Feb. 18, 2018
No. 2 Ohio State Downs No. 3 North Carolina 4-3
The Buckeyes win consolation match-up to wrap up the ITA Indoor Championship, and are now 5-1 vs. top-25 teams
SEATTLE, Wash. – There’s not many better ways to come back from a heartbreaking loss than by beating the No. 3 team in the nation the next day. That’s exactly what the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes did today after losing to No. 7 UCLA in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship yesterday.
The Buckeyes excelled in singles on their way to a 4-3 come from behind win over the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels in the consolation round. The Buckeyes improve to 10-1 on the season, including five wins against top-25 teams. The Tar Heels fall to 8-2. The Buckeyes end the championship strong with wins over the No. 3 and No. 20 teams in the nation.
Things looked like they were going to be a repeat of yesterday during the doubles point. Alex Kobelt and JJ Wolf paired in doubles and were quickly defeated on court 3 by Bo Boyden and Anu Kodali 6-0.
The other two matches both traded breaks throughout their respective sets. In the end however, Mikael Torpegaard and Martin Joyce were broken at 4-4 by No. 11 William Blumberg and Robert Kelly, and couldn’t break back, falling 6-4 and giving the Tar Heels the doubles point. Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert traded breaks with Mac Kiger and Simon Soendergaard on court 2, and were up 5-4 when their match was halted.
The Buckeyes then put on a ferocious comeback in singles, where four of six Buckeyes ended up winning in straight sets to give the Buckeyes the come from behind win. The Buckeyes won the next three points before North Carolina could put another one on the board.
JJ Wolf started it off for the Buckeyes by saving three break points and earning three breaks of his own to defeat Kelly 6-4, 6-1. Tubert then put the Buckeyes in front by breaking five times en route to defeating Mac Kiger 6-3, 7-5. John McNally then made it 3-1 by defeating Soendergaard 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
Shortly thereafter, the Tar Heels narrowed the gap as Torpegaard dropped his first match of the season to No. 4 Blumberg. Although Torpegaard served five aces in the first set, Blumberg was able to break him twice in the first set, and then comeback after being down 1-3 in the second to defeat Torpegaard in the second set tiebreaker.
This left the final two matches to Joyce and Kyle Seelig, who finished around the same time. Joyce came back after being down a break in the first set to force a tiebreaker, but couldn’t quite pull through and lost the tiebreaker 7-5. From there on, his opponent Boyden earned another break in the second set. Boyden closed out the match by only giving up seven points during his serve in the second set, defeating Joyce 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
This left it up to Seelig, who looked solid in the first set, not even allowing an opportunity for a break while winning the first set 6-4. From there, Seelig saved five break points in the second set to force the tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Seelig and his opponent Josh Peck were tied 3-3 before Seelig pulled away by winning three more points to make it 6-3. Facing three match points, Peck saved the first two before falling to Seelig 7-5 in the tiebreaker, winning it for the Buckeyes.
While they were hoping to go farther in the ITA Indoor Championships, the Buckeyes still come out advancing to the quarterfinals for the 12th straight year, and with two more wins against ranked opponents, including No. 3.
Next up for the Buckeyes is their first away match of the season. They will travel to South Bend to face No. 22 Notre Dame Sunday, February 25 at noon, and will look to add another ranked win to their tally.
#2 Ohio State 4, #3 North Carolina 3
North Carolina 8-2; National ranking #3
Ohio State 10-1; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,6,3,1,5,4)