COLUMBUS, Ohio – A tremendous fall for the Ohio State men’s tennis team was capped on Sunday with a doubles national title as Matej Vocel and Robert Cash claimed a three-set victory over Stanford’s team of Arthur Fery and Alexandre Rotsaert.
The victory put a bow on an undefeated fall for Vocel and Cash who also won the ITA All-American Championship doubles title in September. The duo was 14-0 this fall with six wins over ranked opponents. They become the third Buckeye doubles team to win an ITA Fall National Championship, joining Chace Buchanan and Blaz Rola in 2011 and Scott Green and Ross Wilson who won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.
James Trotter and Justin Boulais also had a good run in the consolation bracket. After losing their opening round match, they were dominant in winning three consecutive matches to reach Sunday’s final. They ran into No. 11 ranked Benjamin Hannestad and Franco Aubone of Miami on Sunday who would come away with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 victory.
Cash and Vocel opened the tournament with easy straight-set wins over Melvin Manuel and Adrien Burdet of Arkansas and former Buckeye JJ Mercer and Joshua Lapadat of Kentucky. In the quarterfinals, they topped Sven Lah and Finn Bass of Baylor, in a rematch from the All-American Championships, with a 10-8 win in the third set. They lost the opening set of the semifinal match against Georgia Tech’s Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel but came back to top the No. 8 ranked team with a 6-1 win in the second and a 10-6 win in the third. That setup Sunday’s final with Fery and Rotsaert and again, Vocel and Cash lost the opening set 6-2. But they jumped out to an early break in the second and rode that to a 6-4 win. With the super-set tied at 6-6 on the second change over, the Buckeyes won four of the final five points to win the breaker 10-7.
The Buckeyes had three players in the singles draw, which was the most of any school in the tournament. Vocel won his first three matches to reach the semifinals but fell in a three-set grinder with Arthur Fery 5-7, 6-4, 5-7. He played nine matches over the four days of the event, including three matches on Saturday. For the fall, Vocel was 10-3 in singles and 14-2 in doubles.
JJ Tracy advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles draw with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over TCU’s No. 18 ranked Juan Carlos Aguilar and a 6-0, 6-1 win over Arkansas’s Aleksa Bucan. He then lost to Clement Chidekh of Washington in the quarters. Tracy had a record of 15-4 this fall and reached the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championship and the ITA Fall Nationals while also finaling at the ITA Midwest Regionals.
Trotter played a pair of singles matches this weekend, falling in the opening round of the main draw and the consolation bracket.
Andrew Lutschaunig competed this weekend in the Big Ten Singles & Doubles Championships in East Lansing, Mich. He won a pair of singles matches before bowing out in the third round.
In all, this was a remarkable fall season for the Buckeyes. They had both doubles finalists at the ITA All-American Championship, both singles finalists and a doubles finalist at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship and then the doubles national champions this weekend. The Buckeyes were a combined 30-8 in doubles matches this fall and 53-21 (.716) in singles matches. That’s not even mentioning Cannon Kingsley who has played in four pro events this fall and has finished runner-up in each of the last two.