A 4-3 home victory over No. 9 Texas A&M Wednesday afternoon might just be what the men’s tennis team needed to propel themselves into the nation’s top 10.
“It is a great win for our guys, a great win for our program,” head coach Joey Rive said of their first victory over a top- 10 team since the 2001 NCAA championship quarterfinals. “We’ve had a long tradition of great teams and I think this team is destined to be a very, very good team. It is good for us to get an early victory like this against a top-10 school.”
Rive said the team was well prepared for the match and they went into it with full force.
“We worked very hard at it last year,” he said. “We kind of fell short and I think that a lot of the momentum we built up from this last year really spilled over to today.”
Senior No. 1 singles player Alex Menichini defeated A&M’s top player, Lester Cook, who was ranked No. 17 in the country.
“This just puts us back on track, and today was a great win and every one played really well, which proves that we are back,” Menichini said. “This will put us in the top 10 in the country and I think we are even better than that. There isn’t one team we couldn’t play well against and beat.”
Assistant coach Cory Hubbard, a former graduate of A&M, agreed that this match was a big step for the Frogs.
“It’s a very big win for the program because last year we played five top-10 teams and every time we played them we got closer and closer,” Hubbard said. “It is good this year to finally break through and win one of these matches. It now puts us in the top 10, back with the elite teams.”
Fabrizio Sestini also chalked up a win for the Frogs by defeating A&M’s No. 1 doubles team with partner Rafael Abreu.
“This is a huge victory; it is just the beginning of a successful season,” Sestini said. “I think today we showed everyone in the entire school and Division I that TCU is a great team.”
Rive said he was very pleased with the way the team played and how they handled themselves during the matches. He added that there are many matches to come and this is only the beginning of what he sees as a successful season.
“This is a good top-10 win and it will help us, but there is a lot of tennis to be played,” Rive said. “We are only 4-0 and so we still have 16 more matches left. It is a good start and it is good for the team to feel like they are one of the best teams in the country, but we still have a lot of work.”
The Frogs will next welcome Florida State at noon Sunday.