TCU Opens MWC Championships Wednesday With Air Force

Senior Zach Nichols

Senior Zach Nichols

April 26, 2011


FORT WORTH — TCU begins play in the 2011 Mountain West Conference Men's Tennis Championships Wednesday in Fort Collins, Colo., when it faces seventh-seeded Air Force at 3 p.m. CT in one of three quarterfinal matches.

The Frogs enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed after posting a 5-1 record in regular-season league play. BYU received the No. 1 seed and will have an opening-round bye into the semifinals. The other seedings are: No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 UNLV, No. 5 San Diego State and No. 6 Utah.

TCU, currently ranked No. 54 in the ITA national team rankings, hopes to duplicate the results from its regular-season matchup with the Falcons. The Frogs posted a 5-2 victory in the teams’ March 31 meeting at the Academy to run their advantage in the all-time series to 9-0.

TCU has experienced a great deal of success in its previous five appearances at the MWC Championship, advancing to at least the semifinal round each season. The Frogs have claimed three tournament titles, including last season’s run that had the Purple and White upending the top two seeds in the bracket for the league crown.
Air Force enters the tournament with a 10-13 overall record. Alex Grubbs, a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, leads the squad with a 11 singles wins for the spring. Sophomore Lance Wilhelm and freshman Steven Young join Grubbs with double-digit wins with 10 apiece. Newcomer Andy Jackson and Wilhelm are 8-6 this spring for the Falcons at No. 1 doubles.

The winner of Wednesday’s TCU-USAFA quarterfinals will take on the winner of the No. 3 New Mexico/No. 6 Utah matchup in Friday’s semifinals at 1 p.m. CT.

In other news, TCU’s top doubles tandem of Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price head into this week’s championship tournament as the 37th-ranked duo in the country. The Frog pairing is just behind UNLV’s team of Mehdi Bouras and Bernard Schoeman, currently listed at No. 34, for the top-spot in the MWC. The highest-ranked twosome in the league following the conclusion of the conference championships will receive an automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Individual Championships.

Fans looking to follow this weekend’s action at the MWC Championship can tap into live results via the MWC’s official web site at the link at the top of this page.



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