May 20, 2018

Buckeyes Shine in a Thriller, Down MSU 4-3

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  — For the first time in nearly two months, Ohio State fell behind early by dropping the doubles point. But a late rally and some gutsy tennis from their senior leader, the Buckeyes came back and downed No. 6 Mississippi State 4-3 on Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

After losing the doubles point for the first time in the last 20 matches, Ohio State fell behind 2-0 when MSU took the first singles match on court six. Playing beside each other, Martin Joyce and John McNally fed off one another’s momentum and would pull the Buckeyes even at 2-2. Joyce used a dominating serve to roll past Florian Broska 7-5, 6-1 and McNally took down No. 84 Strahinja Rakic 6-4, 6-3.

The Bulldogs then retook the lead as JJ Wolf fell on court two to #23 Giovanni Oradini in straight sets. Buckeye Kyle Seelig breezed through the opening set 6-1 vs. Niclas Braun but found himself in a tiebreaker for the second set. He played a great breaker, pulling off a number of tremendous shots, and would win the match 6-1, 7-6 (5) to even the overall match 3-3.

That left the Buckeyes fate in the hands of the senior Mikael Torpegaard vs. No. 2 Nuno Borges on court one. The Denmark native won a back-and-forth first set 6-4 but Borges would take the second 6-3. Torpegaard then won the first three games of the deciding set and would push the Buckeyes through to the semis with a 6-1 victory.

NOTES

  • This was Ohio State’s 21st-consecutive win this season and the Buckeyes improve to 33-2 overall
  • This was the first meeting between Ohio State and Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament
  • The Buckeyes lost the doubles point for the first time in the last 20 matches
  • Ohio State advances to the semifinals for the second-consecutive season and the fifth time in program history
  • This was the highest ranked player Mikael Torpegaard has beaten this season (No. 2) and the highest since he took down No. 1 Petros Chrrysochos of Wake Forest last season.
  • The loss snapped JJ Wolf’s 12-match win streak
  • John McNally and Kyle Seelig have both won nine-consecutive matches

NEXT UP

The Buckeyes will take on UCLA on Monday afternoon in the semifinals. Ohio State fell 4-1 to the Bruins earlier this season in the second round of the ITA Indoor Championships in Seattle on Feb. 17. This will be the fourth meeting in the NCAA Tournament between the two teams.

 #3 [3] OHIO STATE (33-2) def. #7 [6] MISSISSIPPI STATE (23-3) 4-3
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Matt Roberts (Mississippi State)

Doubles               
1.            #1 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4
2.            #38 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) 6-3
3.            Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska/Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4

Singles 
1.            #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #2 Nuno Borges (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
2.            #23 Giovanni Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4, 6-3
3.            #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) def. #84 Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 6-3
4              #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. Niclas Braun (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-1, 7-6
5.            #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 7-5, 6-1
6.            Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (6,5,3,2,4,1)