The No. 65 TCU women’s tennis team (7-7, 2-1 MWC) will travel to Dallas on Tuesday to face the No. 37 SMU Mustangs (15-4) at the Turpin Tennis Center at 2 p.m.
“I’m happy with the way the kids played,” head women’s tennis coach Dave Borelli said. “I’m really proud of the way they bounced back after a tough match [Saturday]. That’s a sign of the kind of kids I have. I really think we’ve got a chance to compete for the conference title. We’ve got a tough match coming up with SMU with a chance to pull an upset.”
The Mustangs’ four losses have come only to teams ranked among the top 30. No. 17 Ole Miss defeated SMU 4-3 Jan. 30, No. 1 Stanford defeated the Mustangs 7-0 Feb. 10, No. 30 Tulsa bested SMU 5-2 March 4 and No. 9 Baylor won a 4-3 home match against the Mustangs March 23. TCU won two-of-three Mountain West Conference home matches over the weekend, while the SMU match will be the fourth match in five days for the Frogs. The Frogs defeated BYU 6-1 Friday, lost to Utah 5-2 Saturday and shut out New Mexico 7-0 Sunday. The Frogs have now won five-of-six matches, with a canceled match against North Texas March 29 sandwiched between their current 5-1 streak.
SMU enters the mid-week match against the Frogs on a three match winning streak. SMU won two away matches in Florida over the weekend, defeating Central Florida 5-2 Saturday and No. 62 Florida International 6-1 Sunday.
Two Mustangs are ranked on the national stage. Leading the team is junior Marta Lesniak, currently No. 9 in singles play. Lesniak has won 12 straight matches against ranked opponents and has posted a 16-2 record this spring.
Teammate and fellow junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova rank No. 117 in singles. This year, Malyarchikova has lost only one match.
The Mustangs’ doubles pair of Lesniak and Heather Steinbauer are ranked No. 42 nationally and have a 14-4 record. Lesniak and Steinbauer defeated TCU No. 1 doubles duo of sophomore Federica Denti and senior Katariina Tuohimaa, 8-5, in the fall. Denti and Tuohimaa are currently 9-5 as doubles partners and 3-3 against opponents ranked in the top 80.
TCU’s match against SMU was originally scheduled for Feb. 23 at the Turpin Tennis Center but was postponed because of rain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Today’s match will be the 45th meeting before TCU and SMU. The Frogs lead the all-time series 26-18, but the Mustangs shut out the Frogs 7-0 last season in Fort Worth. TCU is 9-7 in matches played at SMU and 12-3 against SMU since 1996.
After the match this week, the Horned Frogs will continue conference play.
“We’ve got five more tough matches all on the road and at altitude, so that’s a real test for us,” Borelli said.
TCU will play these matches and their final home contest in a span of 12 days before heading to the Mountain West Conference Championships at the end of the month.
No. 65 TCU at No. 37 SMU
When: 2 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Turpin Tennis Stadium — Dallas