Senior Emanuel Brighiu picked up his first singles win of the season
FORT WORTH – The No. 47 TCU men’s tennis team got off to a good start in doubles, but would later fall apart in singles action, to drop a 5-2 decision to No. 33 Mississippi State Friday afternoon at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
“I thought we had a good opportunity to beat a ranked team at home today, but we let it get by us,” TCU head coach David Roditi said. “[Emanuel] Brighiu had a nice win and we continue to do well in doubles, but our guys have to believe that we can win when we walk onto the singles courts. We are not believing, when it gets to crunch time, that we can beat these teams.”
TCU got on the board early with a pair of doubles wins to take a 1-0 advantage in the team scoring. The Horned Frogs’ top team of Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price, ranked No. 48 in the latest ITA national listing, made quick work of MSU’s George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin, 8-4. On the No. 2 court, TCU’s tandem of Slah Mbarek and Cameron Nash sealed the doubles point for the Purple and White, defeating the Bulldogs’ James Chaudry and Tanner Stump in convincing fashion, 8-4.
In the singles portion, MSU evened the team tally as Zach White made quick work of Nash from the No. 6 court, earning the win by the score of 6-1, 6-2. Ilyushin, ranked No. 53 nationally in singles, gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead after cruising past Mbarek from the second court, 6-4, 6-3, and No. 73 Louis Cant moved the Bulldogs to within one win of clinching the match by picking up a 6-3, 6-1 decision over TCU’s Daniel Sanchez from the fifth position.
Brighiu had a great day for the Frogs from the top court, stopping MSU’s momentum by dismantling Coupland in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. The victory marks the first win of the season for the senior from Iasi, Romania, and brought TCU to within a point of MSU in the team score, 3-2.
At the No. 4 position, the Frogs’ Price and the Bulldogs’ Malte Stropp battled it out to a tiebreaker in the first set, but the MSU player was too tough in the end, clinching the team win with a score of 7-6 (6), 6-1.
TCU will hit the road to makeup a pair of matches that were scheduled earlier in the month, traveling to take on Tulsa and Wichita State. The Frogs will battle the Golden Hurricane Sunday (Feb. 27) and the Shockers Monday (Feb. 28). Both matches will be played at Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center and set to begin at 11 a.m.
No. 33 Mississippi State (4-3) def. No. 47 TCU (2-5), 5-2
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center | Fort Worth, Texas
1. Emanuel Brighiu (TCU) def. George Coupland (MSU) 7-5, 6-3
2. #53 Artem Ilyushin (MSU) def. Slah Mbarek (TCU), 6-4, 6-3
3. James Chaudry (MSU def. Zach Nichols (TCU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Malte Stropp (MSU) def. Christopher Price (TCU) 7-6 (6), 6-1
5. #73 Louis Cant (MSU) def. Daniel Sanchez (TCU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Zach White (MSU) def. Cameron Nash (TCU) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 5, 1, 4*, 3
1. #48 Brighiu/Price (TCU) def. Coupland/Ilyushin (MSU) 8-4
2. Mbarek/Nash (TCU) def. Chaudry/Stump (MSU) 8-4
3. Stropp/White (MSU) def. Nichols/Sanchez (TCU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 1, 2*, 3