TCU Drops 4-3 Score to No. 42 Rice Sunday

April 1, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas – In a match that took nearly six hours to complete, the TCU men’s tennis team suffered a 4-3 defeat to No. 42 Rice Sunday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

The two programs battled to begin the day in doubles, pushing two of the three matches into a tiebreaker. The Owls team of Johnathan Chang and Michael Nuesslein on the middle court, before TCU’s tandem of senior Daniel Sanchez and sophomore Max Stevens could even the doubles tally with a 9-8 (4) decision from the top position.

With the doubles point hanging in the balance, Rice’s pairing of Sam Garforth-Bess and Leif Berger clinched the early 1-0 team lead for the Owls with a 9-8 (5) victory at the No. 3 court against TCU’s dup of junior JT Sundling and freshman Blake Wiggins.

The Frogs got a big boost from freshman Facundo Lugones to begin singles action. The Buenos Aires, Argentina product cruised to a 6-0, 6-4 win against Rice’s Peter Frank at the third position to even the team score at 1-1. The win snapped a four-match losing skid for Lugones.

After Garforth-Bess defeated No. 114 Chappell in straight sets at the No. 1 court to give Rice a 2-1 lead, the Owls’ Philipp Seifert pushed the team tally to 3-1 after scratching out a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 decision against Stevens at the sixth position.

Sanchez brought TCU back into contention from the No. 4 court, taking down Chang in three sets, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3. The win was the sixth of the season for the Monterrey, Mexico native.

The match was decided at the No. 2 court in a tight battle between Sundling and the Owls’ Christian Saravia. The two players had to scratch through a pair of tiebreakers in the first two sets before Saravia sealed the team win for Rice with a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory.

Freshman Will Stein earned an impressive 5-7, 7-3, 7-6 (4) win against Michael Nuesslein in the final match of the day.

TCU will hit the road next weekend to open Mountain West play at UNLV (April 6) and San Diego State (April 8).

#42 Rice (15-5) def. #68 TCU (5-11), 4-3
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center – Fort Worth, Texas
April 1, 2012

1. Sam Garforth-Bess (Rice) def. #114 Nick Chappell (TCU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Christian Saravia (Rice) def. JT Sundling (TCU), 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-1
3. Facundo Lugones (TCU) def. Peter Frank (Rice), 6-0, 6-4
4. Daniel Sanchez (TCU) def. Johnathan Chang (Rice), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3
5. Will Stein (TCU) def. Michael Nuesslein (Rice), 5-7, 6-3, 7-6
6. Philipp Seifert (Rice) def. Max Stevens (TCU), 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 6, 4, 2*, 5

1. Sanchez/Stevens (TCU) def. Saravia/To (Rice) 9-8 (4)
2. Chang/Nuesslein (Rice) def. N. Chappell/Stein (TCU), 8-6
3. Garfoth-Bess/Berger (Rice) def. Sundling/Wiggins (TCU), 9-8 (5)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*