The top-ranked TCU Horned Frogs’ perfect season is no more, dropping its first contest of the campaign at the hands of the #3 Texas Longhorns in Fort Worth on Wednesday evening. The match was considered a non-conference battle, and won’t count towards Big 12 standings; it is the second such meeting between the programs as TCU defeated Texas in February to take home the ITA Indoor National Championship. The Frogs and Longhorns will have at least one more showdown this season, closing the Big 12 regular season in Austin.
The Frogs had gone 18-straight contests without dropping the opening doubles point, but has now fallen behind in the past two matches, overcoming the deficit over the weekend vs. UCLA. The doubles battle with the Longhorns could not have been more closely contested: Texas opened with a 6-3 set win over the Jong/Pinnington pairing on court two while Gorzny/Vives evened it up on court three with a 6-4 set victory. This left it up to the headliner heavyweight battle on court one between the #4-ranked doubles pairing of Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper and TCU’s #13-ranked pair of Jake Fearnley and Luc Fomba. The battle lived up to the billing as the Frogs held a 6-5 lead, but the ‘Horns forced it to a tiebreaker, eventually breaking free for a 7-6 (7-5) win to give Texas the doubles point for a 1-0 advantage.
The Horned Frogs quickly tied the match at a point apiece as JPJ swiftly brought down #78 Micah Braswell 6-3,6-1 from court 3. TCU also took opening sets from courts 4 and 5 as Jong and Gorzny got off to hot starts; however both dropped the 2nd set 4-6 in matches that ultimately went unfinished.
Pinnington’s win was the only point the Frogs would secure as Texas would roll off the next three match ups. TCU’s Tomas Jirousek was in the 6-spot for the Frogs, falling to Texas’ Nevin Arimilli 6-1, 6-4. At the top of the card were two high-level ranked matchups, as Texas’ #36 Pierre-Yves Bailly took down #16 Luc Fomba 7-5, 6-2 from Court 2, leaving #21 Jake Fearnley of TCU to battle top-ranked Singles player Eliot Spizzirri on Court 1 to keep the Frogs alive. And Battle he did, forcing a 3rd set before Spizzirri ran away with the final to earn a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
The Horned Frogs (15-1) will be back on the Bartzen Varsity purple courts on Friday March 15 at 5:30 PM looking to bounce back with another major challenge, welcoming #10 USC Trojans (10-3) to Fort Worth for the final non-conference match before beginning Big 12 play at home against the Oklahoma Sooners (8-7) next Friday March 31.