March 7, 2018
ATHENS, Ga. – It was a rough day for the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, who were swept by the No. 21 Georgia Bulldogs in their first outdoor match of the year. This was the first sweep of Ohio State in three years. The Buckeyes fall to 12-2 on the year, while the Bulldogs rise to 7-4.
Georgia put on a very strong showing in both singles and doubles. Walker Duncan and Jan Zielinski quickly defeated No. 7 Martin Joyce and Mikael Torpegaard 6-0 to set the tone in doubles. John McNally and JJ Wolf put up a fight, but were unable to recover from a break at 3-3 to lose 6-3 to Nathan Ponwith/Wayne Montgomery to give the Bulldogs the doubles point. Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert were on serve at 5-5 with Alex Diaz/Robert Loeb when doubles play was clinched.
The big turning point of the match was the first sets in singles. The Bulldogs won their first set on all six courts, including four different first-set tiebreakers. The Buckeyes won back the second set in three of five matches, but weren’t able to recover from the initial setback. First to fall was Kyle Seelig, who fell 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to Zielinski.
Torpegaard put up a good fight against Montgomery, and came out on top in the second set 7-5 after getting handily defeated 6-1 in the first. However, Montgomery got back on a roll in the third and Torpegaard couldn’t keep up, losing 6-0 in the third set and giving the Bulldogs their third point of the match.
The Bulldogs got the clinch from Loeb, who was able to defeat Mendez 7-6, 7-5 to give Georgia their highest ranked win of the season.
Despite the final score line, the matches were all very competitive. The remaining three all could have gone either way, as McNally and Joyce were both on serve in the third set, and Wolf was up 5-4 in the second set after losing the first.
Next up for the Buckeyes is two more ranked away matches before returning to the Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes will be looking to return to winning ways against No. 13 USC. The match will be Tuesday, March 13 in Los Angeles, Calif at 6 p.m. ET. The Buckeyes will then play a neutral site match the next day against No. 20 Arizona State at 8 p.m. ET before getting into the brunt of Big Ten match play.
#21 Georgia 4, #2 Ohio State 0
Ohio State 12-2; National ranking #2
Georgia 7-4; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,2,6)
Official: Richard Rogers T-2:50 A-1172