2007 TCU women's tennis season review
June 25, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU women's tennis team completed another successful season as they earned a bid to their fourth consecutive and 10th overall trip to the NCAA Tournament and a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. The women finished the season ranked No. 38 in the Fila/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings after posting a 17-11 overall record.
"The 2006-07 season was a success in many ways," said TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond. "We were co-conference champions during the regular season and finished with three ranked singles players. Ana Cetnik and Anna Sydorska were named to the ITA All-Star Team after advancing to the semifinals at the NCAA Doubles Championship and the finals at the National Indoors Tournament last fall."
The Horned Frogs entered the season with a preseason ranking of No. 16 under first year head coach Jefferson Hammond. Hammond had served as the assistant coach the past two seasons, which saw TCU make its first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16 in 2006.
For the second consecutive year, the Frogs kicked off the season at the prestigious USTA/ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wisc. The women dropped the first two matches against No. 7 UNC and No. 13 Pepperdine, but salvaged the event with a 5-2 victory over No. 17 Vanderbilt.
The tournament saw the emergence of freshman Nina Munch-Soegaard, who went 6-0 overall, including two singles victories over nationally ranked opponents.
Cetnik, a senior from Belgrade, Serbia, also starred for the Horned Frogs, knocking off three ranked opponents, including No. 7 Jenna Long of North Carolina. For her efforts, Cetnik was named the MWC Women's Tennis Player of the Week, and earned a season-high singles ranking of No. 23 on Feb. 21.
The women opened the home season on Feb. 20 with 5-2 victories over Texas State and UT-Arlington. The Frogs would go on to defeat Mississippi and suffer losses to No. 27 Texas A&M and No. 14 Baylor before beginning a six-match road trip.
The Frogs began the road slate with dominating 7-0, 6-1 and 7-0 victories over Oklahoma, No. 70 Rice and No. 55 SMU, respectively.
Playing with only five netters, the Frogs lost tough 4-3 decisions to No. 39 USF and No. 14 Fresno State in Fresno, Calif. After wrapping up the road tilt with a loss at No. 5 California, the Frogs would reel off six consecutive victories, beginning with a 6-1 drubbing of Kansas State.
TCU would follow the win against the Wildcats with arguably their most impressive victory of the season, downing No. 25 VCU, 6-1. The match saw the No. 6 doubles tandem of Cetnik and Sydorska rally to win five consecutive games to upset the No. 2 VCU duo of Borisova and Yuferova.
After the Frogs' upset victory, the women opened a three-match home stand against conference opponents No. 58 New Mexico, No. 74 San Diego State and No. 56 UNLV. The women won all three matches to begin conference play perfect and push the winning streak to six.
The Frogs would close out the conference regular season with five road matches, beginning with showdowns in Salt Lake City against Utah and No. 35 BYU. The women cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Utes before falling 4-3 against the Cougars in a battle of the unbeatens.
The women would cruise to 7-0 victories against Colorado State, Air Force and Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M., to end the conference regular season. With a BYU loss to San Diego State, the Frogs were able to clinch their second consecutive MWC regular season title in the victory against the Cowgirls.
A rematch in Waco, Texas, against the No. 14 Baylor Bears would put an end to the regular season slate, as the Frogs fell 7-0. The match saw Cetnik and Kewa Nichols' 10- and 12-match winning streaks, respectively, come to a close.
The Frogs earned a No. 2 seed in the MWC Championship and faced Wyoming in the opening round, where the women cruised to a 4-0 victory. TCU's run would end in the semifinals, as the Frogs fell to No. 56 UNLV, 4-2.
The women led the conference with five All-MWC selections. Cetnik, Munch-Soegaard, Sydorska and Kewa Nichols were all named to the singles team, while Cetnik and Sydorska also made the doubles team. Munch-Soegaard was named the MWC Freshman of the Year, after leading the Frogs with a 21-6 record.
TCU returned to Waco on May 12 where they faced No. 26 Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA Regionals, as the Aggies put an end to the Frogs' season with a 4-1 decision.
Cetnik earned an automatic bid out of the MWC to the singles portion of the NCAA Individual Championships in Athens, Ga., while Cetnik and Sydorska also earned a trip for the doubles competition. The duo received a No. 4 national seed, automatically qualifying the tandem for All-America honors.
Cetnik began singles play with a straight sets victory over No. 15 Riza Zalameda of UCLA before falling to No. 22 Nina Henkel of California in the round of 32. Cetnik would finish ranked No. 45 in the final Fila/ITA singles poll.
Cetnik and Sydorska won three matches together over duos from Miami, Tennessee and Pepperdine to advance to the semifinals for only the second time in school history. The Frogs fell in three sets to the eventual champions from North Carolina.
The duo ended the season as one of the school's most prolific tandems, ranked No. 3 in the nation for the highest finish in TCU history. Cetnik recorded 35 single season doubles victories to set a new school record, while Sydorska tied for second all-time with 34. Cetnik also ended her TCU career with 96 doubles wins and 175 career combined victories to rank third and seventh, respectively.
The Frogs will look to be a national contender once again next season with the addition of junior transfer Macall Harkins. Harkins came to TCU from Illinois, where the Palos Verdes, Calif., native played at the top position and finished the 2006 season ranked No. 71. TCU will also return Sydorska and Munch-Soegaard, who finished this season ranked No. 91 and No. 109, respectively.
"I know everyone would've liked to have done better at the conference tournament and in the regionals, as we just fell short of our goals this year," Hammond said. "However, our individual improvement throughout the year will give us the opportunity to better ourselves next year. We look forward to a fun, challenging and successful 2007-08 season."