March 4, 2009
FORT WORTH--TCU took advantage of its home courts while getting back on the winning track Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over cross-town rival SMU at the Tut Bartzen Varsity Courts. The win ended a three-match Frog losing streak, as well as a three-match losing skid to the Mustangs.
TCU, ranked 43rd nationally, improved to 3-7 on the season, while SMU dropped to 7-7.
Sophomore Zach Nichols finalized the team decision with a win at No. 4 singles after dropping the first set against Chris Hooshyar. Later down 4-3 in the final set, Nichols took control of the match by winning the final three games for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
After the Horned Frogs had raced out to a 3-0 lead by claiming the doubles point and singles victories by senior Kriegler Brink and sophomore Christopher Price, the Mustangs rallied. Sophomore Emanuel Brighiu, ranked 79th nationally in singles, had numerous match points in the second set at No. 1 singles that No. 58 Robin Fahgen was able to fight off. Fahgen went on to win the set before completing a comeback win in the following set, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
Brink, playing with his highest career national ranking of No. 80, earned an easy win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, over Artem Baradach at No. 3 singles, while Price followed with his first dual match victory of the spring at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-2, over Gaston Cuadranti.
TCU took the doubles point for the sixth straight outing to begin the match. Brighiu and junior Adrian Simon cruised past the SMU pairing of Baradach and Hooshyar, 8-1, before the 48th-ranked pairing of el-Effendi and Walsh evened the doubles competition with an 8-5 victory over Brink and Mbarek. The loss was the first of six spring matches for Brink and Mbarek, who entered the day ranked 26th nationally.
Nichols and Price clinched the doubles point with the pair's first win over a ranked tandem this spring, 8-5, over the 73rd-rated Fahgen and Cuadranti.
"I was really pleased with the win, because I think they are really a better team than what their record shows," TCU head coach Dave Borelli said. "I thought we should have won No. 1 and 2 singles to make it 6-1, but we still won the match. They are a good team.
"These are the kind of matches you win after playing the schedule we have played," Borelli said. "I just feel that in close matches, even if things aren't working well for us, we are still going to pull out the win."
TCU continues its six-match homestand Friday, when it plays host to No. 63 San Diego at 2 p.m.
TCU 4, SMU 3
March 4, 2009
Bernard J. "Tut" Bartzen Varsity Courts
1. #14 Emanuel Brighiu/Adrian Simon (TCU) def. Artem Baradach/Chris Hooshyar (SMU) 8-1
2. #48 Darren Walsh/Adham el-Effendi (SMU) def. #26 Kriegler Brink/Slah Mbarek (TCU) 8-5
3. Zach Nichols/Christopher Price (TCU) def. #73 Robin Fahgen/Gaston Cuadranti (SMU) 8-5
1. #58 Robin Fahgen (SMU) def. #79 Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
2. David Costa (SMU) def. #93 Slah Mbarek (TCU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
3. #80 Kriegler Brink (TCU) def. Artem Baradach (SMU) 6-3, 6-0
4. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Chris Hooshyar (SMU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
5. Christopher Price (TCU) def. Gaston Cuadranti (SMU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Darren Walsh (SMU) def. Casey Powers (TCU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-2