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Frogs Lose Close One in Elite Eight

TCU fell 4-3 to Ohio State, the #3 national seed.

TCU Men’s Tennis - Jerry Lopez

An incredible season for one of TCU’s best teams came to an end today in Georgia as the men’s tennis team came up just short against #3 Ohio State.

The Frogs started off strong in doubles and were the first to strike as Cam Norrie and Trevor Johnson won their match 6-4 on Court 3. However, soon after, Ohio State’s Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce, ranked #30 nationally, would get a 6-4 win on Court 2.

Everything would come down to Court 1, where TCU’s Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder, #25 in the nation, faced Herkko Pollanen and Mikael Torpegaard, #16 nationally. The Frogs battled back to force a tiebreak for the set and led in the tiebreak 4-2, but Ohio State took advantage of some misses by TCU to win the tiebreak 8-6 and the doubles point.

Going into singles down 1-0 in the match, TCU knew they needed to win 4 of the 6 singles courts to win the match. The Frogs trailed on a majority of the courts early in the first sets, but would manage to fight back and take the first set on 4 of the 6 courts.

The first singles match in the books came on Court 5, where Herkko Pollanen of Ohio State defeated TCU’s Reese Stalder 6-4, 6-4 to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead in the match. The Frogs would be next to get on the board though as #20 Alex Rybakov defeated #46 JJ Wolf 6-4, 6-4 on Court 2 to make it a 2-1 match.

The remaining matches all came down to tense 3rd sets, with the Frogs needing to win 3 of 4. Jerry Lopez rolled through his 3rd set on Court 4 to win his match 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 over Martin Joyce. With the match even at 2-2, the Buckeyes’ Kyle Seelig took down Trevor Johnson 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to put Ohio State back on top 3-2.

The #1 player in the nation, Cam Norrie of TCU, came through for the Frogs by winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 on Court 1 to even the match. It was an incredible match for Norrie, who defeated Mikael Torpegaard, the #2 singles player in the nation. It was a bit of revenge for Cam as he fell to Torpegaard last season in the semifinals of the NCAA individual singles tournament.

With the match tied at 3-3, all eyes turned to Court 3, where TCU’s Guillermo Nuñez, ranked #83 nationally, was locked in a battle with Ohio State’s Hugo Di Feo, ranked #9 in the nation. Nuñez gave it all he could but dropped his final three games and fell 6-4 in the 3rd set.

For the Frogs, the team season comes to an end, but it the season is not over for everyone. Cam Norrie and Alex Rybakov will be competing in the NCAA individual singles tournament and Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder will compete in the NCAA doubles tournament. Those tournaments will be played May 24-29 in Athens, Georgia.