CHICAGO, IL. – Defending champion TCU and first-time finalist Texas survived marathon matches on day three of the 2023 ITA Division I Men’s National Team Indoor Championship at the XS Tennis Village in Chicago.
The eighth-seeded Longhorns (10-1) knocked off a previously unbeaten team, Michigan, by a 4-3 margin for the second time in just more than 24 hours to reach the ITA National Team Indoor Finals for the first time in the tournament’s 50-year history.
The match began with an hour-long doubles point won by the Longhorns’ Micah Braswell and Chih Chi Huang over Will Cooksey and Nico Ehrenschneider from the No. 3 doubles position.
After doubles, Michigan responded by taking a 3-1 lead with straight-set singles victories coming from Ondrej Styler at the No. 3 position, Will Cooksey at the No. 6 position, and Patrick Maloney at the No. 2 position.
It didn’t take long for the Longhorns to respond though, earning straight-set wins by Cleeve Harper at the No. 5 spot and Siem Woldeab at the No. 4 spot to set the stage for Spizzirri’s heroics.
The No. 1 ranked singles player in college tennis, Eliot Spizzirri, delivered the match clincher with a comeback three-set victory over No. 7 ranked, Andrew Fenty, in a two-hour thriller from the No. 1 singles position.
In a battle of unbeatens earlier in the day, third-seeded TCU (11-0) earned a 4-2 victory over second-seeded Kentucky (12-1).
The Horned Frogs took the doubles point with Jake Fearnley and Luc Fomba rallying from a 1-3 deficit against the Wildcats’ Alafia Ayeni and Taha Baadi to win 6-4 at the No. 1 position.
TCU freshman Sebastian Gorzny gave his team a 2-0 lead with a straight-set win at No. 5 singles. Kentucky senior Liam Draxl at the No. 1 spot narrowed the gap to 2-1 with a straight-set victory over Fearnley.
It was Fomba who gave the Horned Frogs a 3-1 advantage with a three-set triumph over Ayeni at No. 2 singles spot. Kentucky’s Joshua Lapadat kept the Wildcats alive with a two-hour three-set win over Jack Pinnington at the No. 3 position.
TCU junior Tomas Jirousek provided the clincher for the Horned Frogs with a dramatic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Charlie Cosnet at the No. 6 Singles spot.
The Finals will commence tomorrow from the XS Tennis Center with play begging at 12:00 pm (CT) when TCU and Texas face off. Be sure to keep up with all of the action through the Cracked Racquets broadcast or through the ITA Social Media streams across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Courts 1-6 TCU (3) Def. Kentucky (2) 4-2 | Box Score
- Court 1-6 Texas (8) Def. Michigan (4) 4-3 | Box Score
- Courts 1-6 South Carolina (6) Def. North Carolina (10) 4-3 | Box Score
- Courts 7-12 Florida (15) Def. Baylor (14) 4-2 | Box Score
- Courts 7-12 Georgia (11) Def. USC (7) 4-2 | Box Score
- Court 7-12 Ohio State (1) Def. Virginia (5) 4-0 | Box Score
- Courts 1-6 Tennessee (12) Def. Illinois (16) 4-1 | Box Score
- Courts 7-12 Stanford (13) Def. Wake Forest (9) 4-0 | Box Score