Horned Frog Men's Tennis Drops Close Match With Rice

Radu Barbu won his singles and doubles matches Friday against Rice.

Radu Barbu won his singles and doubles matches Friday against Rice.

April 1, 2005

HOUSTON -- The 39th-ranked TCU men's tennis team lost a tightly contested match with the No. 32 Rice Owls Friday in Houston. The 4-3 loss dropped the Horned Frogs' record to 5-10 this spring and marked their ninth defeat in a row. Rice improved to 10-5 with the victory.

The Frogs got off to a quick start by sweeping the doubles. Radu Barbu and Jacopo Tezza were the first to win at the third position, where they defeated Rodrigo Gabriel and Ralph Knupfer, 8-6. Jordan Freitas and Jacob Martin clinched the 1-0 lead by upending Tony Haerle and Filip Zivojinovic, 9-8, at two doubles. The 13th-rated duo of Rafael Abreu and Fabrizio Sestini finished off Ben Harknett and Robert Searle at the top spot in a tiebreaker as well.

Gabriel tied the contest up at 1-1 when he recorded a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Andrew Ulrich at six singles. Ulrich was inserted into TCU's lineup after the coaching staff decided to rest Abreu because of an ailing ankle injury.

TCU struck back with Barbu's 6-4, 6-3 victory on court No. 4 versus Zivojinovic, but Rice countered with 41st-ranked Searle's 7-5, 6-4 win against No. 20 Sestini at one singles. Harknett put the Owls ahead by downing Martin at the third slot, 6-4, 7-5. Freitas tied the match up at 3-3 when he pulled out a three-setter over Knupfer at No. 5 singles, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

In the final match on court two, Tezza had match point up 6-5 in the third set against Haerle. After a long rally, Haerle came to the net and hit a volley that Tezza called wide, however, the referee overruled his call, forcing the match to continue. Tezza went on to lose in a tiebreaker.

TCU returns to Fort Worth, Texas, April 3 against No. 44 Tulsa for the first of five straight home matches to end the regular season. The Frogs and Golden Hurricane play at 1:30 p.m. CST on the Bernard J. "Tut" Bartzen Varsity Tennis Courts at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

#32 Rice (10-5) def. #39 TCU (5-10), 4-3

1. #41 Robert Searle, Rice, def. #20 Fabrizio Sestini, TCU, 7-5, 6-4
2. Tony Haerle, Rice, def. Jacopo Tezza, TCU, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6
3. Ben Harknett, Rice, def. Jacob Martin, TCU, 6-4, 7-5
4. Radu Barbu, TCU, def. Filip Zivojinovic, Rice, 6-4, 6-3
5. Jordan Freitas, TCU, def. Ralph Knupfer, Rice, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. Rodrigo Gabriel, Rice, def. Andrew Ulrich, TCU, 6-2, 6-1

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

1. #13 Abreu/Sestini, TCU, def. Harknett/Searle, Rice, 9-8
2. Freitas/Martin, TCU, def. Haerle/Zivojinovic, Rice, 9-8
3. Barbu/Tezza, TCU, def. Gabriel/Knupfer, Rice, 8-6

Order of Finish: 3, 2*, 1

* Clinching point



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