It’s been two weeks since Buck U recapped Spring TCU sports so we’ll dive headlong into women’s soccer which is the closest to concluding their season. Sadly, our ladies suffered their first loss of the season when visiting the Ags in College Station two Saturdays ago. They bounced back during their final regular-season game by beating Notre Dame 2-1 at the Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium. The United Soccer Coaches poll places our ladies No.7 nationwide, and the RPI poll 11th. Monday’s selection for the national tournament showed tremendous respect for the Frog’s body of work, placing them as the 4th-seed slated to face the victor of a play-in match between New Mexico and The Naval Academy at the end of the month. I would never claim to be a bracketologist of women’s soccer but I’d assume it’s safe to infer our ladies will advance to a match with 13-seed Georgetown. We’ll keep tabs on our footballers as they hopefully progress through their slate as the highest-seeded roster in their quarter and the penultimate-seeded squad in their half of the bracket.
David Roditi’s racketeers served themselves into a strong conference position after beating Texas and rolled that momentum into domination over the entire state of Oklahoma the following weekend on the purple courts. TCU aced the Pokes 4-0 and volleyed past the Sooners 5-2. Friday’s trip to Lubbock proved only a modest challenge as the Raiders fell 4-1, a victory which assured the Frogs at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title. The day before, the previously undefeated Baylor Bears faulted at home against the Longhorns. This created a Frog-take-all scenario for the final conference matchup in which the Bears could force a three-way tie between the Horns, Bears, and Frogs, or TCU could steal the trophy for themselves.
Baylor has buoyed their ranking throughout the outdoor season and climbed to second in the land, but fell to the Frogs the last time the two met at the end of January during the indoor season. The match began with an uncharacteristic loss at first-line doubles by the now fourth-ranked pair Luc Fomba and Alastair Gray, who won the last time they met this duo of Bears. A third-line Frog loss left an unfinished match which was going TCU’s way at line two and Baylor secured the doubles point, similarly to their last meeting. Singles were where Roditi’s men really smote the Baptists last time, but the results from Sunday are concerning. While some lineup shuffling has occurred since their last meeting, three matches previously won by TCU went awry.
Fomba lost in straight sets, though each set required an extra game or tiebreaker to decide. Gray’s dismantling at second-line leads one to believe he’s injured or completely lost his mojo. His opponent, Matias Soto, has crafted an admirable spring, rocketing his individual ranking from 56th during their last meeting to 16th on Sunday. In January, Gray won in straight sets and Soto won four total games. Sunday, Soto won in straight sets with Gray winning one total game, not a confidence builder for purple fans heading into the conference and national tournaments. Tadeas Paroulek, who won a close three-set singles match in January, lost in straight sets capturing five total games. Sander Jong was the lone Frog able to replicate their victory from the rivals’ winter meeting, splitting sets again, but this time having to battle from behind before clinching in the third.
Despite sharing the title, TCU limps to the conference tournament in Waco on Saturday as the three seed behind Texas and Baylor. Saturday’s dual match with six-seed OU shouldn’t prove a problem which pencils a rematch with two-seed Baylor in the semifinals. These Frogs have much to reflect and redeem from the weekend regarding their non-competitive performance before facing the Bears again, this time in their own den. The conference tourney should prove a solid rehearsal to determine if these Frogs know the routine in preparation for their big dance.
Baseball was set for a showdown with the Red Raiders in Lubbock two weeks ago to reveal the team to beat in the conference; the results were mixed. Jim Schlossnagle’s diamond Frogs were riding a 10-game win streak and decided to continue that in Lubbock bucking the Raiders 7-3 to start the series. Game two was a remarkably balanced affair with each team clocking in a four-run fourth inning to eventually finish regulation with five runs each. TCU stranded a runner in the top of the 10th before the Raider’s first batter of extra play homered to walk off with a Raider victory. Game three held the trappings of another bonus inning thriller, until the sixth when the Frogs rolled through three pitchers and TTU as many homers to add nine total runs. TCU’s inability to score at the top of the seventh meant an early finish and solemn trip back to the Forth after a crushing 17-7 final game in favor of the black and red, the first conference-series loss for the Frogs.
Despite disappointments in Lubbock (which should be assumed of any visit to tortilla land) TCU revived with a 10-2 mid-week win against Tarleton State and a series sweep of 12th-ranked Oklahoma State last weekend. Both Friday and Saturday were single-run victories for the Frogs before the bats bellowed on Sunday ahead of a 12-6 victory including a Brayden Taylor (#55) grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning. Baseball stays home all week to host the always dangerous UTA Mavericks before a home series against the Jayhawks who are dead last in the conference, right where they tend to live. TCU and Texas are tied for the conference lead and the Horns are enjoying a 13-game winning streak.
These standings are somewhat deceptive, as UT’s two losses came against Baylor and Oklahoma who the Frogs swept, and are working through their conference schedule from the bottom up, while TCU has already faced the middle-tier and thrived. It’ll be early May before the Longhorns visit Fort Worth, but I don’t expect the burnt orange to be challenging for the lead in the conference by the time they do.