2007 TCU men's tennis season review
June 29, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU men's tennis team completed the 2007 season ranked No. 68 in the country by the Fila/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings. For the first time since 1990, the Horned Frogs didn't earn a bid to the NCAA tournament, after being knocked out of the Mountain West Conference Championship in the semifinals.
Head coach Dave Borelli, who spent the last four seasons with the TCU women's program, took over the reigns of the men's team in one of his toughest challenges in 18 years of collegiate coaching. The men entered the 2006-07 season without five letterwinners from last year's squad that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
"I thought it was a great year considering half of the season we were playing with only three scholarship players," said Borelli. "I looked at this season as a rebuilding year, as we lost a lot of players from a great team last season. I really enjoyed being with these guys and I wouldn't exchange them for better results."
The Frogs began the season ranked No. 36 in the nation and kicked off the spring slate at home on Jan. 24 against UT-Pan American, cruising to a 7-0 win. TCU then ran into a roadblock, dropping eight consecutive contests, six coming to top 25 teams.
TCU's eighth consecutive loss, which came on March 14 against No. 19 Duke, did see a bright spot, as senior Radu Barbu emerged back into the lineup. Following the loss to the Blue Devils, TCU won the next three out of four matches heading into conference play.
The men opened MWC action in San Diego, Calif., recording two victories against Utah and No. 69 BYU before dropping a close 4-3 decision to No. 52 San Diego State.
After falling to No. 45 Wisconsin two days after returning from their California road trip, the Frogs hosted three conference opponents to wrap up the regular season slate. TCU did not drop a set to Air Force en route to a 7-0 shutout, and edged UNLV, 4-3, to set up a showdown with No. 46 New Mexico.
In what Coach Borelli describes as one of his top-three moments in coaching, the Horned Frogs fought to a 4-2 victory over the Lobos to secure a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and finish 5-1 in the regular season for the second consecutive year.
For their efforts, three Horned Frogs were named to the All-MWC team prior to the start of the conference tournament.
Cosmin Cotet was named to the all-conference singles team after going 10-9 overall and 5-1 in MWC contests. Cotet, who played primarily at the No. 1 position after playing no higher than the No. 3 slot prior to the start of the season, defeated four nationally ranked opponents.
Christopher Biro joined Cotet on the all-singles team after putting together a 13-6 mark overall, including a 5-1 record in conference play. Biro closed out the season winning 10 of 11 singles contests.
Cotet and Kriegler Brink were named to the All-MWC doubles team after posting an impressive 14-4 record at the No. 1 position. The tandem, who added two more victories at the conference tournament, knocked off three ranked duos on the season.
In the MWC Championship, the Frogs posted another shutout victory over host-school Air Force before falling to a hot UNLV team in the semifinals.
Voted on by their fellow netters, Senior co-captain Andrew Ulrich was awarded the team's sportsmanship award, while Barbu, another senior co-captain, was honored with the MVP award, after the Frogs went 9-5 with the Pitesti, Romania, native in the lineup. Brink was also voted the Most Improved Player after playing primarily at the No. 6 and No. 7 positions last season.
In the final Fila/ITA individual poll, Cotet finished with a No. 93 singles ranking, marking the 28th consecutive year that a Horned Frog has finished in the final poll. Cotet was also ranked No. 11 in the South Central region along with Brink at No. 26. Cotet and Brink finished ranked in the year-end doubles poll at No. 44 in the nation and No. 5 in the region.
"I'm very excited about the prospects we have and next year will certainly be a lot better," Borelli said. "I feel the kids we have, with their personalities and work ethic, was a great way to start the program here for me."