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TCU Women’s Tennis 2023 Season Recap

The Frogs won the first-ever NIT Women’s Tennis Championship to cap off a great season.

Universal Tennis

TCU Women’s Tennis had a very successful season in 2023, ending in the Frogs’ bringing home the first-ever Women’s Tennis NIT Championship. The Frogs finished with a record of 16-9 overall and a conference record of 3-6. TCU went 4-1 in the postseason as they won a game over West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament before going 3-0 in the NIT Championship.

Regular Season Overview

TCU started the season off with back-to-back sweeps over UTSA and Northwestern State by scores of 7-0 and 6-0 respectively. Helena Narmont and Yu-Chin Tsai were excellent against UTSA as they won their doubles match by a score of 6-3 and both won their singles matches in straight sets. The Frogs lost only one set in singles to UTSA in what was a dominant win to start off the season. TCU upped that performance in a match with Northwestern State where they did not lose a single set. The Frogs’ won the doubles point behind wins from the Narmont and Tsai pairing and the Margaret Polk and Destinee Martins pairing against the second and third pairings from Northwestern State respectively. Mercedes Aristegui was especially impressive in singles as she took down the top singles player from Northwestern State in straight sets by scores of 6-2 and 6-0.

The Frogs picked up their third consecutive sweep to start the season when Alabama traveled to Fort Worth. TCU won the doubles point thanks to wins from Jade Otway/Aristegui and Tiphanie Lemaitre/Martins against the top two pairings from Alabama both by a score of 6-4. The Frogs would need just 3 points from the singles matches to clinch the meet and would get them in straight sets from their top 3 singles players in Lemaitre, Aristegui, and Otway. Otway stood out with both of her set victories coming by scores of 6-2.

The Frogs would win possibly their most exciting match of the season next as Ole Miss would come to Fort Worth and nearly hand TCU its first loss of the season. TCU would win the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match behind wins from Aristegui/Otway and Tsai/Narmont by scores of 6-3 and 6-4 respectively. The Frogs would also take the first singles match as Destinee Martins picked up a straight-sets victory over her Ole Miss counterpart. The Rebels would come storming back to take their first lead of the day with wins from their first, third, and fifth singles players. Aristegui would retie the game with a gutsy straight-sets win by a score of 7-6 (7-3), 7-5. The match would come down to both teams’ number 6 singles players where true freshman Yu-Chin Tsai was thrust into a very high-pressure match for the Frogs. Tsai was up to the task as she clinched the win for the Frogs in straight sets by scores of 6-1 and 6-4.

The Frogs would continue to roll against their next two opponents in San Francisco and Abilene Christian as they won both by a final score of 6-1. The only points the Frogs lost in both of those matches were in singles matches that took all three sets to determine a winner. TCU would also extend their doubles winning streak to 6 matches in the win over Abilene Christian and moved their overall record to 6-0 to start the season.

The Frogs would lose for the first time all season in their next match as LSU traveled to Fort Worth and handed TCU a 6-1 loss. The lone TCU point would come from a great performance from Jade Otway who took down the number 3 singles player for the Tigers in straight sets. The Frogs would be swept on the road by the number 14 ranked team in the country, UCF, to make it two straight losses. TCU would get back on track with a comfortable win back in Fort Worth over Richmond by a score of 6-1. Aristegui hit a big milestone with career win number 100 in the TCU win over Richmond behind a win in doubles with her partner Otway and a dominant 6-1, 6-0 win in singles over the top singles player from the Spiders.

Up next was a road trip to the state of Oklahoma to face two very good teams in OSU and OU who were ranked number 17 and number 22 at the time respectively. The Frogs would lose both by scores of 4-1 and 4-0 with the lone point coming from Tiphanie Lemaitre who had a very impressive straight-sets win over the top singles player from Oklahoma State.

Once again the Frogs were able to rebound at home thanks to a sweep of Kansas State. Aristegui had a great day against Kansas State as she along with her doubles partner Jade Otway blanked the number 2 doubles pairing from the Wildcats to help clinch the doubles point for the Frogs. Aristegui then went on to win her singles match in straight sets by a score of 6-1, 6-1. TCU would then blow out rival SMU by a final score of 4-1 in their next match. The Frogs cruised in route to the victory over SMU as they won the first two doubles matches to finish and won three singles matches in straight sets to clinch the win.

The difficulty in opponents would increase significantly as two top 20 ranked teams would come to Fort Worth as the next two opponents for TCU. Number 20 ranked Kansas was first and the Frogs dropped a tough one in that match by a score of 4-1.

