TCU Men Fall to No. 25 Virginia Tech, 4-3
FORT WORTH—TCU suffered its second straight 4-3 defeat to a ranked opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference Friday during a home setback to No. 25 Virginia Tech at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The match was played indoors due to inclement weather.
The loss dropped TCU to 5-9 on the season, while Virginia Tech improved to 9-2. The match was the Frogs’ 12th in 14 contests this spring against a ranked opponent.
TCU found itself in an early hole after dropping the doubles point, but senior Kriegler Brink followed with his team-leading 10th singles victory of the spring at the No. 3 position, 6-3, 6-0, over Luka Somen to knot the team score at 1-1. The win was Brink’s fourth straight victory and moved the nation’s 80th-ranked player to 10-2.
The Hokies responded by moving out to a 3-1 lead with victories by Sebastian Jacques in the No. 4 slot over junior Adrian Simon (7-5, 6-0) and Patrick Daciek at No. 5 singles over sophomore Christopher Price (6-4, 7-5).
Sophomore Emanuel Brighiu, ranked 79th nationally and competing in singles for the first time since March 6 because of an injury, brought the Frogs closer at 3-2 with a three-set win over Nicolas Delgado (6-1, 3-6, 6-1) at No. 2 singles, but Virginia Tech’s top player, No. 59 Yoann Re, closed out the team victory at the No. 1 position with a three-set win over TCU freshman Slah Mbarek, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Mbarek, the reigning two-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Week, is ranked No. 93.
Frog sophomore Casey Powers recorded his second win of the spring at No. 6 singles after the outcome of the team race had been decided, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9, over Brandon Corace.
TCU took the first doubles match of the day with Mbarek and Brink downing the nation’s 67th-ranked tandem of Delgado and Somen at the No. 1 position, 8-1, but the Hokies were able to take the other two doubles decisions to claim the point. Mbarek and Brink, who are ranked No. 26 nationally, improved to 9-1 on the season and 3-0 at the top position.
“I felt pretty positive about the match, even though it was a tough one to lose,” head coach Dave Borelli said. “Zach (Nichols) was injured for us and unable to play, but I thought Casey (Powers) and (Emanuel) Brighiu each played well. Overall, I was pleased with how we competed. We just need to get some guys healthy and we’re going to be okay.
“We have one more match to play (March 17 vs. Columbia) before taking a little break, then we head into the most important part of our season in trying to defend our conference title. It will be important to get everyone healed up and ready to play.”
TCU returns to the courts Tuesday for its final home match of the season when it plays host to Columbia at 2 p.m.
No. 25 Virginia Tech 4, TCU 3
March 13, 2009
Fort Worth, Texas (Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center)
1. #59 Yoann Re (VT) def. #93 Slah Mbarek (TCU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
2. #79 Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Nicolas Delgado (VT) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
3. #80 Kriegler Brink (TCU) def. Luka Somen (VT) 6-3, 6-0
4. Sebastian Jacques (VT) def. Adrian Simon (TCU) 7-5, 6-0
5. Patrick Daciek (VT) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Casey Powers (TCU) def. Brandon Corace (VT) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11-9)
1. #26 Slah Mbarek/Kriegler Brink (TCU) def. #67 Nicolas Delgado/Luka Somen (VT) 8-1
2. Sebastian Jacques/Yoann Re (VT) def. #14 Adrian Simon/Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) 8-4
3. Pedro Graber/Brandon Corace (VT) def. Jack Seider/Christopher Price (TCU) 8-5
Virginia Tech 9-2; TCU 5-9
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,4,5,2,1,6)
Match was moved indoors due to rain