TCU men's tennis wins 2006 Mountain West Conference Championship
April 29, 2006
SAN DIEGO - The 33rd-ranked TCU men's tennis team captured the 2006 Mountain West Conference Championship with a 4-1 victory over 48th-ranked and defending conference champion San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at the Barnes Tennis Center. For the Frogs, it is their first conference tournament title since claiming the WAC Championship in 2001.
"I thought that our boys got off to a great start," stated TCU head coach Joey Rivé. "(Doubles teams) two and three played really well and after falling behind, one was able to come back to tie."
Senior Jacopo Tezza and freshman Kriegler Brink clinched the doubles point for the Frogs with an 8-5 triumph over Christian Groh and Robert Sabo at No. 3. The TCU tandem finished MWC action with a record of 8-1.
Tezza moved the Frogs to a 2-0 lead after downing 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 for his eighth conference win of the season. The Verona, Italy, product grabbed MWC Player of the Week honors on March 1 after posting a 1-0 mark in singles play and a 1-1 record in doubles competition as he helped the Horned Frogs to a pair of victories. In a win over then No. 70 Denver, Tezza teamed with Brink for a doubles victory over the Pioneers (8-8 [9-7]). In a win over then No. 13 LSU, Tezza defeated the Tigers' Paul White (6-2, 6-4).
Junior Radu Barbu knocked off Gomez 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 to place TCU within one point of clinching the MWC title. Barbu finished conference play with a record of 6-2.
SDSU's Benedikt Stronk recorded a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cotet at No. 3 to score the first point the Aztecs in the match.
Senior Jordan Freitas clinched the match and the championship for the Frogs with a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph at No. 6 versus Sabo. Hailing from Eastbourne, England, Freitas finished 7-1 in conference matches.
"We were absolutely awesome in singles," Rivé continued. "I am just so proud of the way that we played and competed. I felt that we really deserved this after our play today."
With the win, TCU improved to 17-9 overall and grab an automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Frogs will learn their first-round opponent on Wednesday when the selection show airs on ESPNEWS. The announcement will come at approximately 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
"I think it was important for us to come and play big today," Rivé concluded. "I think there was a little doubt before heading into the NCAAs but we erased that. We got our lineup where we want it and guys are playing great. I don't know where we are going, but we will tough when we get there."