Tennis: Newport Harbor's Stalder commits to TCU

A couple of weeks ago, Reese Stalder spent time in New Braunfels, Texas. He visited a friend for a couple of days.

Looking back, Stalder wished he had more time in the state to check out Texas Christian University, one of a half dozen men's college tennis programs recruiting the incoming senior at Newport Harbor High.

Without stepping foot on the TCU campus in Forth Worth, Stalder said he verbally committed to the Horned Frogs on Tuesday.

"I had to make a decision quicker than I'd originally planned," Stalder said. "It's a really long story, but it was kind of a scholarship deal. It was take it now or wait and risk the scholarship not being there later.

"I will visit the school in the fall and I'm sure I'll love it."

Stalder said USC, Iowa, Boise State, Michigan State and Penn State also showed interest in him, but he committed to TCU because he liked the program's coach, David Roditi, and the program's future. The Horned Frogs sent a singles player and a doubles team to the NCAA Championships last season, a year after the program advanced as a team.

Stalder, who's 17, is in Urbana, Ill., where he will compete in the under-18 division at the United States Tennis Assn. Junior National Team Championships on Saturday. After the four-day tournament, Stalder is heading to Kalamazoo, Mich., for the USTA Junior National Hard Courts Championships.

Last year in Kalamazoo, Stalder and Henry Gordon, a former Corona del Mar player, teamed up in doubles play and placed third in the 16-and-under division. Gordon is also the same player Stalder visited a couple of weeks ago in Braunfels, Texas.

"[TCU] was too far away to visit," said Stalder, who last season reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Individual tournament and finished runner-up in the Sunset League. "I would've liked to have visited the school before I committed, but I think it was a good decision."

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