Men’s tennis rallies to beat No. 22 South Florida 4-3

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    On Monday, TCU men’s tennis head coach David Roditi had a unique way to describe the No. 10 Frogs’ matchup against No. 22 South Florida.

    “I would describe our match against South Florida as a backstreet alley fight between two street dogs going at it,” Roditi said. “It’s going to be feisty.”

    Those comments rang true Saturday afternoon at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, where the Frogs overcame a close doubles loss to defeat the Bulls, 4-3.

    Freshmen Trevor Johnson and Cameron Norrie, the No. 18 doubles team in the nation, jump-started TCU (17-6 overall, 2-2 Big 12) with a 6-1 victory overSasha Gozun and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy.

    But the inability to close out match points cost the Frogs the other two doubles matches.

    Sophomore Hudson Blake and senior Facundo Lugones fell 4-6 to Roberto Cidand Ignacio Gonzales-Muniz, and the No. 19 doubles pair of seniors Nick Chappell and Will Stein lost 6-7 to the No. 36 combo of Oliver Pramming andJustin Roberts.

    “I’ve never seen anyone get knocked down so many times and just pop back up,” Roditi said. “They deserve a lot of credit because we played about perfectly in those points… I think we had seven or eight match points.”

    The Frogs dropped the doubles point for only the second time in nine matches, but they dominated the Bulls (14-6, 3-1 AAC) early in singles play. Five of TCU’s six players took their first sets, with No. 36 Chappell falling 6-7 to No. 20 Cid.

    Lugones won his third straight singles match and gave the Frogs the first singles point, defeating Kalyuzhnyy 6-1, 6-2. No opponent has won three or more games in a set against him during the streak.

    “Facundo Lugones is playing at an unbelievably good level,” Roditi said. “He might be playing the best tennis on our team.”

    No. 37 Norrie earned TCU’s second point with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Pramming, while Stein followed suit with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Roberts to put the Frogs up 3-1.

    Senior Arnau Dachs completed the Frogs’ rally with a match-clinching 6-4, 6-4 win over Gonzales-Muniz.

    “He closed out his singles match as good as I’ve seen anybody close out a match,” Roditi said. “He was very disciplined.”

    Chappell and freshman Guillermo Nunez, the No. 76 player in the nation, dropped their matches in third set tiebreakers. But by that point, Dachs had already sealed the match for the Frogs.

    TCU extends its winning streak to three matches with the victory, while the Bulls are handed only their second loss over their past 12 matches. The win is also the Frogs’ seventh over a ranked opponent in nine tries.

    “We’re playing well,” Roditi said. “The guys are preparing well… And you can tell. This team is hungry and they want that success.”

    The Frogs will attempt to win their fourth straight match next Wednesday against No. 39 SMU. The Mustangs have fallen in five of their last seven matches including a 4-1 loss to the Bulls on Friday. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    South Florida will return home and prepare for a conference matchup against No. 47 Memphis next Friday.