WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Playing in one of the best atmospheres of the season, No. 3 Ohio State came up just short as host Wake Forest won its first national title with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday evening at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
Coming into the match, the Buckeyes knew the margin for error was slim as the top-ranked Demon Deacons were playing in front of their home crowd. A tight doubles point went the way of the host team and despite a couple of victories from Martin Joyce and Kyle Seelig, Wake Forest was able to secure three wins and claimed the title.
The doubles point was about as close as it could get. Court two was on serve until the Deacons broke to go up 6-5 and held for the 7-5 victory. Court three traded breaks midway through the set and went to a tiebreak. The score was tied 5-5 when the Deacons broke on court one to win the match and the point 7-5.
In singles, Seelig finished off a very good tournament run as he rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 victory on court five to get the Buckeyes on the board. After Wake took a 2-1 lead, Joyce took down Christian Seraphim on court six 6-1, 6-3 to even the score again at 2-2.
Wake Forest pushed the advantage to 3-2 when John McNally fell on court three which left the match in the hands of Mikeal Torpegaard on court one and Tim Seibert on court four. The Buckeyes’ most experienced player in Torpegaard had won the opening set and was tied 3-3 in a tiebreaker for the second set. Seibert, the Buckeyes youngest player, dropped the opening set but rallied to snag a 5-2 lead in the second. Wake Forest’s Bar Botzer came back to get a break and would end up clinching the championship with a 7-5 victory.
Five different Buckeyes earned All-Tournament Team honors as Torpegaard earned the distinction at the No. 1 spot. Seelig won all six of his matches in the NCAA Tournament and took the honor at No. 4 while Martin Joyce was the honoree at No. 6. The No. 3 doubles team of Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert also earned All-Tournament Team honors.
– The Buckeyes finished the year with a record of 34-3 overall.
– This was Ohio State’s second NCAA Championship match appearance. They also fell to USC in the finals in 2009
– Kyle Seelig finished the year on an 11-match win streak and he had a team-high 32 singles victories.
Mikael Torpegaard, JJ Wolf and Martin Joyce will stay in Winston-Salem and compete in the NCAA singles and doubles championships which start on Wednesday.
#1 Wake Forest 4, #3 Ohio State 2
1. #7 Borna Gojo (WF) vs. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #92 John McNally (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Bar Botzer (WF) def. Tim Seibert (OSU) 6-4, 7-5
5. #96 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-2, 6-2
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Christian Seraphim (WF) 6-1, 6-3
1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce (OSU) 7-5
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OSU) 7-5
3. #48 Ian Dempster/Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-6, unfinished
Ohio State 34-3; National ranking #3
Wake Forest 31-2; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,2,3,6,4)