The TCU Horned Frogs arrived in Chicago as reigning Indoor National Champions, having defeated Tennessee in the 2022 Championship Finals; from the 3-seed TCU dominated the other elite competition that reached the final 16, culminating with a take down of another UT in the 2023 Finals to lift the trophy in consecutive seasons with a 4-0 sweep of the Texas Longhorns on Monday.
The Horned Frogs were truly a dominant force throughout the entire tournament, dropping only two points total across the four matches in Chicago and the two wins needed in the Fort Worth Regional. TCU extended its indoor winning streak to 24 matches and has not yet dropped a doubles point this season. In running through the tournament, TCU has defeated seven Top-15 ranked opponents in February, all of which have been away from Fort Worth
TCU faced a familiar foe in the first round in Chicago, taking on the #10 Baylor Bears squad it took down in Waco the week prior. TCU rolled through the doubles point easily as Freshman Jack Pinnington Jones made his collegiate doubles debut, paired with Senior Sander Jong while the pair of Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives finished off the doubles point with a 6-3 win. In singles, the Frogs emerged from set tiebreakers to take two duals: Jake Fearnley took a point off of Baylor’s Tadeas Paroulek in a straight set 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 battle and Luc Fomba defeated Mark Miladinovic 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). The other point was earned by Sander Jong’s 6-4, 6-2 singles win. Gorzny, Pinnington, and Maxted were each leading in third sets that went unfinished as TCU clinched the sweep.
In the Quarterfinals, TCU matched up with the #13 Georgia Bulldogs, who knocked out #8 South Carolina in the opening round. In what was the toughest doubles point TCU had earned this season, top pairing Fearnley/Fomba dropped their first dual together this season in tiebreakers 7-6. Jong/JPJ and Vives/Gorzny each were pushed to the brink, but came away with 7-5 set wins to give the Frogs the early lead. Jake Fearnley earned a huge statement win over ITA #5 singles player Ethan Quinn 7-6 (7-1), 6-3. Sander Jong was working out of the 4-spot and made quick work of #62 Blake Croyder 6-4, 6-3. The match was clinched with simultaneous in-play points as Pinnington (7-5, 7-5) & Gorzny (7-6, 6-4) closed out the win. Pinnington’s win over #87 Trent Bryde marked his first collegiate singles victory.
The Semifinal was an opportunity for revenge, as the #2 Kentucky Wildcats were responsible for knocking the Horned Frogs out of the 2022 outdoor NCAA Tournament in the Quarterfinals. It was another battle between two of the sport’s best programs. The Frogs fell behind in the doubles point, as Jong/Pinnington fell 6-2, but the pairs of Fomba/Fearnley & Gorzny/Vives secured set wins to take the opening point. TCU extended the lead as Gorzny quickly dispatched his opponent in the 5-spot, defeating Jaden Weekes 6-2, 6-3. However the next two points were won by the Wildcats to tie up the contest, as #45 Liam Draxl took down Fearnley 7-6, 6-4 while #16 Joshua Lapadat needed three sets to knock off TCU’s Pinnington. The remaining three duals each went to the third set, ultimately seeing Fomba defeat #66 Alafia Ayeni 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and Tomas Jirousek bringing home the match winner with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over #57 Charlie Cosnet.
On to the Finals where the Horned Frogs got a first crack at the #6 Texas Longhorns, who also appear on TCU’s schedule two more times during the regular season. Pinnington & Jong took down the Longhorn pair of Woldeab/Bailly, both of whom are in the top-33 of the ITA Singles ranking, with a 6-4 win; the doubles point was earned when the Fearnley/Fomba combo outlasted the #4-ranked doubles pairing of Spizzirri/Harper 7-5. Once the match turned over to singles, it was pure Horned Frog domination, as courts 3,4, and 5 made such quick work of the Longhorns that the other duals barely had a chance to approach a finish. Pinnington was first to finish, crushing #65 Micah Braswell 6-4, 6-0. Next it was Sander Jong sending #25 Siem Woldeab packing with a thorough 6-2, 6-3 beating. From court 5 it was Sebastian Gorzny handling #112 Cleeve Harper 6-4, 6-1 as the Horned Frogs stormed the courts before lifting a 2nd consecutive ITA Indoor Team National Championship
The Horned Frogs are just getting started, moving up to the top spot in the National rankings, TCU will continue it’s season on the outdoor purple courts beginning Tuesday February 28 at 5:30 PM vs. UT-Arlington. The newly minted #1 Horned Frogs will then have a huge rematch against #2 Texas on Saturday March 4th at 3 PM in Fort Worth.