The Horned Frogs men’s tennis team, fresh off its first conference victory, will have to make adjustments to play in the high elevation at Air Force Thursday.
Thursday’s match would serve as the first time the Frogs will meet the Falcons at the Academy in Colorado Springs. The Frogs lead the all-time series against the Falcons 8-0.
Head coach David Roditi said each conference match brought a different set of challenges. For the match against Air Force Thursday, high elevation would serve as the biggest challenge. The city ranges from 6,000 to over 7,000 feet above sea level.
He believed no other element could affect a tennis match more than high elevation.
“The biggest home advantage you could have in tennis is altitude,” Roditi said.
He said the high elevation would mean players would have to make adjustments with strategy, equipment and breathing. Players would also have to get used to how the elevation would affect the flight of the ball.
Senior Zach Nichols said arriving a day early and practicing in the conditions should help players acclimate to the change.
Although the Frogs took their match against San Diego State 5-2 Monday, no team points came from doubles play.
Roditi said the Frogs were experimenting with what partner match-ups would garner the best chance for a doubles win Thursday. He compared finding the right combination of players to finding the right significant other.
“It’s kind of like dating, you know,” Roditi said. “You might be a good fit on paper, but then you go out on a date and you notice you have nothing in common.”
In the same way, it was important to take personalities and player styles into consideration when forming a cohesive doubles pair, he said.
Nichols thought the Frogs had finally assembled player combinations that would work well.
“It’s all about building chemistry and I think we’ve finally found the right mix,” Nichols said.
Seniors Chris Price and his partner Emanuel Brighiu hoped to achieve a long-term goal of qualifying individually for the NCAA tournament, Price said.
TCU’s No. 34 duo lost a close match-up 8-7 against San Diego State’s Giovanni Vaglietti and Hunter Nicholas on Monday.
Price hoped to do his part for the Frogs by winning all his matches against the Falcons Thursday.
Brighiu, who was announced Mountain West Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week Wednesday, won straight-sets singles victory over San Diego State’s Giovanni Vaglietti, 6-2, 7-5 Monday.
In the last six straight match-ups, the Falcons have not scored a single team point against the Frogs. The last team point for the Falcons came in a 6-1 loss in 2006.
Roditi said he believed the Frogs’ experience and maturity would help them battle the Falcons Thursday and bring them a step closer to their long-term goal of becoming 2011 Mountain West Conference Champions.
The team will remain on the road Saturday at 3 p.m. in Provo, Utah for a conference match at Brigham Young University.
TCU at Air Force
When: 11 a.m. Thursday
Where: USAFA, Colo.
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