COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team did not let inclement weather and a change in venue shake its focus as it improved to 7-1 against nationally ranked teams following a 4-2 win over No. 7 Georgia Thursday afternoon.
Initially scheduled at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., the match was moved to the Bulldogs’ indoor facility after heavy rain showers ensued. This is just the Buckeyes’ second win all-time (2-5) against Georgia, who will serve as hosts of the 2010 NCAA Championships this May.
The doubles point, always crucial, was never more so in the match vs. the Bulldogs. After juniors Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa dropped an 8-4 decision at the No. 1 position to No. 39 Nate Schnugg and Jamie Hunt, the Buckeyes rallied to take an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Chase Buchanan and freshman Dino Marcan paired for just the sixth time this season, but the 43rd-ranked duo remained in sync as they defeated Drake Bernstein and Javier Garrapiz, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles. With court No. 3 deciding the dramatic doubles point, Justin Kronauge and Balazs Novak won, 9-8, in a 7-4 tiebreaker against Bo Seal and Christian Vitulli to conclude the first portion of the match.
Giving the Scarlet and Gray an early 2-0 advantage was Buchanan, who played at the No. 2 position. Buchanan, No. 17 in the country and an owner of 15 singles wins this season, downed Garrapiz, who is No. 18 in the country, 6-3, 6-1.
Kronauge, a senior co-captain with classmate Mike O’Connell, took sole possession of third on the program’s career singles wins list with 130 after his 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 96 Schnugg at No. 1 singles to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead. The 26th ranked player in the nation, this was the first time this season Kronauge played at the top of the lineup. He is 16-1 overall in 2010, including a 13-1 mark at No. 2 singles.
Despite the seemingly unbreakable lead, Georgia continued to battle the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs cut Ohio State’s lead to 3-1 when Novak suffered a 7-6, 6-2 setback to Bernstein at No. 4 singles. Not long after, Uzawa, ranked 117, fell to Vitulli 6-2, 6-0 on court No. 5.
Possessing a slim 3-2 lead, Allare clinched the match-winning point after he beat Seal 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. Allare definitely has found his niche at the sixth spot as he is 7-1 this season and 13-4 overall.
At No. 3 singles, the match between No. 74 Marcan and Hunt went unfinished. Hunt was leading 4-6, 6-2, 5-4
For the third time this season, Ohio State will play a home doubleheader Sunday. The Buckeyes will welcome No. 62 Penn State in Big Ten Conference action at noon at Stickney Tennis Center, Ohio State’s outdoor venue. Then at 6 p.m. the Scarlet and Gary will host Cleveland State at the Varsity Tennis Center, the indoor facility.
No. 3 Ohio State 4 vs. No. 7 Georgia 2
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
1. No. 26 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State) def. No. 96 Nate Schnugg (Georgia) 6-3, 6-2
2. No. 17 Chase Buchanan (Ohio State) dec. No. 18 Javier Garrapiz (Georgia) 6-3, 6-1
3. Jamie Hunt (Georgia) vs. No. 74 Dino Marcan (Ohio State) 4-6, 6-2, 5-4 unfinished
4. Drake Bernstein (Georgia) def. Balazs Novak (Ohio State) 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
5. Christian Vitulli (Georgia) def. No. 117 Shuhei Uzawa (Ohio State) 6-2, 6-0
6. Matt Allare (Ohio State) def. Bo Seal (Georgia) 6-4, 6-2
1. No. 39 Nate Schnugg/Jamie Hunt (Georgia) def. Shuhei Uzawa/Matt Allare (Ohio State) 8-4
2. No. 43 Chase Buchanan/Dino Marcan (Ohio State) def. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (Georgia) 8-4
3. Justin Kronauge/Balazs Novak (Ohio State) def. Bo Seal/Christian Vitulli (Georgia) 9-8 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,1,4,5,6)
Official: Walt Williams T-5:30 A-582