May 20, 2017
Tucker, and Di Feo Post Match Interviews
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ATHENS, Ga. – For a team that rolled through the regular season without much dramatics, Ohio State has sure had its share of it in the NCAA Championship. For the second-straight match, the Buckeyes pulled out a gutsy, dramatic 4-3 victory, this time over No. 6 TCU, to advance to the semifinals.
Ohio State will take on No. 2 Virginia on Monday at Noon ET. This will be the second meeting this season between the two teams after meeting in the finals of the ITA National Indoor Team Championships in February. The Cavaliers, playing on their home court, pulled out a close 4-1 victory.
- The Buckeyes advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in program history and the first since 2013
- OSU has now won 17 matches in a row and snapped TCU’s 17-match win streak
- This was the 11th win over a top-20 ranked team this year
- Ohio State improves to 33-3 on the season
- For the second-straight match, the Buckeyes grinded out a win in three and a half hours
- This was the first matchup between the teams in the NCAA Championship
- This was the Buckeyes fourth 4-3 victory of the season
- In what seemed like it was played a day earlier after the long dramatic grind of the singles matches, the Buckeyes claimed the pivotal doubles point with wins on courts one and two.
- TCU opened with a late break and a 6-4 win on court three.
- Martin Joyce and Hugo Di Feo went up a break early, gave it back and then took another break lead at 4-3. After holding for 5-3, the Buckeyes traded holds and claimed the match 6-4.
- On court one, Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen also snagged an early break but the Horned Frog duo of Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder got back on serve at 4-4 and the teams traded holds into a breaker.
- In the breaker, TCU grabbed the first edge at 3-2 and went to the service line. After going up 4-2, the Buckeyes rallied to get back even and take a 5-4 lead.
- TCU responded with two more service points to go up 6-5 but Torpegaard won a good point at the net and then TCU netted a return to give OSU a 7-6 lead. On TCU’s ensuing serve Pollanen’s forehand was returned long the Buckeyes took the match and the point 8-6.
- The singles matches were another battle that lasted two and a half hours in the 90 degree Georgia heat.
- The Buckeyes took the momentum early with four early breaks but TCU regrouped and would end up winning four of the six first sets.
- OSU then snagged the momentum back by winning four of the second sets and then it was a back and forth tussle in the thirds.
- The first win of the day came from the Buckeyes’ senior Herkko Pollanen, who dispatched of Reese Stalder 6-4, 6-4 on court five.
- That was Pollanen’s 29th singles win of the season.
- TCU would even the score at 2-2 as it got wins from No. 20 Alex Rybakov over JJ Wolf on court two (6-4, 6-4) and No. 114 Jerry Lopez over Martin Joyce (6-3, 3-6, 6-2) on court four.
- Redshirt-freshman Kyle Seelig continued his tremendous freshman campaign as he put the Buckeyes in front 3-2 with a solid 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Trevor Johnson on court six. Seelig won the first three games of the match before losing six-straight games to drop the opening set. He rallied to win the second and took control early in the third for the victory.
- The win was Seelig’s 30 singles victory this season and extended his unbeaten streak to 15 matches.
- In a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 on court one, the Horned Frog’s top-ranked Cameron Norrie got the best of Torpegaard 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
- That avenged Torpegaard’s victory in the NCAA Singles semifinals last year in the pair’s only previous collegiate meetings. The two will likely be the top-two seeds in this year’s singles championship.
- That left the match in the hands of Di Feo and Guillermo Nuñez on court three.
- Nunez took the opening set 6-4 but Di Feo jumped out early in the second and would hold on for a 6-3 victory.
- In the third, Nunez went up a break 3-2 and held for a 4-2 advantage. Di Feo also held and then hit a huge forehand winner on the deuce point to break and get back on serve at 4-4.
- In the ensuing game, Di Feo fell behind 0-40 but served his way back into the game and would win four-straight points to push the lead to 5-4. He then broke a tiring Nunez for a second-straight time and the Buckeyes had another 4-3 victory.
#3 OHIO STATE (33-3) 4, #6 TCU (22-6) 3
1. #16 Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #25 Jerry Lopez/ Reese Stalder (TCU), 7-6 (6)
2. #30 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce(OHIO STATE) def. #57 Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nuñez (TCU), 6-4
3. Cameron Norrie/ Trevor Johnson (TCU) def. Hunter Tubert/ JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE), 6-4
1. #1 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE), 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
2. #20 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #46 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE), 6-4, 6-4
3. #9 Hugo Di Feo (OHIO STATE) def. #83 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. #114 Jerry Lopez (TCU) def. Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
5. Herkko Pollanen (OHIO STATE) def. Reese Stalder (TCU), 6-4, 6-4
6. Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. Trevor Johnson (TCU), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
Doubles (3,2,1) Singles (5,2,4,6,1,3)