Men’s Tennis sweeps ITA Kickoff Weekend, books trip to Chicago for ITA Indoor Finals

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Alastair Gray reaches to try and win a crucial point in TCU’s win against Oklahoma State this Sunday. Photo by Jack Wallace

TCU Men’s Tennis bounced back after their season-opening loss with two 4-0 wins over Loyola Marymount and No. 20 Oklahoma State.

The win sends TCU over .500 after an ugly loss at Tulsa last weekend.

“Everybody showed up,” said senior Alex Rybakov. “Every single person, all the freshmen, all the upperclassmen, everybody. It was overall a great team effort.”

Early Doubles Bumps Brushed Off

Saturday’s doubles competition was a close call after sophomore Bertus Kruger and senior Reese Stalder lost 6-3. Rybakov and junior Alastair Gray followed with a 6-2 win and first-years Luc Fomba and Sander Jong clinched after a 6-4 win.

Sander Jong (left) and Luc Fomba (right) share a fist bump after a won point this Sunday against Oklahoma State. Photo by Jack Wallace

Sunday opened with the doubles competition, with Kruger/Stalder posting a 6-3 win. Fomba/Jong finished the sweep with a 6-3 win as well, clinching the doubles point for the Frogs.

Singles Continue the Sweep

TCU quickly claimed a title game spot on Saturday, with victories by Stalder (6-0, 6-2), Kruger (7-5, 6-1), and Fomba (6-4, 6-2) over Loyola Marymount.

Stalder’s was a case of sweet revenge, avenging his doubles loss earlier that afternoon.

On Sunday, all TCU players again won in straight sets, with Stalder finishing first for the Frogs, winning 6-3, 6-1. Kruger came right after with a dominating 6-2, 6-1 win. Rybakov won the deciding match, 6-3, 6-1.

Alex Rybakov makes his serve to open his doubles match this Sunday against Oklahoma State. Photo by Jack Wallace

Rybakov Remains Relentless

Rybakov stands at No. 14 nationally in singles rankings, the highest of any TCU player and the second highest among Big 12 players.

His strong finish this weekend has his singles record at a still-undefeated 10-0.

Rybakov looks to continue to lead the Horned Frogs to a solid season once again, vying for their fourth-straight Big 12 regular-season title, and third Big 12 tournament championship in the last four years.

“Our potential is great,” Rybakov said. “Obviously the goal is to keep the Big 12, as we’ve been doing, but we’re going to take it match by match, one game at a time.”

As one of the highest attended tennis teams in the Big 12, loyal Horned Frogs did not disappoint, with more than 850 fans in attendance over the two matches.

Head Coach David Roditi celebrates with his son after TCU’s victory this Sunday against Oklahoma State. Photo by Jack Wallace

“We see different people from the community coming out,” head coach David Roditi said. “It’s a beautiful tennis center on a beautiful day. Today, in my opinion, this was the place to be.”

Up Next:

TCU came into the weekend ranked No. 22 in the nation and will surely climb after not only a tournament win but a win over a ranked conference foe.

The win also earns the team a trip to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 15-18 in Chicago, IL.

“Our guys, we’re hungry,” coach Roditi said. “That was the goal, the goal was to get to Chicago and we were fortunate today to play well.”