TCU Men's Tennis Falters Against No. 6 Rice, 4-3

March 25, 2004


The 11th-ranked TCU men's tennis team dropped its second match of 2004 Thursday afternoon, faltering to No. 6 Rice by a 4-3 count. The match was played outdoors on the Tut Bartzen Varsity Tennis Courts at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. TCU is 13-2 on the year, while Rice remains unbeaten at 17-0. The loss snapped the Frogs' 18-match winning streak against the Owls. Previously, Rice had not defeated TCU since March 11, 1989, when it was victorious by a 5-4 tally in Houston.

The Frogs did themselves a disservice by failing to capture the doubles point. At one, Rice's fourth-ranked duo of twin brothers Richard and William Barker registered an 8-5 triumph over Hector Almada and Jacopo Tezza. Ben Harknett and Robert Searle gave the Owls the 1-0 lead when they put the first blemish on Jacob Martin and Alex Menichini's slate together. They were 14-0 before Harknett and Searle got the 8-5 win.

TCU's 19th-ranked tandem of Rafael Abreu and Fabrizio Sestini prevented Rice from getting the sweep. They were 8-6 winners against Konstantin Haerle and Vuk Rajevac at the No. 2 slot.

No. 36-ranked Searle got Rice's second point quickly by downing Almada at the No. 1 position, 6-1, 6-0. The Frogs won their first point when Martin disposed of Harknett at six, 7-5, 6-4, to extend his winning streak to eight matches. He is 16-7 on the year and 10-0 at No. 6 singles. Rice climbed to within a point of clinching the match when Rajevac beat Abreu in straight sets at five, 7-6, 6-3.

The Purple and White refused to go away and Tezza cut the Rice advantage to one, 3-2, by defeating Haerle at four singles, 6-3, 7-6. It was Tezza's eighth win in a row and pushed his record on the season to 22-6.



Sestini and Richard Barker's match at the third spot decided the team victor. Barker had a chance to serve out the match up a set and 5-4 in the second, but Sestini broke back. After Sestini had his serve broken, he did the same to Barker to send the match into a tiebreaker. Barker went on to win 7-2 in the breaker.

Up 4-2, No. 69-ranked William Barker withdrew from his match with No. 41 Menichini at two up 5-3 in the second set. Menichini won the first by a 7-6 count and was awarded the victory by default.

Next up on TCU's slate is a March 30 date with No. 2-rated Baylor at 6 p.m. in Waco.

#6 Rice (17-0) 4, #11 TCU (13-2) 3

1. #36 Robert Searle (RU) def. Hector Almada (TCU) 6-1, 6-0
2. #41 Alex Menichini (TCU) def. #69 William Barker (RU) 7-6, 3-5 (Default)
3. Richard Barker (RU) def. Fabrizio Sestini (TCU) 7-5, 7-6
4. Jacopo Tezza (TCU) def. Konstantin Haerle (RU) 6-3, 7-6
5. Vuk Rajevac (RU) def. Rafael Abreu (TCU) 7-6, 6-3
6. Jacob Martin (TCU) def. Ben Harknett (RU) 7-5, 6-4

Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 4, 3*, 2

1. #4 R. Barker/W. Barker (RU) def. Almada/Tezza (TCU) 8-5
2. #19 Abreu/Sestini (TCU) def. Haerle/Rajevac (RU) 8-6
3. Harknett/Searle (RU) def. Martin/Menichini (TCU) 8-5

Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2

* Clinching point

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