Frogs Open Season with Two Wins Sunday

Junior Christopher Price clinched TCU's second team victory of the day.

Junior Christopher Price clinched TCU's second team victory of the day.

Jan. 24, 2010

Final Stats

ARLINGTON—The TCU men’s tennis team opened its spring dual match season Sunday with a pair of victories over Texas-Pan American (4-3) and UT Arlington (5-2) at the UTA Tennis Center.

The 38th-ranked Horned Frogs were without two of their top players in junior Emanuel Brighiu and freshman Soren Goritzka Sunday, but the squad still managed to pull out wins in its opening two matches of the season.

“I thought the guys played pretty well for their first time out this spring,” head coach Dave Borelli said. “There were times when some of them were tested, and they seemed to perform well under pressure.”

In attendance Sunday was the TCU women’s team, which Borelli credited for helping bring energy to his squad with two matches on its plate.

“The women’s team was there cheering for us, and that really helped pick us up,” Borelli said. “It was great to have another team out there supporting us.”

The Frogs pulled out a 4-3 win in the day’s opening match against UTPA despite dropping the doubles point and matches at Nos. 1 and 5 singles. Sophomore Slah Mbarek, who struggled during the fall tournament season, provided the clinching win at No. 2 singles after being blanked in the first set by Brett Bernstein. He rallied for the 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory that put the Frogs over the top.

“Slah was in a funk all fall, and then in the second and third sets of this match today he came out of it,” Borelli said. “It was a big win for us.”

Also contributing to the victory with singles wins were junior Zach Nichols at the No. 3 position over Beau Bernstein, 7-5, 6-2; junior Christopher Price at the No. 4 position over Nirvick Mohinta, 6-2, 6-0; and senior Kelubia Mabatah in the No. 6 slot over Abdelhamid Riani, 6-0, 6-1.

The afternoon match against UTA featured a better start for TCU, as each of the three Frog doubles tandems swept wins to earn the doubles point. Nichols and Price finished 2-0 on the day at No. 2 doubles with an 8-3 win over the Mavericks’ Adam Srkala and Andrey Yakovlev.

The Frogs continued to breeze to their team victory in singles, taking the first three matches that finished to seal the win. Price clinched the final outcome at No. 4 singles with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Yakovlev. Adding victories were Mbarek at No. 2 singles over Mindaugas Celedinas, 6-1, 6-3; Nichols in the No. 3 slot over Brieuc Hamon, 6-4, 6-1; and Mabatah at the No. 6 position over Giacomo Sano, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

“Overall, I was happy with how the day went for us,” Borelli said. “We have a good group of guys, and it really seems to be one that has its act together. It’s one of most enjoyable groups I’ve been around, and the guys seem like winners.

“Cameron and Kelubia were a couple of guys who really stepped up today for us, and I feel that some of the others who were in the lineup last year have really improved. I’m really happy where we are right now.”

TCU returns to action next Saturday in Waco, Texas, when it opens play during ITA Kick-Off Weekend against No. 58 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 10 a.m. The squad will face either No. 6 Baylor or No. 60 Iowa the following day at 1 or 4 p.m. The team that wins both of its matches during the weekend will advance to play in the Feb. 12-15 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis.

No. 38 TCU 4, Texas-Pan American 3
Jan. 24, 2010
Arlington, Texas (UT Arlington Tennis Center)

1. Be. Bernstein/Bernstein (UTPA) def. P. Chappell/M. Cirstea (TCU), 8-6
2. Z. Nichols/C. Price (TCU) def. A. Vijayaragavan/N. Mohinta (UTPA), 8-6
3. M. Dornauf/A. Irving (UTPA) def. S. Centeno/S. Mbarek (TCU), 9-7

1. Aswin Vijayaragavan (UTPA) def. Marius Cirstea (TCU), 6-4, 6-3
2. *Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. Brett Bernstein (UTPA), 0-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Beau Bernstein (UTPA), 7-5, 6-2
4. Christopher Price (TCU) def. Nirvick Mohinta (UTPA), 6-2, 6-0
5. Marcus Dornauf (UTPA) def. Paul Chappell (TCU), 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(4)
6. Kelubia Mabatah (TCU) def. Abdelhamid Riani (UTPA), 6-0, 6-1

No. 38 TCU 5, UT Arlington 2
Jan. 24, 2010
Arlington, Texas (UT Arlington Tennis Center)

1. M. Cirstea/P. Chappell (TCU) def. D. Minkin/M. Celedinas (UTA), 9-7
2. Z. Nichols/C. Price (TCU) def. A. Srkala/A. Yakovlev, 8-3
3. C. Nash/S. Mbarek (TCU) def. B. Hamin/G. Sano (UTA), 8-4

1. Dmitry Minkin (UTA) def. Marius-Adrian Cirstea (TCU), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6
2. Slah Mbarek (TCU) def. Mindaugas Celedinas (UTA), 6-1, 6-3
3. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Brieuc Hamon (UTA), 6-4, 6-1
4. *Christopher Price (TCU) def. Andrey Yakovlev (UTA), 7-5, 6-4*
5. Adam Srkala (UTA) def. Paul Chappell (TCU), 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-4
6. Kelubia Mabatah (TCU) def. Giacomo Sano (UTA), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

*-clinched team win



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