Women’s tennis takes on the UAB Blazers in a Horned Frog reunion


    A former TCU men’s tennis assistant coach will be returning to the purple courts Monday night, but this time he will be rooting for the other team.

    Mark Tjia is in his first season as head coach of the University of Alabama-Birmingham women’s tennis team. He spent his previous three-seasons coaching for the Frogs.

    TCU women’s head coach Lee Taylor Walker said Mark helped the TCU tennis program get to where it is by his time and effort here.

    “The match is more of a friendly match and an opportunity for people to come out and see Mark and how he is doing some great things at UAB now,” Walker said.

    The No. 21 Horned Frogs are 10-6 on the season and 3-1 in conference play after taking their first loss in the Big 12 against No.6 Baylor (4-1) this past weekend. Before that, the Frogs won against Texas (4-0).

    TCU and UAB will meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

    After back-to-back conference games for TCU, Walker said the challenge will be to get his players emotionally and physically prepared.

    “They will be tired, but we are not done with our stretch of matches,” he said. “The challenge will be to get them pumped up and focused.”

    Duo Simona Parajova and Sofiko Kadzhaya picked up their seventh straight win with a 7-0 record in the doubles competition.

    The No. 38 ranked duo Stefanie Tan and Seda Arantekin grabbed their 15th win of the season over No. 10 Baylor duo Ema Burgic and Blair Shankle (6-4).

    The Blazers (6-6) are coming to Fort Worth after back-to-back losses against Chattanooga (6-1) and Middle Tennessee State (4-1).

    UAB is 2-1 in conference and 0-3 in away games.

    The UAB duo to watch is Caroline Faught and Paula Castro as they defeated Middle Tennessee duo Tiffany William and Darya Shulzhanok (8-7).

    As far as the singles competition, both TCU and UAB seem to show some weakness. In each teams previous matches, the opposing team won in singles.

    Walker said the team is ready to crank the doubles and singles competition levels back up.

    The Frogs have won every home game this season and anticipate keeping up that home court advantage against UAB tonight.

    “The environment is great for night matches and I think the girls love playing in front of fans,” Walker said.