Horned Frogs defeat UT-Arlington 6-1

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    The TCU tennis team started the spring season in grand fashion Sunday. The team took the court with authority, beating UTA convincingly, 6-1.

    Tandems of Slah Mbarek and Sören Goritzka, and Emmanuel Brighiu and Chris Price each came away with victories to win the doubles point to start the match.

    Mbarek and Goritzka were in control of their game from the start, cruising to an 8-4 victory. They were the first to finish in doubles play.

    Zach Nichols and Daniel Sanchez were defeated in a close 8-6 match on court 3. They were the second group to finish in doubles action.

    Brighiu and Price played a long, back and forth match with UT Arlington’s team of Mindaugas Celedinas and Yauheni Yakauleu to clinch the doubles win.

    After a five to five tie in the set to eight, the teams traded victories, going into several deuces. Brighiu and Price prevailed in the end, winning the final point on a service error by Yakauleu.

    Price said that winning the doubles point is a big advantage for the team heading into singles play.

    “It’s huge, you’ve got the momentum and you only have to win three singles matches,” Price said. “It definitely takes some of the pressure off.”

    Coach David Roditi said that it always helps to have the doubles point out of the way and only have to split the singles matches.

    Junior Slah Mbarek finished off a very impressive match in singles play with 6-3 wins in back-to-back sets.

    Senior Zach Nichols kept the momentum going as the second player to finish in singles play. Nichols jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, coming away with a 6-4, 7-5 win.

    Senior Cameron Nash clinched the win for TCU with his win in singles play. It was Nash’s first singles match ever.

    “I was just trying to be really aggressive the whole time and put the pressure on the opponents,” Nash said.

    Coach Roditi was particularly proud of Nash’s dominant 6-4, 6-0 performance.

    “That was my highlight of the day, was to see Cameron clinch the match,” said Roditi. “He just took care of business and I was very happy for him. That’s a good story.”

    Nash defeated Jason Lateko, an opponent he grew up playing against. Nash grew up in Dallas and Lateko is from Arlington.

    Singles play continued with sophomore Sören Goritzka’s hard fought battle with Yauheni Yakauleu. Goritzka’s final point came on an ace to complete the 6-4, 6-4 victory.

    “I was very proud of Sören today, he beat a very good player,” Coach Roditi said.

    Emmanuel Brighiu’s was the only singles match to go to three sets. Brighiu fell Mindaugas Celedinas, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6.

    The final singles match to finish was senior Chris Price’s dual with David Surbirats. Surbirats took Price to seven games in both sets, but Price prevailed each time, 7-6, 7-5.

    Price was a part of the longest doubles match and the longest singles match against UTA.

    “It’s tough, it’s not as much physically tiring as it is mentally tiring because you’re playing for a while,” Price said. “I was getting tired but the adrenaline kicks in and you push through it.”

    Price said a few of the players were nervous coming into play, but that he was proud of the execution.

    Zach Nichols said that it was rough in patches but that was to be expected in the first match of the season.

    The Frogs’ strong performance was a positive sign opening the season. They continued action in the second match of Sunday’s double-header, taking on UT Pan-American.