TCU’s teams from the purple courts of Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center and teams from the links have wrapped up their regular seasons and conference tournaments, now turning their attention to the NCAA postseason. Three of the teams will be competing for national championships and all four programs will have some sort of representation. Some programs also brought home some serious hardware for the efforts of their student-athletes in conference play.
The TCU men’s tennis team, led by Head Coach David Roditi and Senior Alex Rybakov, the No. 4 singles player in the nation, has once again secured a national seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Frogs were chosen as the No. 10 team in the country and will once again get to host the first couple rounds on their home courts. TCU will open on Friday against Harvard at 5:00pm, following a matchup between Arizona State and Miami (FL) at 2:00pm.
It is #NCAATennis ⏰ in Fort Worth!— TCU Men's Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) April 30, 2019
Head out to the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center this weekend to catch the first two rounds of action!
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Should the Frogs advance through the first two rounds, the destination will be a super regional at a TBD location, depending on who advances. TCU is paired with the regional of the No. 7 seed Mississippi State. The eight super regional winners then advance to Orlando for the conclusion of the tournament.
Four Frogs will be heading to Orlando regardless of how far the team advances though, since two singles players and two doubles pairs have both been selected for the individual tournaments. Rybakov and Junior Alastair Gray, ranked No. 28 nationally in singles, both were selected for the individual singles tournament, with Rybakov being named the No. 4 seed. Those two will also team up in Orlando for action in the national doubles tournament, as they are currently ranked No. 15 in the nation as a pair. Joining them will be Senior Reese Stalder and Sophomore Bertus Kruger, who make up the No. 22 pair in the nation.
Although the Frogs’ reign atop the Big 12 Conference came to an end this year, winning a fourth-consecutive conference title would have been quite the feat given the level of play in the conference this season. All six of the programs are currently ranked in the Top 25, led by Texas at No. 2 nationally and Baylor No. 6 nationally, the two teams that defeated TCU in the regular season.
There might not be any Big 12 team trophies making their way back to Fort Worth this season, but there are a quite a few individual honors. Rybakov was named Big 12 co-Player of the Year and earned First Team honors while also being named No. 1 singles champion for his work on the main court. Alastair Gray earned Second Team honors for the Frogs while Freshman Sander Jong was named No. 6 singles champion, showcasing the depth of TCU’s roster.
TCU’s women’s tennis team did not qualify for the NCAA team tournament, but star Freshman Ellie Douglas did qualify for the individual singles tournament, which will also be held in Orlando in late May. Douglas also brought home numerous Big 12 honors, most notably being named unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year, along with her First Team and All-Freshman Team honors. Currently ranked No. 49 in the nation for singles, Douglas could anchor this team over the next few years and potentially help lead the Frogs back to the NCAA team tournament.
Shoutout to Ellie Douglas for picking up the first @Big12Conference Freshman of the Year honors for #TCUTennis!— TCU Women's Tennis (@TCUWomensTennis) May 1, 2019
Big 12 Freshman of the Year
All-Big 12 Singles First Team
Big 12 All-Freshman Team#GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/kcztbW1v1U
On the links, TCU men’s golf is heading into NCAA play on a roll, most recently finishing second in the Big 12 Tournament behind reigning national champions Oklahoma State. At the tournament, Senior Hayden Springer won the individual title by shooting 8-under, one stroke ahead of Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland, who is currently ranked No. 3 individually in collegiate golf and was the low-amateur at this year’s Masters.
Prior to the Big 12 Tournament, the Frogs had finished first in two of their three prior events, which hopefully means they are playing their best golf at the right time. TCU, ranked No. 30 nationally, will be heading down to the University of Texas Golf Club for their regional, where they are ranked as the No. 5 seed. Joining TCU in the top 5 of the Austin regional are No. 1 Texas, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Pepperdine, and No. 4 Clemson. The 54-hole regional will be conducted May 13-15 and the five lowest-scoring teams of the fourteen competing will advance to the NCAA finals in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
After finishing fourth in the Big 12 Tournament, the TCU women’s golf team will also be heading for an NCAA regional in the coming weeks. The Frogs, who are ranked No. 24 nationally, will be heading to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma for the regional, where they will be the No. 6 seeded team.
Seeded ahead of the Frogs in Norman will be No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Wake Forest, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Arizona State, and No. 5 Oklahoma. On the women’s side, eighteen teams will be competing in the regional, so the six lowest-scoring teams will advance to the NCAA finals in Fayetteville.
Best of luck to all the Frogs competing in the postseason!