Men's Tennis Falls in NCAAs to LSU, 4-0
May 11, 2002
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Looking to add to its 2-0 regular season record against the powerhouse Southeastern Conference, which placed all 12 teams in the NCAAs for the second consecutive year, the No. 30 TCU men's tennis team (11-12) found itself pitted against 31st-ranked LSU (11-13) in the first round of the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas. However, the Frogs' luck ran out on Saturday as they succumb to the Tigers by a 4-0 count. The Horned Frogs' 11-12 record marked their first losing season since 1998 and only their second in the past 29 years.
The doubles point was won by the Tigers, who picked up victories at the one and two spots. After the two teams split victories at one and three, LSU's Cory Ross and Sebastian Rutka claimed an 8-5 victory over the freshmen tandem of Fabrizio Sestini and Daniel Scholten to give the Tigers the early 1-0 lead.
"I think the doubles point was such a psychological factor for TCU," said LSU head coach Jeff Brown. "It really seems to make a big difference. I think if they would have won the doubles point, it would've been a bigger boost for them than it was for us."
TCU finished the season having won the doubles point only seven times in 23 matches. The Horned Frogs were a perfect 7-0 this season when they won the doubles, but a mere 4-12 when they lost it.
LSU carried the momentum of their doubles play into the singles action, picking up three straight set victories at one, four and five. Daniel Kiernan, ranked 52nd in the nation, got things started for the Tigers when he defeated 71st-ranked junior Toni Gordon 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 slot. Sebastian Rutka captured LSU's next point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Scholten at five. Bryan Fisher's 6-2, 6-4 triumph over TCU sophomore Alex Menichini at four was the Tigers' final victory. LSU will now face 16th-seeded Texas A&M, who beat Southern 4-0 following the Tigers' victory, tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.
After the match, TCU head coach Joey Rivé said, "I thought the doubles point was a good competitive point. We've been struggling with it a bit lately. We just seem to have been short a couple of guys in doubles. It's been a tough year for us in doubles. We have a lot of young guys. We just brought in our main core of guys in January. And they've done a good job of forming chemistry in a short amount of time. Our hats go off to LSU."
No. 1 #52 Daniel Kiernan (LSU) def. #71 Toni Gordon (TCU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 1 Hazley/Kiernan (LSU) def. Menichini/Jacob Martin (TCU) 8-3