The upset was not to be. The TCU men’s tennis team was eliminated from this year’s Big 12 Championship tournament on Friday with a 4-2 loss to two-time defending champion Oklahoma.
A home-court advantage was not enough to help the Frogs past the Sooners.
“I thought it was what college tennis should be all about,” TCU head coachDavid Roditi said. “Two very good teams — one team has had a great season, and they’re ranked third, coming to the underdogs’ house. And we almost pulled off a big upset today.”
The Frogs won the doubles point, looking to set a tone early. Junior Arnau Dachs and freshman Trey Daniel took the first game 8-4, and juniors Nick Chappell and Will Stein notched an 8-5 victory in the third game.
“I was very happy with the way we played it,” Roditi said. “[The doubles point] was critical for us.”
Oklahoma answered with two straight points in the singles round, but the Frogs fought back. After a dominant 6-2 win in his first set, Chappell came back from a 5-3 game deficit in his second set to carry it all the way to a tiebreaker game.
Chappell won the set 7-6 and evened the team scores at 2-2.
But the Sooners earned their third point when Daniel, after dropping his first set, let a late lead in his second set slip away. Daniel lost the resulting tiebreaker and the set.
Back-and-forth play ensued on the two remaining courts, but Oklahoma eventually secured its final point and the match. Dachs forced his third set with OU’s Alex Alvarez into a tiebreaker, but couldn’t stop Alvarez as he cruised to a victory in the tiebreaker.
“You’re playing against probably one of the best 1-2-3-4 punches in the nation, and for us to almost beat them at their best position, I think that shows a lot,” Roditi said.
Roditi said the match was an example of what his team has endured all year: missed opportunities.
“We have had every opportunity in the world, and then we let it slip,” Roditi said. “But then we get back on the horse. The guys never give up.”
The Frogs are not in a good position to make the NCAA championship tournament. Roditi said they deserve to be there after this match.
“We can almost beat the No. 3 team in the nation,” Roditi said. “It’s a shame if this team doesn’t get in, but that’s the way it is. We didn’t take care of our opportunities.”
Oklahoma will move on to face Texas in the semifinals on Saturday.