The TCU men’s tennis team gained momentum early Tuesday night with a victory in doubles against No. 12 Pepperdine, but the team was unable to carry it into singles matches and fell short with a 5-2 loss.
“We went from playing our worst doubles round ever against Rice to the best doubles I’ve seen the team play against Pepperdine. It really showed the team's ability to turn around quick improvements,” head coach David Roditi said.
With the first victory in doubles, sophomores Nick Chappell and Will Stein claimed their biggest win of the season upsetting 27th-ranked Francis Alcantara and Finn Tearney, 8-5.
Max Stevens and JT Sundling followed with an 8-4 win over Sebastian Fanselow and Alex Sarkissian. Arnau Dachs and Orlando Superlano were leading at No. 3 doubles when the match was stopped.
“Usually a win in the doubles gives players an advantage and momentum heading into singles, that just wasn’t the story for us during the match,” Roditi said.
Pepperdine quickly gained on the Horned Frogs in singles winning the first sets on all six courts. The trend continued as Pepperdine clinched the match with wins at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 singles.
TCU’s second point came from No. 6 singles Sundling as he knocked off David Sofaer and improved to 5-3 on the year.
Pepperdine was the fifth top-20 opponent on TCU’s schedule and the highest-ranked opponent TCU would play at home.
Frog fans endured cool temperatures at the match as the team began its transition to outdoor play at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
Roditi said playing under the lights outside was a new challenge for the team because the ball travels differently through the air in cool temperatures.
Despite the elements, Roditi said the attendance was great for the Pepperdine match, and he wants to work on improving energy as the 7-4 Horned Frogs welcome SMU on March 1.