2008 Season in Review
June 23, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas - The 2008 TCU men's tennis team exceeded all expectations entering the season, doubling their win total from the previous year with 20 victories. The Horned Frogs, who were one of the youngest squads in the nation, won the Mountain West Conference Tennis Championship, as well as a share of the MWC regular season crown, and finished the season ranked No. 34 nationally.
Four Frogs were named to the All-Mountain West Conference Singles Team to lead the league, while Cosmin Cotet and Kriegler Brink earned their second consecutive all-conference doubles selection. Cotet, a senior from Iasi, Romania, was tabbed MWC Co-Player of the Year, and finished the season ranked No. 30, marking the highest singles ranking for a Frog since the 2001 season.
The Frogs jumped out to a 9-0 start this season, marking the first time since 2004 and only the second time a TCU squad has won its first nine contests in 22 years. TCU posted a dramatic 4-3 victory at home over No. 31 Texas Tech, and followed with a dominating 7-0 shutout of No. 66 Minnesota to improve to 9-0 before a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to No. 10 Oklahoma State.
The Purple and White would bounce back, claiming a 4-3 victory over No. 35 Oklahoma in a match for the ages. With the contest tied at 3-3, TCU freshman Zach Nichols found himself down 5-0 in the final set before mounting a furious rally to force a tiebreaker which he would win in front of the home crowd, sending his teammates rushing to the court.
After a three-match road skid against ranked opponents, the Frogs returned home to knock off No. 22 Wake Forest by a score of 4-3. TCU would also defeat Columbia at home before turning in an impressive performance at Fresno State, handing the Bulldogs their lone home loss of the season.
TCU opened regular season conference action in Las Vegas with three convincing victories over Air Force, BYU and UNLV. Against the Rebels, head coach Dave Borelli earned his 400th career victory in his 20th season of coaching in collegiate tennis.
The Frogs traveled to Provo, Utah, to wrap up the regular season in the MWC, dropping a tough 4-3 decision to Utah, which forced TCU to win the remaining two matches in order to claim a share of the MWC regular season title. The Frogs did just that, defeating San Diego State and New Mexico to close out the conference slate.
After receiving the top seed in the MWC Championships and earning a first-round bye, the Frogs blanked BYU to set up a rematch with New Mexico for the title. TCU lost the first three singles matches and dropped the first set in two other contests before reeling off three victories to knot the match at 3-3. Junior Kriegler Brink won the final match in dramatic fashion to clinch the championship, with the last game going to 14 points. With the win, the Frogs earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals for the 17th time in the last 18 seasons.
The Frogs would face No. 24 Rice in the opening round of the Austin Regional, and find themselves in yet another tight contest in a match that lasted nearly five hours. TCU would ultimately drop a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to close the season. Cotet highlighted the match for TCU, knocking off No. 14 Bruno Rosa in straight sets for his third victory over an opponent ranked in the top 15 on the season.
Cotet earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships out of the Mountain West Conference, while Cotet and Brink also received a bid in doubles play. Cotet opened play with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over No. 62 Christoph Muller of Rice for his 14th victory of the season over a ranked opponent. Cotet would fall in the round of 32, while the Frog duo of Cotet and Brink fell just short of an upset bid of the No. 3 seeded team from Miami in the opening round. Brink and Cotet earned a year-end national ranking of No. 53.
With five freshmen making up the top seven singles positions this past season, the Frogs look poised for another stellar campaign in 2008-09.