May 1, 2016
MTEN: Buckeyes Claim 11th B1G Tournament Title in Program History
Ohio State defeated Illinois 4-1 for the championship
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Ohio State men’s tennis team won its 11th Big Ten Tournament title in program history on Sunday with a 4-1 victory over No. 17 Illinois.
This was the Buckeyes’ ninth championship in the last 11 years and it avenged a loss to Illinois in last year’s Big Ten Tournament final.
“We are feeling pretty good. It feels pretty amazing,” said Director of Tennis Ty Tucker. “It never gets easier, and I am proud of the guys. Most of the season they played with a target on their back by being the highest ranked team in the Big Ten and everybody comes out with nothing to lose. They did a great job winning the doubles point and defending the Buckeye name.”
The Buckeyes, who also won the Big Ten regular season crown, have earned the Big Ten’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3. Ohio State will likely host the first and second rounds which will likely begin on Saturday, May 14.
After falling 6-1 at No. 2 doubles, the Buckeyes rebounded to get wins at Nos. 1 and 3 to take the all-important doubles point. Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen topped No. 71 Aron Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic 6-2 and that was followed shortly after by a 6-2 victory from Hugo Di Feo and Matt Mendez on court three.
In the singles matches, the Illini became the first Big Ten team to post a point against the Buckeyes this season as Aron Hiltzik raced past Di Feo on court three 6-2, 6-4. That win evened the team match at 1-1.
Freshman Martin Joyce put the Buckeyes back in front as he defeated Alex Jesse 6-2 in the first set and then won the final three games of the second set to take the match 6-2, 6-4.
Torpegaard showed way he’s the top-ranked singles player in the country as he rolled by No. 4 Aleks Vukic for the second time in a week 7-6 (7-1), 6-1. He improves to 29-2 on the year and has 15 wins over top-50 ranked players.
Leading 3-1, the Buckeyes got the clinching point from Pollanen on court five. The Finland, native won the first set 6-2 over Pengxuan Jiang but then fell by the same score in the second. Pollanen regrouped at the start of the third and fed off the Torpegaard victory to close out Jiang 6-1.
The Buckeyes head into the NCAA Tournament with a 30-2 record and have given up just 23 points in 32 matches this season.
#4 Ohio State 4, #17 Illinois 1
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #4 Aleks Vukic (ILL) 7-6 (7-1), 6-1
2. #96 Chris Diaz (OSU) vs. #17 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 6-2, 3-6, 1-4, unfinished
3. #71 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. #41 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) vs. Julian Childers (ILL) 6-4, 5-7, unfinished
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Pengxuan Jiang (ILL) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Alex Jesse (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
1. #25 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. #71 Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-2
2. Jared Hiltzik/Pengxuan Jiang (ILL) def. #36 Ralf Steinbach/Martin Joyce (OSU) 6-1
3. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (OSU) def. Julian Childers/Brian Page (ILL) 6-2
Illinois 19-10; National ranking #17
Ohio State 29-2; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,6,1,5)