Frogs Down No. 65 UNLV, 5-2
SALT LAKE CITY—TCU continued its opening weekend of Mountain West Conference action Friday with a second straight victory over a league opponent during a 5-2 win over No. 65 UNLV at Utah’s Eccles Tennis Center.
The Frogs ran their winning streak to three matches while improving to 8-9 overall this season and 2-0 in MWC play. UNLV dropped to 12-10 overall and 1-3 in conference matches.
Much like Thursday’s win over BYU, TCU earned the doubles point prior to taking four of six singles matches, although the doubles win came with a little more difficulty against the Rebels. Two of the three matches went to tiebreakers.
Freshman Slah Mbarek and senior Kriegler Brink, rated No. 31 nationally in doubles, posted an 8-6 win at the top position over Luca Barlocchi and Elliot Wronski, who entered the day ranked 79th. The win by Mbarek and Brink was the pair’s third this season over a ranked doubles opponent. Sophomores Zach Nichols and Christopher Price then fell to Mehdi Bouras and Wesley Burrows in a tight match at the No. 3 slot, 9-8 (5), but junior Adrian Simon and sophomore Emanuel Brighiu, ranked 20th nationally, were able to outlast Atilla Toth and Nikolaj Wulff at No. 2 doubles, 9-8 (4), to record the team point for TCU.
The Frogs have now taken the doubles point in 11 of their last 13 outings.
Brink continued his recent roll in singles play, posting a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Bouras in the No. 2 position to extend his winning streak to seven straight matches. Brink has now won 14 consecutive matches when combining his singles and doubles efforts, dating back to TCU’s March 4 win over SMU.
Brighiu and Nichols, who both have missed time this spring due to injury, rebounded from Thursday singles defeats to post straight-set victories Friday. Brighiu, ranked 110th nationally, defeated Barlocchi at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 7-5, while Nichols downed Burrows, 6-4, 7-5, in the No. 4 slot.
Sophomore Casey Powers accounted for TCU’s other team point by recording his fourth consecutive win at No. 6 singles with a 6-1, 6-2, decision over Bryan Miller.
Freshman Slah Mbarek saw his two-match winning streak at No. 1 singles end at the hands of Wronski, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, while Price fell, 2-6, 7-5, 10-4, to Toth in a super tiebreaker at the No. 5 position.
“We played well again today against another very good opponent,” head coach Dave Borelli said. “The guys really came through in doubles under some serious pressure to get things going. I was also pleased with the way Emanuel (Brighiu) and Zach (Nichols) bounced back today.”
TCU finishes up three straight days of competition with a 2 p.m. CDT match on Saturday against Utah, which is hosting this weekend’s action. The 54th-ranked Utes were the only MWC team to defeat the Frogs last season, when the regular-season league crown was split three ways between TCU, New Mexico and Utah.
No. 50 TCU 5, No. 65 UNLV 2
April 3, 2009
Salt Lake City, Utah (Eccles Tennis Center)
1. #31 Kriegler Brink/Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. #79 Luca Barlocchi/Elliot Wronski (UNLV), 8-6
2. #20 Emanuel Brighiu/Adrian Simon (TCU) def. Atilla Toth/Nikolaj Wulff (UNLV), 9-8 (4)
3. Mehdi Bouras/Wesley Burrows (UNLV) def. Zach Nichols/Christopher Price (TCU), 9-8 (5)
1. Elliot Wronski (UNLV) def. #62 Slah Mbarek (TCU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. #76 Kriegler Brink (TCU) def. Mehdi Bouras (UNLV) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
3. #110 Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. Luca Barlocchi (UNLV) 6-3, 7-5
4. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Wesley Burrows (UNLV) 6-4, 7-5
5. Attila Toth (UNLV) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-4)
6. Casey Powers (TCU) def. Bryan Miller (UNLV) 6-1, 6-2