May 9, 2013
FORT WORTH—TCU begins its run in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship against Drake on Friday in Los Angeles. First serve between the Horned Frogs and Bulldogs has been set for Noon CDT at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
TCU (18-9) enters the weekend as the Regional’s No. 3 seed, with Drake (24-3) holding down the No. 2 slot. The winner of Friday’s match will play either No. 1 UCLA (24-1) or No. 4 UMKC (13-10) in the Round of 32 on Saturday at 5 p.m. CDT. The Los Angeles Regional champion will advance to compete in the NCAA Championships, held May 16-21 in Champaign, Ill.
The first-round matchup between the Frogs and Bulldogs will be only the second ever between the two schools. TCU posted a 4-3 victory in the only other meeting on March 20, 1993 at the Blue-Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Current head coach David Roditi was a freshman on that Frogs team, which finished the season No. 14 in the ITA national rankings.
RECAPPING THE SEASON
TCU earned an at-large bid to NCAA Regionals following a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 regular-season standings and at the conference tournament. The Frogs sit at No. 34 in the latest ITA national rankings and are one of only 11 NCAA teams yet to drop a match against a team currently ranked outside the top 25. Each of the other 10 squads to own that same distinction is ranked in the top 13.
David Roditi led the Frogs to their most wins in his three-year tenure this season with 18, as well as the most wins for the program since 2008. The squad is 9-9 against ranked opponents with its top victory coming at then-No. 19 Stanford on Feb. 6.
TCU received its first NCAA bid since 2010 and is one of four Big 12 teams in the national field.
PROJECTED TCU LINEUP – BASED ON PREVIOUS MATCH
1. Nick Chappell (15-18 overall; 8-13 spring; 8-13 at No. 1; 2-8 vs. ranked)
Chappell has played No. 1 in each dual match in which he has played. He owns the ITA’s No. 116 singles ranking entering the weekend after climbing as high as No. 92 this spring. He was one of 13 players named to the All-Big 12 Singles Team earlier this week.
2. Orlando Superlano (24-8 overall; 19-5 spring; 3-0 at No. 2; 1-4 vs. ranked)
Superlano played at the No. 2 position during TCU’s Big 12 tournament appearance, winning both matches. He posted TCU’s top overall singles record during the dual-match season with three more wins than any other Frog and owns a three-match winning streak entering NCAA Regional play. He joined Chappell on the All-Big 12 Singles Team earlier this week.
3. Arnau Dachs (27-10 overall; 16-8 spring; 1-1 at No. 3; 4-6 vs. ranked)
Dachs made his only two appearances at No. 3 singles during TCU’s Big 12 tournament run after previously going 13-7 at No. 2 during the dual match. He leads TCU in overall victories in 2012-13 (27), as well as wins against ranked opponents (four). Currently unranked, he reached a peak position of No. 100 in the ITA singles list in late January.
4. Facundo Lugones (23-12 overall; 15-8 spring; 6-3 at No. 4; 2-3 vs. ranked)
Lugones shared the Big 12 individual championship at No. 4 singles this season after posting a 4-1 mark in conference matches. He has won four straight matches entering NCAA Regional play, the best streak among TCU’s projected lineup, and is 7-2 in the Frogs’ last 10 outings.
5. Rodolfo Bustamante (21-14 overall; 14-11 spring; 3-5 at No. 5; 0-0 vs. ranked)
Bustamante played in the No. 5 slot at the Big 12 tournament after appearing at No. 6 in TCU’s previous five matches. His seven victories at No. 6 lead all Frogs, while his 14 dual-match wins rank fourth on the team.
6. J.T. Sundling (17-14 overall; 11-9 spring; 4-3 at No. 6; 0-2 vs. ranked)
Sundling played in the No. 6 position at the Big 12 tournament and also has made a team-high nine appearances this season at No. 5. He went 3-2 in conference action and is coming off an impressive straight-sets victory over Baylor’s Roberto Maytin in his last match at Big 12’s.
1. Chappell/Will Stein (17-5 overall; 17-5 spring; 13-5 at No. 1; 4-2 vs. ranked)
Chappell and Stein enter NCAA Regional play as the nation’s 48th-ranked doubles team. The sophomores were named to the All-Big 12 Doubles Team after sharing the conference title for the No. 1 position with a league-best 4-1 mark. The duo has been hot as of late, posting an 8-2 mark in its last 10 matches with wins in each of its last five.
2. Max Stevens/Sundling (8-14 overall; 8-14 spring; 6-12 at No. 2; 1-3 vs. ranked)
Stevens and Sundling have played almost exclusively at No. 2 doubles this spring with 18 of the team’s 23 decisions. The tandem posted one victory over a ranked opponent, an 8-4 victory over Stanford’s 57th-rated group of Jamin Ball and Trey Strobel on Feb. 6.
3. Dachs/Superlano (13-6 overall; 13-6 spring; 13-6 at No. 3; 0-0 vs. ranked)
Dachs and Superlano have played all but one of their matches at No. 3 doubles and all but one of the team’s opportunities this spring. Although the duo dropped both of its last two decisions, it had won nine of its previous 10.
TCU AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
TCU owns a long and prestigious history at the NCAA Championships. The squad will be making its 25th all-time appearance this season.
* TCU has made 25 previous appearances in 37 years since its first appearance in 1977, including 20 in the last 23 years.
* Only eight teams in this year’s field can boast more NCAA appearances than the Frogs.
* The team has advanced past the first round in 17 of 24 opportunities, including 11 straight years between 1991 and 2001.
* TCU has advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals or further seven times, including four times to the semifinals. The Frogs’ last semifinals appearance came in 2001.