The temperature dropped as the sky darkened over Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, but for senior Will Stein, the cold wasn’t bothersome.
In the No. 17 Horned Frogs’ dominating 6-1 victory over New Mexico on Friday, Stein nearly left his opponent scoreless in his second set in singles, allowing but one point to his Lobo counterpart.
Perhaps Stein’s indifference toward the weather was a result of practicing outdoors at night just days ago.
“It was kind of the similar weather, maybe a little bit colder then,” he said, “so I don’t think it affected us too much.”
Stein won his singles match in two sets, 6-2, 6-1, over New Mexico’s Bart Van Leijsen.
“I like the opponent,” Stein said. “He’s a big guy, likes to attack, but still misses.”
Stein also helped win the doubles point alongside partner Nick Chappell.
When Chappell took to singles, however, his match wasn’t as easily won as Stein’s.
Chappell was the last to finish on the courts. After Facundo Lugones sealed the win 6-2, 6-2 on his court, the team lounged on the court beside Chappell’s, hoping their teammate would finish the battle with a win of his own.
Chappell did, but not without a fight.
During his first set of singles, Chappell flipped his racket into the air in frustration as he trailed 3-5.
Chappell appeared to make a comeback, but eventually fell 4-6 in his first set.
“I think [Chappell] can obviously be more positive,” Stein said, “but he’s always done a great job for us battling and working as hard as he can.”
Eventually, Chappell did change his mindset, rallying to beat Mitchell McDaniels 4-6, 6-3, 10-1.
But at that point, it didn’t matter anymore. The Frogs had already won.
With the win, TCU (4-0) continued its undefeated streak. Each Horned Frog won his singles match in two sets, save Chappell and Trey Daniel, who was the only player who lost.
Freshman Cameron Norrie also had an impressive performance. The New Zealand native won 6-3, 6-3 in singles and could have pulled off a win with partner Guillermo Nunez in doubles had their teammates not finished beforehand.
“He’s got big, big goals,” head coach David Roditi said. “He wants to be a professional tennis player, and I have no doubt in my mind that someday he’ll be making money in tennis.”
The Lobos (4-5), on the other hand, took its third straight loss. The injury-laden team was unable to play with its No. 1 player Samir Iftikhar, who is out with a wrist injury.
“This would have been just a war had that guy not broken his wrist,” Roditi said. “So obviously, that’s going to make a difference.”
The Frogs will face Tulsa on Sunday before heading to the ITA Indoor National Championships for the first time since 2001.
“We took some brutal, heartbreaking losses last year,” Roditi said. “And when you go through a year like we did last year, you build character, and you build scars, and you get tougher just because there’s no other way.”
In the 2013-2014 season, TCU went 12-12 with only one win in conference play.
But those days are behind them, Roditi said.
“Swim or sink, right?” he said. “And our guys have chosen to swim.”