The NCAA tennis tournaments are in full swing (pun intended) and both the TCU men’s and women’s teams have gotten off to strong starts. On the courts today, the women defeated Rice 4-0 in the Stanford regional and the men won the Fort Worth regional by defeating Florida State 4-1.
The women got things started early this morning by taking the doubles point over Rice by winning on Courts 1 and 2. Donika Bashota and Olaya Garrido-Rivas, ranked #19 in the nation in doubles, struck first by defeating the #87 duo, Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang, 6-4 on Court 1. Alexis Pereira and Sofiko Kadzhaya then secured the doubles point and the 1-0 lead in the match by taking down Alison Ho and Priya Niezgoda 6-4 on Court 2.
With a 1-0 advantage in the match, the Frogs continued their dominance in singles, winning the first set on 5 of the 6 singles courts. Seda Arantekin, #61 in the nation in singles, was the first TCU player to get on the board by defeating #84 Lindsey Hodge 6-1, 7-5 on Court 1.
On Court 2, Sofiko Kadzhaya was next to finish her opponent, taking down #120 Katherine Ip 6-4, 6-3. Caroline Wegner finished off Rice by defeating Alison Ho 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 on Court 6 to give the Frogs the 4-0 victory.
With the victory, the women’s tennis team advances to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow at 3pm CT. The Frogs will have to face the host, Stanford, who took down Idaho 4-0 today. Stanford, the reigning national champions, are the #7 national seed and have an overall record of 22-2.
In Fort Worth, the men’s tennis team started off strong by cruising to some easy victories in doubles. Cam Norrie and Trevor Johnson were once again the first ones to finish, defeating Terrance Whitehurst and Terrell Whitehurst 6-2 on Court 3. The #25 pair in the nation, Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder of TCU, then secured the doubles point and 1-0 advantage in the match with a 6-2 victory on Court 1 over the #58 pair in the nation, Aziz Dougaz and Guy Iradukunda.
Like the women’s team, the men continued their dominance into singles play by taking the first sets on 5 of the 6 courts. Cam Norrie, the #1 singles player in the nation, cruised past #38 Aziz Dougaz 6-1, 6-0 on Court 1 to give TCU a 2-0 lead. The Seminoles would strike next though as #94 Lucas Poullain defeated #83 Guillermo Nuñez of TCU 6-4, 6-4 on Court 3. That would be all that Florida State would get though.
Reese Stalder was the next Frog to get on the board as he took down Alex Knaff 6-3, 6-4 on Court 5. TCU then won the match on Court 2, where #20 Alex Rybakov defeated #79 Guy Iradukunda 6-2, 7-5. The win gives the Frogs their 16th consecutive victory, a streak that started in California on March 10 and has featured victories over 13 ranked opponents.
With the victory, the men’s team, the #6 national seed, advances to the Sweet 16 and will head to Athens, Georgia, where the remaining rounds will be played. Their next match will be against Illinois this coming Thursday, May 18. The Illini advanced to Athens by winning the Stillwater regional, defeating Drake 4-0 yesterday and host Oklahoma State 4-3 today. The Frogs defeated Illinois 5-2 on March 22 in Fort Worth as part of this long win streak. Illinois’ Aleks Vukic is one of the few people to have beaten the Frogs’ Cam Norrie this season.