On a rainy Friday evening, the No. 18 TCU men’s tennis team was forced to take its match against Louisiana-Lafayette to Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center’s indoor facility.
But the Horned Frogs dazzled under the lights, dominating the Ragin’ Cajuns 7-0 and remaining undefeated at home.
The victory increases the Frogs’ winning streak to three matches. The Ragin’ Cajuns have now lost two of their last five matches.
Freshmen Trevor Johnson and Cameron Norrie jump-started the Frogs (12-5 overall, 0-1 Big 12) with a 6-2 victory in doubles play. The No. 23-ranked doubles team in the nation (according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association) was fresh off a 6-1 win in TCU’s upset of No. 4 Illinois on Monday.
Head coach David Roditi said the duo’s contrasting play style makes them very tough to beat.
“They’re very different,” Roditi said. “Trevor’s aggressive and he’s a finisher… Cameron is consistent and sets the point up for Trevor to finish… their games are so different that they make a good team.”
Senior Facundo Lugones and sophomore Hudson Blake fell 4-6 in doubles, but seniors Will Stein and Nick Chappell, the No. 29-ranked doubles combo, earned the Frogs’ first point of the match with a 7-5 victory.
“The [Ragin’ Cajuns] were playing really well,” Stein said. “It was tough to break them, but getting the final break [point] to move us into singles was big.”
The Frogs came out firing in singles play. All five TCU players captured victories in set one, and Johnson nailed down his second set 6-0 to give the team the match’s second point.
“It was great to see Trevor get in there and have a great day,” Roditi said. “He’s been working so hard.”
But the rest of the Frogs slowed down in each of their second sets. Roditi said the change was because the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-9, 2-0 Sun Belt) were able to adapt to the playing surface as the matches progressed.
“In indoor tennis, the courts are a little faster,” Roditi said. “I’ve been to Louisiana and the conditions are very humid, very slow conditions. I think they had a hard time keeping up with our pace in the first set, but I could tell they made adjustments.”
However, the Frogs remained strong and closed out their respective matches. Freshman Guillermo Nunez, the No. 116-ranked individual in the nation, took his match 6-3, 6-4.
Stein won his first set 6-2, but he dropped the second set by the same score. In set three, he rallied from three games down to win six straight, take the match 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, and clinch the overall victory for the Frogs.
“I think in my mind I was looking ahead,” Stein said. “Coach Roditi focused me a little bit in the third set after I got down a break. That changed the momentum… I started to be a little bit more positive and it all turned out in the end.”
No. 39 Chappell and senior Arnau Dachs followed Stein’s victory with wins of their own. Chappell took his match 6-3, 6-4, while Dachs won 6-4, 6-4.
Because Johnson’s match ended so early, sophomore Trey Daniel was able to get in on the action. The Overland Park, Kansas native won his match 6-0, 6-2 to give TCU its seventh and final point.
“We’re definitely feeling good about ourselves, indoors and outdoors,” Roditi said.