Men’s tennis ramps up for road trip against Tulane, USF

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Reese Stalder (left) and Bertus Kruger (right) celebrate winning a point during their doubles match against Florida on Feb 10, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

After an impressive showing at the ITA Men’s National Indoor Championships, the No. 13 Horned Frogs look ahead to two matchups at Tulane and the University of South Florida (USF) this upcoming weekend.

The Frogs finished 2-1 in Chicago, downing No. 3 Mississippi State and No. 7 UCLA, while falling to No. 8 North Carolina, bringing their overall record to 6-3.

Tulane

The Tulane Green Wave made an appearance with TCU in the ITA tournament and placed at the No. 16 seed, just below the Frogs.

Tulane did not fare as well as TCU, as they fell in three-consecutive matches to Ohio State, Stanford and Illinois to complete a now six match losing streak.

The poor tournament performance dropped the Green Wave down from No. 19 to No. 30 in this week’s national rankings.

Despite the streak, the Green Wave have an undefeated home record, including wins over No. 18 Tennessee and No. 19 Florida State.

Tulane traveled to TCU last year, which resulted in a 6-1 TCU win, and this marks the first time the Frogs will head to New Orleans to face the Green Wave.

“They know us well,” head coach David Roditi said. “I expect an absolute war. I know what we’re gonna get, we’re gonna get a really hungry team that’s going to want to beat us.”

Tulane’s top players include No. 70 Luis Erlenbusch and No. 88 Ewan Moore.

Luis Erlenbusch will need to escape his losing streak to help the Green Wave avoid defeat against the TCU Horned Frogs. Photo courtesy of TulaneGreenWave.com

Erlenbusch and Moore combine for an 8-10 record but started 7-1 in Tulane’s first four games, each of which accounted for a win. They have finished 1-9 in their last six matches, all losses for the Green Wave.

Bulls Look to Continue Home Stampede

The South Florida Bulls have had a season of streaks, winning two, losing four straight, and then winning their latest two for a 4-4 start.

The Bulls have played against two mutual opponents of the Frogs, falling to Baylor and No. 3 Mississippi State in identical 6-1 losses.

USF still has two matches to be played before facing the Horned Frogs, hosting the Charlotte 49ers and Mercer Bears the weekend before TCU comes to Tampa.

TCU has faced USF in each of the last five seasons, winning all five.

Alberto Barroso-Campos looks to cause an upset at the No. 1 singles spot against the TCU Horned Frogs. Photo courtesy of GoUSFBulls.com

“We’re going to get their best,” Roditi said. “We’ll be fully prepared for them.”

The Bull’s top player to watch is No. 25 Alberto Barroso-Campos, who is 7-1, including the single win in a 6-1 loss against Baylor. He has also posted wins over Penn State and Georgia State, another two matches USF lost as a team.

Who to Watch:

Bertus Kruger won Big 12 Player of the Week and received great praise from Roditi for his efforts in Chicago. He’s the second Frog to receive this honor, after Alex Rybakov earned the honor for his performance during the week of Jan 15.

Bertus Kruger prepares a serve in his singles match against Florida on Feb. 10, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

“If I had to name an MVP for this tournament, it’s Bertus Kruger,” Roditi said. “I believe I’m not the only one who thinks this. It’s a big highlight for us, not just Bertus, but the bottom of our lineup.”

Kruger, with senior Reese Stalder, defeated the No. 6 doubles team from Mississippi State in his biggest upset of the year.

TCU’s match against Tulane will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday in New Orleans, and the team will travel to Tampa for a 1:30 p.m. matchup against USF on Tuesday.