Both TCU tennis teams will welcome their respective opponents to campus today at 2 p.m. at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center and Bartzen Varsity Courts.
The No. 47 men’s squad, entering the weekend with a 2-4 record, will play No. 33 Mississippi State on the north courts, while the 52nd-ranked women’s squad will play No. 21 Washington on the south courts.
The men’s team enters the match on a four-match losing steak and was shut out 7-0 by No. 14 Texas A&M on Wednesday. Even though the Frogs didn’t record a point, head men’s tennis coach David Roditi said he was proud of his team and proud to be a TCU tennis alumnus after witnessing a record-breaking crowd of 867 fans attend the match.
“I thought we fought really hard; I thought we lost to a better team today; I thought we gave it everything we had; I couldn’t be more proud as a TCU tennis alumni to see the kind of support we got from the crowd today,” Roditi said. “…If we play like we did [against Texas A&M], we have a good shot at an upset [against Mississippi State].”
The Bulldogs (3-3), who are 1-2 all-time against the Frogs, haven’t played TCU since 1997. The Bulldogs also will travel to Waco on Sunday to play Baylor following their match with the Frogs.
“We’ve had a break since our last match, but the good news is we have had a great week of practice while preparing for our Texas trip,” Bulldogs’ head tennis coach Per Nilsson said in a Mississippi State Athletics release. “It is also good that the last time we played we had a couple of dominant wins, which gave our guys some confidence that I think they’ll need when they play TCU and Baylor, who are both really talented teams.”
The No. 52 women’s team, which is looking to get to .500 after a 1-2 start, hasn’t played a match in 12 days due to Wednesday’s match at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Stadium in Dallas being rained out. It wasn’t the first rainout for the women’s team this season 8212; the Frogs’ consolation match against North Texas at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Berkeley, Calif., was rained out on Jan. 29.
The TCU women’s squad also enters the match riding a two-game losing streak, with their last match being a 6-1 loss at Texas A&M.
TCU sophomore Federica Denti and senior Katariina Tuohimaa, the Frogs’ No. 1 doubles team, will face the ninth-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Washington’s Venise Chan and Denise Dy.
Denti and Tuohimaa are 3-0 in the spring and 8-2 since becoming partners.
Washington (7-4) has lost three straight matches to top-20 opponents. The Huskies opened the season on a five-match winning streak and will have played 13 ranked opponents in a row after they complete their match with the Frogs today and their Saturday match against Texas A&M.
Because there is no scoreboard on the south side of the tennis courts, men’s tennis media relations contact Jaime Handy said it would be more difficult than most matches to keep track of scores for the games.
Avid tennis fan Andrew Pulliam, a senior finance major, said he planned to attend the 2 p.m. matches.
“As far as the losing streaks, the talent is there. They just need to show it on the court,” Pulliam said.
He said it’s exciting for fans to get to see both the men’s and women’s teams play at the same time. He said that of course, the free pizza at every TCU home tennis match doesn’t hurt either.
“We have a really strong tennis program here,” Pulliam said. “It’s going to be exciting to see both teams go for a win.”
Staff reporter Mandy Naglich contributed to this article.