ORLANDO, Fla. – Ohio State dropped the doubles point and wasn’t able to recover in singles as the Buckeyes season ended in the NCAA round of 16 on Monday with a 4-1 defeat to No. 7 TCU.
In a year that started without even the assurance that they would be able to compete, the Buckeyes finished with a 22-4 record, were Big Ten Co-East Division Champions, the Big Ten Tournament runner-up and advanced to the NCAA final site for the 17th time in program history.
“It was a tough year, but I’m proud of the guys,” said Ohio State Director of Tennis Ty Tucker. “It was nice for the guys to make the final site. We weren’t even sure we were going to be playing. So to get the opportunity to play and get a Big Ten regular season title. We played in a few big matches this year and made it to the round of 16 and had a great win at Wake Forest.”
On Monday, TCU won a couple of crucial swing points late in the doubles matches on courts one and two to go up a break and the Horned Frogs served out on both courts to take the point. Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy were on their way to a win on court three, leading 5-2 when the point was secured. But the momentum was all with TCU headed to singles.
The bright spot for the Buckeyes in singles was John McNally. The Buckeye senior played a great match against No. 12 Alastair Gray, winning 6-4, 6-0. That victory gives McNally some momentum heading into next week’s NCAA Singles Championship where he will look for All-American honors for the second consecutive season.
After McNally’s win evened the team score at 1-1, Tomas Jirousek put TCU up 2-1 with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Justin Boulais on court four. Kingsley then lost for the first time this season, falling 6-4, 6-4 to No. Luc Fomba. That put TCU a point away and the Horned Frogs got that point from Tadeas Paroulek as he beat senior Kyle Seelig 6-4, 6-1.
Freshman JJ Tracy lost the first set but fought back to win the second against Bertus Kruger and was even at 1-1 in the third. James Trotter was up 4-3 in the second after losing the first set in a tiebreaker.
#7 TCU 4, #35 Ohio State 1
1. John McNally (OSU) def. #12 Alastair Gray (TCU) 6-4, 6-0
2. #17 Luc Fomba (TCU) def. #120 Cannon Kingsley (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
3. #110 Jake Fearnley (TCU) vs. James Trotter (OSU) 7-6 (7-1), 4-3, unfinished
4. #94 Tomas Jirousek (TCU) def. Justin Boulais (OSU) 6-2, 6-0
5. Tadeas Paroulek (TCU) def. Kyle Seelig (OSU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Bertus Kruger (TCU) vs. JJ Tracy (OSU) 6-3, 1-6, 1-1, unfinished
1. #2 Alastair Gray/Luc Fomba (TCU) def. James Trotter/Justin Boulais (OSU) 6-4
2. Jake Fearnley/Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. Robert Cash/John McNally (OSU) 6-4
3. Tadeas Paroulek/Tomas Jirousek (TCU) vs. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy (OSU) 2-5, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,4,2,5)