The men’s tennis team will finish up its regular season schedule at 2 p.m. today when it travels to Dallas to face the Southern Methodist University Mustangs.
Head coach Dave Borelli said his team has come a long way from a 10-12 record a year ago, entering today’s matchup with an 18-6 overall record and a 5-1 record in conference.
With TCU’s fifth conference win over the University of New Mexico last weekend, it finished as a Mountain West Conference regular season co-champion, sharing the title with New Mexico and Utah.
The team is the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Conference Championships.
“We have some really good guys, and they are really one of the best groups I have had,” Borelli said. “I am very lucky.”
Junior Kriegler Brink said a big part of the team’s success this season is attributed to Borelli having the time and resources to recruit players.
NCAA restrictions placed on TCU last year, including the loss of a scholarship and the inability to recruit off-campus, were penalties imposed during Borelli’s first year, though, and they were the result of another staff’s mistakes, Borelli said.
“Losing a scholarship when you only have four and a half is a big deal,” Borelli said.
Borelli said he and his assistant coach recruited some great players for this year and that has made all aspects of the program better.
Both Brink and Borelli agree it is important to finish the season strong, but ending the season with SMU does not make this match more important.
“We want to end the season strong no matter who we play,” Brink said.
This match was rescheduled from earlier in the season, and Borelli said he is glad it happened this way.
“We were playing at a high altitude in Utah last weekend, and now we have a chance to play back at sea level against SMU,” Borelli said. “I think this will help our team get acclimated before the championships.”
The Mountain West Conference Championships will be held in Fort Worth at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, and they will begin on April 24 and conclude on April 26.
Brink said he is excited that the conference championships are in Fort Worth this year, and he said he sees it as an advantage.
“We know the courts and conditions, and it always helps playing in front of your own fans,” Brink said.