Men's Tennis Wins Thriller Over No. 41 Tulane at Conference USA Shootout
Feb. 23, 2002
FORT WORTH, Texas -- It was déjà vu at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center today as the 29th-ranked TCU men's tennis team (4-2) won another thrilling and heated match over No. 41 Tulane (6-2) by a 4-2 count in the Conference USA Shootout. The Horned Frogs faced the Green Wave two times last year, winning 4-3 during their regular season match and then besting Tulane once again in the NCAA Regionals 4-2.
Like their previous two meetings with the Green Wave, TCU dropped the doubles point to fall behind 1-0. Tulane's first win came at one doubles with 13th-ranked Michael Kogan and Victor Romero winning 8-5 over freshman Fabrizio Sestini and junior Toni Gordon. Tulane's Hannu Piiroinen and Jorge Lievano defeated senior Daniel Wajnberg and freshman Jacob Martin 9-7 at the three slot to clinch the point. The Frogs managed an 8-6 win at two doubles thanks to freshman Daniel Scholten and sophomore Alex Menichini.
Things looked bleak for TCU when the Frogs fell behind 2-0 as the Green Wave's Mattias Westerberg handed Scholten his first career loss in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at three singles. Scholten was 9-0 heading in to today's match.
The Frogs got on the board when Menichini won a decisive 6-2, 6-4 match over Jorge Lievano at four singles to cut Tulane's lead in half at 2-1.
TCU evened the score at 2-2 when freshman Fabrizio Sestini, ranked No. 74 in the country, won the biggest match of his career at No. 1 singles over Tulane's all-American standout sophomore Michael Kogan 6-3, 1-6, 7-5. The 10th-ranked Kogan was an all-American in singles and doubles last season as a freshman.
Martin finally gave TCU the lead when he triumphed over Piiroinen at five singles 6-7, 6-3, 7-5. The match was on serve at 6-5 in the third with Piiroinen serving, but the sophomore from Tampere, Finland tightened up with a double fault and two unforced errors to fall behind 15-40 in the game. After a short rally on the next point, Martin bombed a forehand down the line for the victory.
TCU clinched the match 15 minutes later when Gordon upset 29th-ranked Romero at two singles 7-6, 5-7, 6-2. With darkness setting in, the match between TCU freshman Willy Gali and Alex Dion was suspended in the third set after five games.
"I'm so proud of the way our guys came back today," said an elated TCU head coach Joey Rivé after the win. "This was a huge match for us and everyone came through in the clutch. This gives us some much needed momentum."
The Horned Frogs will now take on No. 42 South Alabama at home this Monday at 1:00 p.m. on the Bernard J. "Tut" Bartzen Varsity Tennis Courts at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
No. 1 #74 Fabrizio Sestini (TCU) def. #10 Michael Kogan (TU) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
No. 1 #13 Kogan/Romero (TU) def. Sestini/Gordon (TCU) 8-5