The No. 29 men’s tennis team gets right into the swing of things when they open conference play against New Mexico tonight.The teams come into their match-up from different paths. The Lobos (9-4) have won four matches in a row, while the Horned Frogs (9-8) are coming off a close 4-3 loss to SMU.
Senior Jacopo Tezza said these are the matches that matter the most.
“We’ve had some tough losses lately,” Tezza said. “The effort has always been good. We’re ready to compete in conference.”
Tezza said this particular match is the most crucial since it is their first in conference play.
“This first match is definitely the most important,” Tezza said. “We have to show that we are the best team in the conference.”
Junior Radu Barbu said the team is anxious to get on the courts and prove Tezza’s claim.
“We’re all pretty excited for the challenge,” Barbu said. “Everyone is feeling confident right now.”
That confidence could come from the fact that TCU has no premonition about the Lobos since they have never competed against one another. Barbu said all they know is what they are capable of.
“We don’t know much about the other teams in conference; all we can do is play our game,” Barbu said. “It’s a new conference, so who knows what to expect?”
One thing Tezza said he does know about New Mexico is the depth they possess.
“They don’t have any superstar players, but they are a pretty steady team,” Tezza said. “They are solid one through six.”
The TCU players say they are suffering from exhaustion and the effects of a rigorous schedule.
“A lot of the guys are pretty tired at this point,” Barbu said. “We’ve had a tough schedule and a lot of tough practices. We just need to make sure we keep getting our rest and stay in good shape for each match.”
Tezza said the changes in the environment could effect the Frogs as well.
“We’re stepping into an entirely new environment with a much different altitude,” Tezza said. “The balls are coming a lot faster. We just have to focus on what we know we can do.”
Barbu said their support of each other will play a big part in their success this weekend.
“We do a really good job of cheering for each other, no matter what court we are all playing on,” Barbu said. “We just need to stay positive and keep each other motivated.