COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was Beat Michigan week for Ohio State tennis, as both the men’s and women’s teams had to face Michigan State and Michigan. The No. 2 Buckeyes got the job done today, as they defeated the Wolverines, adding both a Big Ten win and a top-10 team win to their season resume. The Buckeyes move up to 16-2 and 3-0 in the Big Ten. Michigan drops to 12-3 and 2-1 in B1G play.
Despite the final score line, the match was anything but a cakewalk in doubles. Ohio State endured their most intense doubles match of the season. At one point, all three Buckeye teams led by a break up 4-3 or 5-3, and the Wolverines were able to claw their way back to on serve in all cases. The Buckeyes kept their relentless aggression on serve returns and eventually found a breakthrough.
Martin Joyce and JJ Wolf, after multiple break points throughout the match, eventually connected on one and found themselves up a break at 5-4 against Alex Knight and Mattias Siimar. Joyce successfully served out the set, and the Buckeyes only needed one more win for the doubles point. The other two matches were even more back-and-forth.
Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert started the set with a 4-0 run against Runhao Hua and Carter Lin before the Wolverines got into a rhythm to even it at 4-4. With a couple OSU match points at 5-4 and 6-5, the Wolverines were once again able to put together a couple of solid points to hold serve. The match was in the middle of a tiebreaker when it was ended.
Deciding the doubles point was John McNally and Mikael Torpegaard against Conner Johnston and Myles Schalet. Going back and forth, the pair broke to make it 5-3 before getting broken back, and had two match points at both 5-4 and 6-5. A double fault by Michigan on the fourth match point and the Buckeyes earned the doubles point.
Thanks to dominant performances by Torpegaard, McNally and Joyce in singles, the Buckeyes were able to clinch the match in singles in about the same time it took to finish the doubles sets. This was huge, as all other singles matches were in favor of Michigan at the time and could have gone either way.
First to finish was Joyce, who defeated Siimar 6-2, 6-1. About three seconds afterwards, Torpegaard served his match out to defeat No. 5 Knight 6-2, 6-0. Clinching for the Buckeyes was McNally, who defeated Lin 6-2, 6-2 to make it 26 straight wins against the Wolverines.
Teams elected to play out the rest of the matches, which at the time were all one set in favor of Michigan. The remaining three Buckeyes put on a ferocious comeback, as all three won their second set to force super tiebreakers.
Wolf was able to close his comeback out strong, defeating No. 27 Hua 10-3 in the tiebreaker. Kyle Seelig lost to Schalet to give the Wolverines their lone point of the day. Last to finish was Hunter Tubert, winning 10-8 in the third set tiebreaker to make it 6-1 Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes will continue to go through the Big Ten lineup the remainder of the regular season. Next week is two away matches against No. 35 Minnesota on Friday and Wisconsin on Sunday.
#2 Ohio State 6, #8 Michigan 1
Michigan 12-3 (2-1); National ranking #8
Ohio State 16-2 (3-0); National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,1,3,2,4,6)
Official: Marcus Lee T-2:45 A-431