May 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES—TCU saw its season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship Friday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, as Drake posted a 4-1 victory to advance in the tournament.
The Horned Frogs, the Los Angeles Regional’s No. 3 seed, finished their season with an 18-10 overall record, while the second-seeded Bulldogs moved to 25-3. TCU’s final victory total marked its highest figure since 2008, when the squad won 20 matches.
“The result today was a tough way to end the season, but Drake is a very good team and is well-coached,” head coach David Roditi said. “I thought both teams played well, but they were just more ready to compete today. Our guys who return next season need to take this experience and learn from it.”
Drake jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on the Frogs after earning the doubles point with victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. Jean Erasmus and Robin Goodman posted an 8-6 win over TCU’s Arnau Dachs and Orlando Superlano at No. 3 doubles before Nick Chappell and Will Stein, the nation’s No. 48-ranked tandem, evened the competition at No. 1 with an 8-5 Frogs win over Anis Ghorbel and James McKie. Alen Salibasic and Ben Lott were able to clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs with a tight 9-7 victory over Max Stevens and JT Sundling at No. 2.
TCU was eliminated from the NCAA field after Drake was able to take three of the first four decisions in singles. Sundling kept the Frogs’ hopes alive after the Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead following a pair of quick wins at No. 5 by Erasmus over Rodolfo Bustamante (6-1, 6-2) and at No. 4 by Salibasic over Facundo Lugones (6-4, 6-1). Sundling won his final college match in his hometown in straight sets over Ben Mullis at No. 6, 6-3, 6-2, but the effort wasn’t enough to keep the Frogs alive.
McKie clinched Drake’s team victory at No. 2 singles with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Superlano. Tight matches at No. 1 and No. 3 went unfinished after the Bulldogs’ victory was in hand.
Despite Friday’s result, the future appears bright for the TCU men’s tennis program under Roditi. The Frogs return all but two players from their regular singles lineup in Sundling and Superlano, while they also will need to replace Stevens in doubles. The squad’s postseason appearance was its first since 2010.
“I’m excited about the future of this team," Roditi said. "We are very young, and many of our guys have bright futures ahead of them. We continued to make progress this year. That showed at the end of the season with us going toe-to-toe with many of the top teams in the Big 12. If we continue to do that, we will be well equipped to compete on the national stage in the years ahead.”
NCAA FIRST ROUND
#31 Drake 4, #34 TCU 1
Los Angeles, Calif. (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
May 10, 2013
1. #48 Chappell/Will Stein (TCU) def. Ghorbel/McKie (DU) 8-5
2. Salibasic/Ben Lott (DU) def. Max Stevens/Sundling (TCU) 9-7
3. Erasmus/Goodman (DU) def. Dachs/Superlano (TCU) 8-6
1. #65 Anis Ghorbel (DU) vs. #116 Nick Chappell (TCU) 1-6, 6-3, 1-2, unfinished
2. James McKie (DU) def. Orlando Superlano (TCU) 6-3, 7-5
3. Robin Goodman (DU) vs. Arnau Dachs (TCU) 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
4. Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Facundo Lugones (TCU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Rodolfo Bustamante (TCU) 6-1, 6-2
6. JT Sundling (TCU) def. Ben Mullis (DU) 6-3, 6-2
Season Records: TCU 18-10; Drake 25-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,4,6,2)