This past weekend TCU Men’s Tennis competed at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago and secured their second straight indoor Natty. The Frogs have been dominant all season and the ITA tournament was no different as TCU swept three of their four matches including the National Championship winning match.
TCU faced off against a familiar foe in Baylor in the first round of the tournament who was the 10th overall seed. TCU has been unbeatable in doubles throughout the season. That was the same against Baylor as Sander Jong/Jack Pinnington and Sebastian Gorzny/Pedro Vives won their doubles matches both by scores of 6-3 to secure the doubles point. The Frogs got off to very hot singles starts as well, winning 5 of 6 first sets. Jake Fearnley, Luc Fomba, and Jong all were able to close out their matches in straight sets and clinch the win for TCU 4-0. Lui Maxted and Pinnington were both 1 game away from clinching their respective matches when TCU clinched.
The next opponent for TCU provided an opportunity for revenge for a playoff game in a different sport as Georgia advanced to the second round to play the Frogs. Georgia presented the closest doubles match TCU has faced this season with all three pairings going to a tiebreaker. It was Jong/Pinnington and Gorzny/Vives securing victories in doubles once again for the Frogs to give them a 1-0 lead. TCU did not look back from there as they would win 5 of 6 first sets in singles. The Georgia singles lineup featured a few very highly ranked players as Fearnley and Fomba were matched up against the number 5 and 8 ranked singles players by ITA respectively. Fearnley was dominant despite the fierce competition as he won in straight sets and Fomba was leading in what would have been a decisive third set 4-3. Jong, Pinnington, and Gorzny all won in straight sets as well with Pinnington and Gorzny clinching their matches simultaneously resulting in a 5-0 victory for the Frogs.
The next match would be the biggest test of the weekend as the number 2 seeded Kentucky Wildcats were the opponent for the Frogs in the semifinals. TCU won the doubles point once again, this time behind victories from Fearnley/Fomba and Gorzny/Vives by scores of 6-4 and 6-3 respectively. The singles matches were battles all the way around as 3 of 5 completed matches went 3 sets and the one uncompleted match was in its third set when TCU clinched. Gorzny had the only straight-sets singles win for TCU with scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Fomba and Tomas Jirousek both took the first and third sets on their way to singles wins with Jirousek getting the match clincher, sending TCU back to the National Championship.
Another Big 12 rival awaited TCU in the National Championship Game as Texas had made it to the final as the number 6 overall seed. The doubles point was won by the Frogs thanks to 6-2 and 7-5 wins from Jong/Pinnington and Fearnley/Fomba respectively. The Gorzny/Vives pairing was winning 6-5 when TCU clinched as well. The Frogs left no doubt who the best team in the nation was with a dismantling of their Texas opponents in singles as Jong, Pinnington, and Gorzny all won in straight sets by comfortable margins. Jong won his sets 6-2 and 6-3, Pinnington won his sets 6-4, 6-0, and Gorzny clinched the championship with sets of 6-4 and 6-1.
Shutting out 3 of 4 opponents in the ITA tournament on the way to a National Championship is an incredible feat and TCU Men’s Tennis isn’t done yet as they will start their outdoor season next Tuesday in Fort Worth against UTA.
TCU Women’s Tennis suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of a very good LSU team by a score of 6-1. The total score makes it seem like a blowout while in reality, the Frogs were a lot closer than what 6-1 would indicate. Helena Narmont and Yu-Chin Tsai won as the second doubles pairing for TCU while Mercedes Arestigui and Jade Otway dropped a close one against the Tigers’ top pairing 6-3.
LSU clinched the doubles point with a victory over the third Horned Frog pairing of Margaret Polk and Destinee Martins. 3 of LSU’s singles victories took all 3 sets to determine and Tsai battled both of her sets to tiebreakers against LSU’s number 6 singles player. Otway was the lone singles winner for TCU against LSU and she did it in straight sets as well by scores of 6-4 and 7-6 (7-5). The Frogs will be back in action on February 24th on the road in Orlando against future Big 12 opponent UCF.
Number 2 ranked TCU Equestrian secured a big-time win over a top 5 opponent in number 3 ranked Texas A&M this past Saturday in Fort Worth. The Frogs started off strong with a 5-0 sweep in Fences behind an outstanding ride from Sydney Berube who earned a score of 87 and MOP honors for the event. Ashleigh Scully won a point in a very close match by a score of 85-84. Isabella Baxter had a strong ride, scoring 86 points while Jordyn Scelsa and Ella Bostwick both secured victories to complete the sweep.
Reigning was a much closer event but the Frogs still prevailed by a score of 3-2. Giorgia Medows scored a point for the Frogs by a tiny margin of victory with the final tally being 71.5-71. Mattie Dukes and Jessica McAllister both were victorious in the event for the Frogs as well. Flat was another 3-2 event win for the Frogs thanks to an excellent ride from Wynne Weatherly who scored 93 points earning MOP in the process. Ashleigh Scully and Laurel Smith were the other 2 winners in the event for the Frogs. TCU finished off the day with a 4-0 sweep in Horsemanship moving the final score to a commanding 15-4.
Jessica McAllister earned MOP for this event with a 76.5-point ride while Mattie Dukes matched that performance with a 76.5-point ride. Shea Graham and Payton Boutelle both won points for TCU. TCU Equestrian has a very important meet with Oklahoma State up next as they have an opportunity to clinch their first regular season Big 12 title in program history on February 25th.
TCU Rifle competed at the NCAA Qualifiers at Air Force this past Saturday and was named to its 17th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament field of 8 teams. The Frogs posted an excellent team score of 4,745 and had the 4 top aggregate shooters in the meet. Katie Zaun led the way with an aggregate score of 1191 with 593 coming from smallbore and 598 from air rifle. Julie Johannessen, the best smallbore shooter in the nation, came in second in aggregate score with 592 in smallbore and 598 in air rifle, good for an aggregate score of 1190. Stephanie Grundsoe posted the top score in air rifle of 599 and the third-best score in smallbore of 590 for an aggregate of 1189 which was also third overall.
The Rifle team will compete in the NCAA Championships in Akron, Ohio over a two-day stretch in March with smallbore taking place on the 10th and air rifle taking place on the 11th.