— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) April 29, 2018
IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the third consecutive season and 13th time total, the Ohio State Buckeyes end their Big Ten play with a tournament championship. As it has been the whole tournament, the doubles point proved to be the momentum shifter of the match. Down one doubles set, the Buckeyes gathered themselves, found a rhythm and earned a couple breaks on courts 1 and 2 to pull off the doubles comeback. From there, they quickly won singles on courts 1, 2 and 3 to claim the sweep.
With the win, the Buckeyes are now 29-2 on the year, and have swept Illinois in both matches between the two teams. They are now 14-0 against Big Ten teams. The No. 8 Fighting Illini fall to 21-7 on the season.
Initially, the match looked like it was going to be much closer than the final score indicated. The Illini started out strong, taking the first set of the day with a 6-4 win by Aleks Vukic and Vuk Budic over Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert. This ended up being Illinois’ only set of the day. Mikael Torpegaard and John McNally answered with a 6-3 win over Aleks Kovacevic and Zeke Clark, and are now 13-0 on the season as a pair.
Clinching was Martin Joyce and JJ Wolf. Breaking at 4-4, they soon found themselves down 15-40 while serving for set. With a couple of clutch serves and volleys, the pair earned three straight points to clinch the doubles point for the Buckeyes over Alex Brown and Caleb Chakravarthi.
The Buckeyes took the momentum from this doubles point and never looked back, winning all six first sets in singles. Winning within minutes of each other were the Buckeyes top three singles guys. Torpegaard, Wolf and McNally all won in straight sets, never giving up more than three games in a set.
Next up for the Buckeyes is preparation for the NCAA Championships. The selection show takes place on Tuesday at 6 p.m. From there, the Buckeyes will find out their opening round opponent and destination. Making it to the semifinals last year, the Scarlet and Grey will be looking to go the distance this year.
#3 Ohio State 4, #8 Illinois 0
Illinois 21-7; National ranking #8
Ohio State 29-2; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,3)
Big Ten Tournament Championship T-2:03 A-221