TCU Sweeps Columbia in Home Finale
FORT WORTH—The TCU men’s tennis team finished off its home schedule Tuesday afternoon with a 7-0 victory over Columbia at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The match was the squad’s final contest for the next two weeks before the start of its Mountain West Conference schedule April 2.
The Horned Frogs improved to 6-9 on the season while posting a victory on Senior Day. Kriegler Brink, the lone senior on this year’s squad, was honored between the doubles and singles matches.
Brink experienced an enjoyable final home experience, posting wins in both singles and doubles while helping TCU earn the easy team victory. After pairing with freshman Slah Mbarek for a win at No. 1 doubles, he outlasted Mihai Nichiforin three sets at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.
“I was happy to see Kriegler get those two wins here in his final home match,” Head Coach Dave Borelli said. “He has meant a lot to this program over the last four years, and that made it an emotional day.”
Sophomore Casey Powers put the Frogs on the board first in singles play with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Kevin Kung at the No. 6 position. Following Brink’s victory, sophomore Christopher Price clinched the team victory by defeating Haig Schneiderman at No. 5 singles, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Junior Adrian Simon continued to right his season following a slow start to the spring with a comeback victory over Ekin Sezgen at No. 4 singles, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (1). Freshman Slah Mbarek and sophomore Emanuel Brighiu each won in three sets in their respective top two positions. Mbarek, ranked 61st nationally, defeated Bogdan Borta, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, while Brighiu, ranked No. 114, downed Jon Wong, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
“I was really proud of the way our guys performed, especially Adi (Simon), Casey (Powers) and (Emanuel) Brighiu,” Boreli said. “Adi had been struggling and was able to play a good match against a tough opponent. I think he has gotten himself over the hump.”
TCU got an early jump on the Lions by sweeping each of the three doubles matches. Columbia entered Tuesday having won 17 consecutive doubles matches over its previous six outings, but the Frogs were able to win their ninth doubles point in the last 11 matches Tuesday.
Brink and Mbarek, ranked 28th nationally, improved to 10-1 with an 8-4 victory at No. 1 doubles after trailing by a count of 3-1 at one point in the match. Brighiu and Simon clinched the doubles point with an 8-2 win at the No. 2 position over Wong and Schneiderman, moving to 7-6 on the season in the process. Price and Seider then finished off a perfect TCU sweep with an 8-5 win in the third slot over Dan Urban and Rajeev Deb-Sen.
“We played our most complete match of the year today,” Borelli said. “It was a good time to do it heading into the conference schedule. I think it’s a great springboard for us. There are some good teams in the conference and we play on the road, but I don’t think that will be a problem for us.
We are used to playing away from home.
“The break gives some of our players who are injured the chance to get healthy. I’m really proud of how our team is playing, and we are excited about the opportunity to defend our Mountain West Conference championship. It should be a great challenge.”
With the non-conference season behind it, TCU takes the next two weeks off from competition. The squad opens its conference schedule on the road April 2-4 with matches against BYU, UNLV and Utah in Salt Lake City.
No. 50 TCU 7, Columbia 0
March 17, 2009
Fort Worth, Texas (Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center)
1. #28 Kriegler Brink/Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. Bogdan Borta/Mihai Nichifor (Columbia), 8-4
2. #21 Emanuel Brighiu/Adrian Simon (TCU) def. Jon Wong/Haig Schneiderman (Columbia) 8-2
3. Christopher Price/Jack Seider (TCU) def. Dan Urban/Rajeev Deb-Sen (Columbia) 8-5
1. #61 Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. Bogdan Borta (Columbia), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. #114 Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Jon Wong (Columbia), 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
3. #72 Kriegler Brink (TCU) def. Mihai Michifor (Columbia), 6-0, 3-6, 6-1
4. Adrian Simon (TCU) def. Ekin Sezgen (Columbia), 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (1)
5. Christopher Price (TCU) def. Haig Schneiderman (Columbia), 7-6 (3), 6-2
6. Casey Powers (TCU) def. Kevin Kung (Columbia), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish
Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,3,5,2,1,4)