FROGS DISPATCH TECH AT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
NORMAN, Okla.—TCU won four of six singles matches against Texas Tech on Friday morning to earn a 4-2 first-round victory and a spot in the semifinals of the 2013 Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship at OU’s Headington Family Tennis Center.
The Horned Frogs, the bracket’s No. 4 seed, advance to face top seed Baylor in Saturday’s semifinals held at Noon. The winner between the Frogs and Bears will play No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas or No. 6 Oklahoma State in Sunday’s 1 p.m. final.
“I thought it was a tough match,” head coach David Roditi said. “Texas Tech played well and really competed. I’m proud of the way we were able to win some of those tight three-set matches. That’s been a major point of emphasis for us all year—closing when it counts. We were able to come through there at the end, and I’m happy for Facundo (Lugones) and Rodolfo (Bustamante) that they could close out the match.”
Roditi switched up TCU’s singles lineup for the first time since prior to the start of the conference season, and the move paid dividends. The squad swapped both its Nos. 2 and 3 spots and its Nos. 5 and 6 positions, resulting in three Frog points, one more than in its previous meeting with the Red Raiders back on April 19 in Fort Worth that ended up going down to the final match.
Bustamante was able to keep Texas Tech from forcing the doubles competition by clinching the team decision with a three-set victory at No. 5 singles over Francisco Zambon, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Bustamante had played the No. 6 spot during the Big 12 regular season before stepping up Friday, while he snapped a four-match individual skid in the process.
The switch at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions also paid off, as both senior Orlando Superlano and junior Arnau Dachs recorded victories after splitting points in TCU’s previous win this season vs. Tech. Superlano, slotted at No. 2, eased past Felipe Soraes in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, while Dachs overcame a rough start at the No. 3 position for a three-set win over Raphael Pfister, 1-6, 6-1, 6-0. Superlano’s win marked his team-best 24th of the season, and he improved to 3-0 when playing No. 2. Dachs won his first match playing at the third position.
Sophomore Facundo Lugones, the Big 12’s Co-Champion this season at No. 4 singles with a 4-1 record, posted a three-set victory over the Red Raiders’ Hugo Dojas (6-3, 4-6, 6-4) to run his season record to 23-12 overall. It marked Lugones’ fourth straight victory.
The outcome boosted TCU’s overall season record to 18-8, the program’s most wins since a 20-win campaign in 2008. The Frogs also swept both matches this season against Texas Tech after entering the spring having dropped four-straight decisions to the Red Raiders.
TCU, ranked No. 35 nationally, looks to add another victory to its season resume Saturday when it faces Baylor, the nation’s 15th-ranked team.
“We’ll be ready to play tomorrow,” Roditi said. “They guys can’t wait to play a very good team in Baylor. I like the fact that we had the opportunity to play a match today. It really helped us prepare for tomorrow. Our strength coach, coach (Todd) Kensler, has done an amazing job with these guys all year, and I know we will be ready to go.”
MATCH RESULTS – #4 TCU 4, #5 TEXAS TECH 2
No. 1. Vitor Manzini (TTU) def. #104 Nick Chappell (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 2. Orlando Superlano (TCU) def. Felipe Soares (TTU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 3. Arnau Dachs (TCU) def. Raphael Pfister (TTU) 1-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 4. Facundo Lugones (TCU) def. Hugo Dojas (TTU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 5. Rodolfo Bustamante (TCU) def. Francisco Zambon (TTU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
No. 6. Gabriel Wanderley (TTU) def. JT Sundling (TCU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: Singles (2,3,1,4,6,5); Doubles (Not Contested)