The TCU men’s tennis team has enjoyed great crowds the past couple of seasons, and it seems like there is no sign of stopping that trend just yet.
The Frogs, who play at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, have topped the nation in attendance the past two seasons and are in the midst of the race for it this season as well.
It all started when the excitement around TCU men’s tennis reached a new high in 2013. The Frogs finished that season as the nation’s overwhelming leader in attendance.
They led the NCAA for each of the three major categories: total fans, with 8,714, average turnout, with 581, and largest crowd at an individual match, which was 1,425 against Texas A&M on Feb. 2.
TCU continued that trend in the 2014 season as well, topping the nation in attendance for the second straight year.
The Frogs again topped the NCAA in total fans, with 7,615, average turnout, with 544, and largest crowd at an individual match, which was 1,254 against Rice on April 12.
In the latest rankings for attendance, taken for the month of March by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, TCU was in fourth place in total attendance and third place in average attendance.
TCU’s largest crowd this season came on April 18 against No. 10 Texas, which the Frogs won 4-1. The stands were filled with 2,112 fans during the match and it helped the Frogs reach the 20 win plateau for the first time since 2008.
TCU senior Will Stein told TCU 360 after the match against Texas, which was also senior day, that he feels like they finally got to pay back the crowd for their support over the past couple of years.
“We’ve had the No. 1 attendance in the country the past two years, and we haven’t really had winning matches to thank them,” Stein said. “Today was maybe our biggest thank you to the fans by pulling out the win. I couldn’t picture a better way to end senior day.”
Sophomore sports broadcasting major Meagan Thompson said that not only does she love going to the tennis matches for the free food, but also for the atmosphere.
“I really enjoy how up close the tennis matches are,” Thompson said. “The players look like they really feed off of the crowd.”
Thanks to the fantastic crowds and great play by the team, TCU also remained undefeated at home this season, going 13-0 with the win against Texas.
Head coach David Roditi talked about how important the crowd is to the team and their goal of going undefeated at home.
“It’s huge, and the record speaks for itself,” Roditi said. “There’s a reason we love our crowds. Our guys love the support… Our crowd plays a huge part in us being able to defeat good teams at home.”
The Frogs had big wins against top ranked teams like No. 10 Texas A&M on Jan. 24, No. 4 Illinois on March 16, Texas A&M again, ranked No. 7 at the time, on April 11, and No. 10 Texas on April 18.
Roditi spoke after the match against Texas about how well the crowd supported the team and how they came off as a “classy university.”
“It’s not about heckling,” Roditi said. “It’s about enthusiasm, excitement and making these athletes feel relevant.”
With TCU on their way to the Big 12 Tennis Championships in Waco, Texas, the Frogs’ will not get another chance to play at home this season.
TCU’s bid to become the top attendance in the nation for a third straight year will be counted in the final rankings for this season’s attendance, which will be released by ITA in early May.