Season Ends in Heartbreaking Fashion
May 20, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. – Tied at 3-3 with the match coming down to the final court, the No. 6 TCU men’s tennis team could not pull off the win as No. 3 Ohio State took the 4-3 victory on Saturday afternoon in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Tennis Division I quarterfinal match at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
The doubles point all came down to a tiebreaker on court one as the Horned Frogs (22-5) took the match on court three while the Buckeyes (32-3) grabbed the win on court two. After going down a break early, No. 25 Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder fought back to put the match back on serve. Leading 6-5 in the tiebreaker, the duo could not convert as the Ohio State pair won three straight points to take the doubles point and early lead in the match.
TCU did not back down and took four first sets to open singles action. The Buckeyes would take a 2-0 lead with a straight-set win on court five but No. 20 Alex Rybakov put the Frogs on the board with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 46 JJ Wolf. No. 114 Lopez put the match even at 2-2 as the senior pulled off the three-set win on court four.
With only three courts remaining, TCU was up a break on two of the three before Ohio State took the 3-2 lead with the win at No. 6. In his final match for TCU, No. 1 Cameron Norrie came back from dropping the opening set to defeat No. 2 Mikael Torpegaard 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to even out the match at 3-3. Guillermo Nuñez found himself up a break in the third set on court three, but Hugo DiFeo broke back and then held serve to go up 5-4. Nuñez was broken one final time as Ohio State clinched the 4-3 victory and move on at the championship.
Quotes from the Match
“The doubles point was really close. We had our chances in the doubles, and that could have made a huge difference. But, I’m proud. I’m proud of our season. I’m proud of our guys. I’m proud of our school. I’m proud of what we overcame this year. This season could have easily been a huge disappointment with everything that we had to go through, and for us to be playing one point away or two points away from being in the Final Four says a lot about our guys, says a lot about our support staff, our doctors, our fitness, our trainers, our coaches, that we just hung in there and kept getting better. We gave ourselves a chance to be in the Final Four in Athens, Georgia, which is what everybody wants. I’m proud of the fight. I also want to thank all of the Frog fans that made it out to Athens. Their support meant everything to the team through not only these two matches but also throughout the whole season.”
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