hand Frogs 5-2 Loss
LUBBOCK, Texas—The No. 32 TCU men’s tennis team continued its solid recent doubles play Saturday, but the squad was unable to hold off No. 29 Texas Tech in singles during a 5-2 loss at the Red Raiders’ McLeod Tennis Center.
The loss dropped the Frogs to 2-7 on the season, while Texas Tech improved to 4-3. Each of TCU's matches this season has come to teams currently ranked among the nation's top-57 squads.
TCU took the doubles point for the fifth straight match against a top-29 team Saturday. Sophomore Emanuel Brighiu and junior Adrian Simon, ranked 32nd nationally, clinched the point by upending the nation’s 16th-ranked tandem of Ranoy Carvalho and Christian Rojmar, 8-6. Brighiu and Simon were playing together for the first time since Feb. 22, as Brighiu returned after missing Thursday’s match against No. 9 Ole Miss because of injury.
Senior Kriegler Brink and freshman Slah Mbarek got the Frogs rolling in doubles by improving to a perfect 5-0 this spring with an 8-3 win over Sinisa Markovic and Michael Breler at No. 2 doubles.
Mbarek remained unbeaten on the week by adding TCU’s lone singles victory in the No. 3 slot, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), over Rojmar. The Frog freshman improved to 5-3 this spring, including a mark of 4-1 at the No. 3 position.
TCU had a chance to reverse the team result, but three-set matches at Nos. 5 and 6 singles finished in Tech’s favor. Sophomore Zach Nichols rallied to win the second set after dropping the first at the No. 5 position to Michael Breler, but Breler won in a third set tiebreaker, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4). Simon, playing in the No. 6 slot, won his first set, 6-3, before dropping both the second and third sets in tiebreakers to Milos Kustudija, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3). Kustudija’s win clinched the Raiders’ team victory prior to the conclusion of the Nichols-Breler match.
Senior Kriegler Brink suffered only his third loss of the spring, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 singles to Carvalho, who is the Raiders’ top-rated singles player (No. 19), while sophomore Christopher Price suffered a 6-4, 6-3 setback to Gonzalo Escobar while playing in the No. 4 slot, his highest position of the spring. Brighiu fell to Markovic in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, in his return outing for TCU at top singles.
“It was a good test for us, playing on the road and at altitude,” Head Coach Dave Borelli said. “Our doubles played great once again, but we didn’t play very well at the top in singles. Those matches at the bottom were tight and could have gone either way, but I’m disappointed we weren’t able to win.”
TCU plays each of its next six matches at home in the month of March, with the first test being a 6 p.m. matchup Wednesday, March 4, against SMU.
No. 29 Texas Tech 5, No. 32 TCU 2
Feb. 28, 2009
Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center)
1. #32 E. Brighiu/A. Simon (TCU) def. #16 R. Carvalho/C. Rojmar (TTU) 8-6
2. K. Brink/S. Mbarek (TCU) def. S. Markovic/M. Breler (TTU) 8-3
3. G. Escobar/D. Gonzalez (TTU) def. Z. Nichols/C. Price (TCU) 9-7
1. Sinisa Markovic (TTU) def. #68 Emmanuel Brighiu (TCU) 6-2, 6-2
2. #19 Raony Carvalho (TTU) def. Kriegler Brink (TCU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. Christian Rojmar (TTU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Michael Breler (TTU) def. Zach Nichols (TCU) 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4)
6. Milos Kustudija (TTU) def. Adrian Simon (TCU) 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3)