April 7, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 2 Ohio State men’s tennis team started its stretch of four consecutive home matches Friday at the Varsity Tennis Center. Facing the No. 45-ranked Indiana, the Buckeyes continued their undefeated streak at the VTC, sweeping the Hoosiers, 7-0. The win was the Buckeyes’ 12th over a ranked opponent this year. Against Indiana, Ohio State dropped just one set; the squad has lost just two sets in the past three matches combined.
The doubles point was comfortably earned by the Buckeyes. Hunter Tubert and Matt Mendez were first to win for Ohio State, defeating Zac Brodney and Bennett Crane, 6-1, on court two. JJ Wolf and Hugo Di Feo clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 victory over Afonso Salgado and Keivon Tabrizi on court three. On court one, Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen also looked well on the way to victory, serving for the match at 5-2 against IU’s Antonio Cembellin and Raheel Manji before play was abandoned.
Ohio State was dominant to start singles, as every Buckeye won the first set. Indiana held its own towards the end, but the initial surge was too much to overcome.
“It was shaky at best,” Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, said about the later part of the match. “We got off to a good start in doubles and we looked like we were going to run away with it early in the singles. We ended up getting stretched to 7-5 and 7-6 in a couple matches, and one match went to a third set. Any time you can beat a Big Ten team 7-0, though, it’s not that bad of a performance.”
First to win for the Buckeyes was Torpegaard, who defeated Cembellin 6-1, 6-3, on court one to improve to 20-0 in dual match play. Di Feo followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tabrizi. Alex Kobelt played court six for the Buckeyes against the Hoosiers. After a close second set, he turned it on in the tiebreaker, not allowing a single point, to defeat Brodney 6-3, 7-6 (0) and clinch the victory for the Buckeyes.
Tucker noticed the contributions from the new faces in the win.
“It was great for Alex Kobelt get a match and a Big Ten win,” Tucker said. “Seeing Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert in the doubles line-up was nice too. We also had three freshmen in the singles lineup, so it was good to see them pull through.”
After the clinch, the teams elected to play out the remaining matches. Kyle Seelig defeated Crane 6-2, 7-5 on court four to put Ohio State up 5-0. On court five, Pollanen defeated Oliver Sec 6-1, 7-6 (3). The last match between Wolf and Matthew McCoy came down to a third set. Wolf eventually pulled out the win, coming down from a break in the third set to win 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. He is now 6-1 on the year in three-set matches.
The Buckeyes continue their homestand Sunday, as they will face Purdue. The match is scheduled to be played outside at the Stickney Tennis Center.
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. Antonio Cembellin (IND) 6-1, 6-3
2. #81 JJ Wolf (OSU) def. Matthew McCoy (IND) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
3. #7 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Keivon Tabrizi (IND) 6-3, 6-2
4. Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Bennett Crane (IND) 6-2, 7-5
5. #101 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Oliver Sec (IND) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. Zac Brodney (IND) 6-3, 7-6 (7-0)
1. #20 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) vs. Antonio Cembellin/Raheel Manji (IND) 5-2, unfinished
2. Hunter Tubert/Matt Mendez (OSU) def. Zac Brodney/Bennett Crane (IND) 6-1
3. JJ Wolf/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Afonso Salgado/Keivon Tabrizi (IND) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,3,6,4,5,2)