Men’s Tennis: Frogs win season opener after rain delay

The Horned Frog men’s tennis team started its season with a 5-2 victory over Texas A&M at Corpus Christi Saturday. Teams had to wait through a rain delay to see if the matches would be played, but TCU beat the Islanders in the overall points standings by winning 4 of 6 singles matches and sweeping the doubles events.

Saturday’s victory moved head coach Joey Riv‚’s record of season openers to 5-1.

The No. 2 doubles team, made up of freshman Kriegler Brink and senior Jordan Freitas, overcame a 6-4 deficit to win the next four games at 8-6. The No. 3 doubles team, made up of junior Radu Barbu and freshman Cosmin Cotet, handled the opposition easily, winning 8-1.

Barbu found similar success in his singles match and won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.

Barbu said he felt a little nervous but was prepared and played solid in his matches. He also said that despite his early nerves, he plans to give everything he’s got in every match.

Freshman Andrei Mlendea excelled in his TCU debut by also winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

Senior Rafael Abreu lost in a three-set match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; he was ranked No. 69 in the nation before the match.

Abreu said he believes that hard work and being mentally strong will carry him into a top 25 ranking. He also said he is unsure about eventually moving into the professional circuit, but his goal right now is to play tennis for TCU and graduate in December.

Riv‚ said he was surprised that his team performed so well in the season’s opener. Despite the team’s dominant doubles play, Riv‚ said he feels it still has room to improve.

Though the Islanders were ranked No. 36 coming into the weekend according the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Riv‚ said the Frogs will have tough in-conference competition as well. The Mountain West Conference is home to San Diego State, Brigham Young University and New Mexico, all of which are ranked in the top 70. The Frogs’ next match will be against the University of Texas at Arlington on Feb. 8.

Men’s Singles Results:

1: Audrey Kumanstov (TAMU-CC) def. Rafael Abreu (TCU), (4-6, 6-4, 6-4)

2: Andrei Mlendea (TCU) def. Raul Rivas (TAMU-CC), (6-2, 6-1)

3: Mikal Pavlov (TAMU-CC) def. Kriegler Brink (TCU), (6-3, 6-4)

4: Jacopo Tezza (TCU) def. Jose Zunino (TAMU-CC), (6-4, 6-1)

5: Radu Barbu (TCU) def. Jan Cingel (TAMU-CC), (6-1, 6-2)

6: Jordan Freitas (TCU) def. Sharon Henselijn (TAMU-CC), (6-3, 6-3)

Men’s DOUBLES Results:

1: DNF

2: Brink/Freitas (TCU) def. Rivas/Zunino (TAMU-CC), 8-6

3: Cotet/Barbu (TCU) def. Hensilijn/Cingel (TAMU-CC), 8-1

Travis Stewart and contributed to this story.