PREVIEW: Ohio State Set to Host NCAA First and Second Rounds
SETTING THE SCENE
The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes prepare to host the NCAA Tournament First and Second rounds for the 13th-straight year.
The first-round matchup will be against Eastern Tennessee State on Friday, May 11 at 1 p.m.
If the Buckeyes win the first round, they will then face the winner of No. 26 Kentucky and No. 35 Virginia Tech, which takes place at 10 a.m. on the 11th.
The second-round match will take place the following day at Noon.
The Scarlet and Gray look to continue their domination in the first and second rounds of NCAAs. They have gone 24-0 in the past 12 years, and have swept 13 of their previous 14 opponents in these situations.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
The Ohio State Buckeyes are going into the NCAA’s ranked No. 3 in the nation, and 29-2 on the year. This includes a 17-match win streak.
This impressive record includes going 15-0 at home and 11-0 in the conference.
Ohio State’s two losses have come in away matches against UCLA and Georgia.
This puts the Buckeye’s record against nationally ranked teams at 16-2. This includes wins against five top-10 teams and six more top-25 teams.
The Buckeye’s last three matches were all sweeps to easily claim the Big Ten Tournament title. This is their 11th tournament title in the last 13 years, and 13th total.
The Buckeyes are 114-28 in singles matches and 56-12 in doubles matches. They have a season point total of 141-32.
The Scarlet and Gray are 27-4 on the season on the doubles point. They are 27-0 on the season when winning the doubles point.
The Buckeyes possess five ranked singles players, and two ranked doubles pairs.
Mikael Torpegaard is the No. 6 player in the country. During the regular season, he went 25-7 in singles, and 23-2 in doubles. Taking four B1G Tennis Athlete of the Week Awards over the course of the season, Torp also earned the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Year.
JJ Wolf is currently ranked No. 41. He is on a 10-match win streak, and is 20-4 on the season in dual match play. He along with Torpegaard took unanimous first team selection in the Big Ten.
No. 92 John McNally took Big Ten Freshman of the year award, thanks to a successful first season where he only lost twice in dual match play, going 18-2 on the year. He also was selected for All-Big Ten first team honors.
The Buckeyes ended up sweeping the Big Ten Awards for the year, as head coach Ty Tucker was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Martin Joyce was selected for B1G second team honors. Going 20-4 on the year, No. 112 Joyce has only lost once since February.
No. 96 Kyle Seelig has gone 16-6 on the year, and won his last five matches.
Rounding out the singles lineup is usually Tim Seibert, who is 11-3 on the year to start his Buckeye career, including a current six-game win streak.
The Buckeyes also have two ranked doubles teams. Torpegaard and Joyce are No. 25 on the year. Torpegaard is also ranked when paired with McNally. The two are No. 61 in the nation and 13-0 on the year.
Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert lead the team in doubles victories, and hold a record of 18-4 as a duo.
Eastern Tennessee State is 16-7 on the season, and has reached the NCAA tournament for the 12th straight year after claiming its 12th straight conference title, something Ohio State had accomplished just last year to become the sixth program in B1G history to accomplish such a feat.
The Buccaneers are 6-1 at home, but 5-6 in away matches, and are traveling to Columbus.
ETSU is 0-2 against ranked teams, but had two competitive losses against Florida State (currently No. 11) and then No. 45 Georgia State.
The Bucs earlier this season faced fellow Big Ten opponent Wisconsin, and lost 4-2. Ohio State won their matchup against the Badgers 6-1.
Ohio State is 6-0 vs. ETSU in Buck-Buc matchups, including 2-0 in NCAA Tournament appearances.
ETSU is led in singles by Robert Herrera, who is 15-6 at the No. 1 sport. He is also 8-1 with Sergi Fontcuberta at the No. 2 spot in doubles.
Fontcuberta also leads the team in singles wins with 17. David Gonzalez has the best singles winning percentage of the team with a 15-2 record in singles.
The No. 26 Kentucky Wildcats are 14-11 on the season, and 7-5 in the SEC.
The Wildcats are on a three-match losing streak from losses vs. Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. The have been on a recent skid, losing six of their last eight matches.
One of these losses was against Ohio State. Although they dealt losses to Torpegaard and Seelig, the Wildcats lost 2-4.
Kentucky is 10-2 at home, but 3-9 in away matches.
Kentucky has two ranked singles players: No. 8 Ryotaro Matsumura and No. 50 William Bushamuka.
Matsumura has had a solid year for Kentucky, going 17-4 on the season in singles and 9-3 against ranked opponents (including defeating Torpegaard).
The Wildcats also have two ranked doubles duos: No. 13 Cesar Bourgois and Gus Benson, and No. 86 Trey Yates and Enzo Wallart.
The Buckeye’s all-time record against the Wildcats is 19-13 in favor of Ohio State.
VIRGINIA TECH SNAPSHOT
Virginia Tech is 17-7 on the year. They are 13-2 at home, and 4-5 away from home.
The Hokies have been on a roll recently, winning seven of their last eight matches.
The Hokie’s best wins include wins over No. 11 Florida State, No. 40 Miami, No. 41 Virginia, and No. 47 Louisville.
The Hokies are led by Mitch Harper, who is ranked No. 29 in the country and is 14-6 in dual match play.
Virginia Tech also has two ranked doubles pairs: No. 27 Henrik Korsgaard and Alexandre Ribeiro, and No. 54 Carlo Donato and Harper.
Ohio State is 9-1 against Virginia Tech all-time, and 1-0 in NCAA tournament appearances.