Men’s tennis continues to heat up, defeating Tennessee, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount

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Alastair Gray readies for a volley against No. 11 Illinois on March 3, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

The TCU men’s tennis squad excelled over spring break, crushing the No. 22 Tennessee Volunteers 4-0, the Pepperdine Waves 6-1 and the Loyola Marymount Lions 6-0.

The Tennessee match is the Frogs’ last non-conference road trip of the season, and they will not leave the friendly confines of Fort Worth until their March 29 trip to Waco, Texas, to face No. 6 Baylor.

Neither Pepperdine or Loyola are ranked, and the teams have a combined record of 5-15 on the season. For common opponents, Pepperdine lost to Tulane in New Orleans 1-6, and Loyola lost to SMU 2-5.

Juan Martín steadies himself after a serve against Illinois on March 3, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

Winning Road Streak Not Stopped by Volunteers

TCU continued to keep their true road game streak alive, going 4-1 on the season, minus the cancelled USF match. The one loss was the season-opener at Tulsa.

“What a road win for the boys,” head coach David Roditi said in a statement to GoFrogs. “This match was the furthest from a 4-0 win. If our team hadn’t been ready for a dog fight, then it would have been 4-0 the other way.”

The doubles pairing of Alex Rybakov and Alastair Gray took the first doubles match 6-4, followed by another Frogs victory by the team of Reese Stalder and Bertus Kruger.

Eduardo Roldan and Juan Martín had their first start of the year in the No. 3 doubles position, winning 5-4 before the doubles point was called for the Frogs.

In singles play, TCU had one of their tightest matches of the year. Kruger was the only Frog to win in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. Luc Fomba followed Kruger with another victory, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5, to get the Frogs within one point of winning.

The final win was in the No. 6 singles position, Sander Jong, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Alastair Gray (left) and Alex Rybakov react to a low shot against Illinois on March 3, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

Waves Hit Low Tide against Frogs

The first match of the Saturday double-header was dominated by the Frogs, who pulled out an impressive 6-1 win.

In doubles, TCU recorded another sweep, with victories by the Rybakov/Gray and Fomba/Jong teams, both 6-4 wins.

Rybakov dominated his opponent in singles play en route to a 6-1, 6-3 win. He’s now on a 5-0 streak since his Florida loss.

Roldan recorded his third singles match of the season and the first since his win at UT-Arlington, with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Alex Rybakov (left) takes a swig of water during a break back to back with Reese Stalder on March 3, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

Frogs Remain Thorn in the Lion’s Paw

TCU hosted Loyola Marymount in a rematch of the ITA tournament match back in late January and followed with another big Horned Frog win.

“Sometimes when you play a double-header, it helps the players be grooved for the second match and that’s exactly what happened,” Roditi said. “The team played very focused from the first point of the doubles until the last point of singles.”

Reese Stalder preps his backhand shot against Illinois on March 3, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

In doubles play, TCU had one of their most dominant performances, winning 6-1 and 6-2 by the Stalder/Kruger and Rybakov/Gray teams.

For singles, the Frogs had one of the best plays by Jong of the season, with a clean 6-1, 6-1 victory. Stalder finished out the Frogs’ win by a 6-2, 6-3 win, and he is nationally-ranked for the first time this season at No. 115.

Strong Non-Conference Finish Huge for Frogs

TCU is on a seven-game win streak since their loss to No. 8 North Carolina back in mid-Feb and now have three more matches until conference play begins at Baylor. Those will come hosting No. 12 Columbia, No. 35 Arizona State and unranked SMU.

This win streak is TCU’s longest since their 16-game streak last season.

Up Next:
TCU hosts the No. 12 Columbia Lions at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a rematch of the 4-0 TCU win last season.