Texas stumbles in regular season finale against No. 9 TCU

Justin Martinez

The No. 7 Longhorns (19–7) entered Fort Worth on Saturday with hopes of ending their regular season with a statement victory over No. 9 TCU.

But those hopes never materialized as the Horned Frogs dismantled Texas, 4-1, to win their second-straight Big 12 regular season title.

The Longhorns showed signs of improvement in doubles play, keeping pace with TCU early on. The Horned Frogs eventually pulled away, earning a pair of 6-4 wins in the first two matches to take a 1-0 lead.

“We did a lot of good things early on,” head coach Michael Center said. “I thought we played some better doubles today, but TCU is playing as good or better than anyone in the country right now.”

Junior Trevor Johnson extended TCU’s lead to 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over junior John Mee that ignited the home crowd. Things didn’t get any easier for Texas in singles play as TCU won five of the first six sets to take a firm grasp of the match.

Freshman Christian Sigsgaard, ranked No. 25 in the nation, struggled in his match at first singles. The Dane lost at the hands of No. 2 junior Cameron Norrie 6-2, 7-5, which gave the Horned Frogs a
commanding 3-0 lead.

The Longhorns finally got on the board when sophomore Rodrigo Banzer defeated sophomore Reese Stalder 6-2, 7-6, but the celebrations from the burnt orange sideline didn’t last long. TCU’s sophomore Alex Rybakov silenced any thought of a comeback with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over sophomore Harrison Scott to secure the 4-1 victory and claim the Big 12 title.

“TCU was really good today,” Center said. “They deserved to win the match after going (unbeaten) through conference play.”

The Longhorns end their season with a 2–3 record in conference play. Their focus now shifts to the postseason as they prepare for the Big 12 Championships on Thursday in Norman, Oklahoma.

“The next stage of the season begins, and it’s time to get ready for postseason play,” Center said. “TCU played well, but I’m really encouraged. I think we’re in good shape going into
the postseason.”