The match against number 9 ranked Texas was very close until the end as the Frogs would lose by a score of 4-2. UT won the doubles point but Aristegui would beat the then 66th ranked singles player in the country in straight sets to tie the score at 1-1. After two straight Texas singles victories, Tiphanie Lemaitre would take down the top singles player from UT to move the score to 3-2 before the Longhorns ultimately clinched the win.

A loss to Baylor in Fort Worth would make it three straight losses for the Frogs as the Bears won by a score of 4-2. The Baylor win was in spite of the Frogs taking the doubles point to start and a straight sets win from Destinee Martins in singles.

The next match was the signature win of the regular season for the Frogs as the then number 31 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders would lose in Lubbock to the Frogs by a score of 4-3 in an absolute thriller. Tech would start fast with a point from two doubles victories. That would be quickly matched by a win in singles by Martins for the Frogs. TCU would win the next two singles matches as well to take a 3-1 lead thanks to Lemaitre and Tsai. Tech would tie the score at 3 with two straight singles victories of their own, leaving it all up to the number 6 singles players from both sides. This time Helena Narmont was the hero for the Frogs as she battled back after losing the first set to earn the match clinching point for TCU.

The Frogs would continue that momentum into a 4-1 victory over Wichita State back in Fort Worth as the Frogs would battle back after losing the doubles point with 4 straight sets singles wins. A road trip to Ames, Iowa to face a very good Cyclone team resulted in a 4-0 Frogs loss in their next match. TCU would close out the regular season on a strong note, however, with a comfortable 6-1 win over West Virginia in Morgantown.

Big 12 Tournament

The final opponent in the regular season would be the first opponent for TCU in the Big 12 Tournament as the Frogs would square off with the Mountaineers for the second time in a week. The result was the same in both matches as TCU swept WVU by a score of 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. TCU won the doubles point and never looked back as their three singles victories came in straight sets thanks to Aristegui, Otway, and Polk.

Texas would be the opponent for TCU in the quarterfinals and unfortunately for the Frogs the result would be the same as the regular season as the Longhorns eliminated the Frogs from the tournament with a final score of 4-1. Narmont would provide the lone point of the match for TCU as she won her singles match in straight sets by scores of 6-1 and 6-3.

NIT Tournament

The Big 12 Tournament would not be the only postseason event the Frogs would take part in as they were selected as one of 8 teams to compete in the first ever Women’s Tennis NIT. TCU was the one seed in the tournament would be matched up with the 8 seeded UC San Diego in the first round. The Frogs would take care of business with a 4-0 sweep of the Tritons. The Frogs cruised in doubles as the Narmont/Tsai pairing won their match 6-1 and the Otway/Aristegui pairing clinched with a 6-3 victory. The success carried over into singles as Lemaitre, Otway, and Martins all earned points for the Frogs in straight sets. Otway had an especially standout performance, only dropping one game between two sets with scores of 6-0 and 6-1.

TCU would advance to the finals of the tournament after a victory in their semifinals match against Wyoming. The Frogs found themselves in an early hole after losing the doubles point but would storm back with 4 straight singles wins to take the match by a score of 4-1. Otway delivered another excellent performance with a straight sets win with scores of 6-1 and 6-2. Aristegui would give TCU the lead with a 6-3, 6-1 straight sets victory of her own. Lemaitre and Narmont would close out the match with two more straight set victories, putting TCU in the NIT final against number 3 seeded Stetson.

The Frogs would leave no doubt in the championship match as they swept Stetson by a score of 4-0 to win the NIT. Martins/Lemaitre delivered first in the doubles matches with a 6-3 win and Narmont/Tsai clinched the point with a 6-3 win of their own. Lemaitre would also deliver the first singles win for the Frogs with a 6-2, 6-0 straight sets win. Otway would put TCU a point away from clinching with a 6-3, 6-3 straight sets victory. Destinee Martins would complete the sweep for the Frogs with yet another straight sets victory for the Frogs by a score of 6-2, 6-3 to cap off a nearly impeccable run through the first-ever NIT championship for TCU.

Honor and Awards

2023 Women’s Tennis NIT Champions

NIT Tournament MVP: Jade Otway

Second team All-Big 12 Singles: Tiphanie Lemaitre and Mercedes Aristegui

A Look Ahead

TCU Women’s Tennis is a program on the rise after an incredible 2023 season which should serve as a building block for the program for years to come. The Frogs will lose their captain Mercedes Aristegui to graduation which is a big loss as she was an excellent tennis player and the leader of the TCU team. The Frogs will return the NIT tournament MVP Jade Otway as well as Helena Narmont and Yu Chin-Tsai who provided the match clinching singles victories against Texas Tech and Ole Miss respectively. Destinee Martins will be back next season for her senior season where the Frogs will look to build off of 2023 and make a run in the NCAA Tournament in 2024.