October 21, 2019

Buckeyes Sweep ITA Regionals



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October 21, 2019

Ohio State junior John McNally was disappointed with his play earlier this month at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, but he more than made amends this weekend. McNally won the singles title and then teamed with freshman Robert Cash to win the doubles crown at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship at the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.

It was a long weekend of tennis for McNally, who played 10 total matches, including six over the last two days.

“I didn’t have a great showing in Tulsa and honestly, I was struggling a little bit with my confidence coming into to this week,” McNally said. “I got through some tough matches here that I probably shouldn’t have. But as the tournament got later, my game started to pick up. That’s a testament to Coach Tucker, Coach Kronauge and Coach Schilling for their practices which prepare us for long matches and weekends like this. And to Coach Kraemer with our strength program. He’s done a great job. My body is torn up but I was able to make it through four doubles matches and six singles. It’s definitely a big confidence boost.”

After playing three long matches on Sunday, McNally started his Monday with an 8 a.m. semifinal match against Northwestern’s Dominik Stary. Both players held serve throughout the first set, sending it to a tiebreaker. McNally hit a beautiful drop shot to go up 2-1 in the breaker and ultimately took a 4-1 lead. He broke twice more on Stary’s serve to take the tiebreaker 7-4. After a set of holding serve, the two players traded breaks to start the second. McNally got a second break to go up 3-2 and rode that to a 6-4 win.

In the other semifinal, Buckeye senior Kyle Seelig took on Michigan’s Ondrej Styler. Seelig got the first break to go up 3-1 and then broke again to win the first set 6-2. Styler got two breaks to open the second set and jumped out 3-0. Seelig got one break back at 3-1 but lost the set 6-4. After having a chance to break early in the final set, Seelig came back to get the first break to go up 4-2 and went on to close him out 6-3.

That setup an all Buckeye final between McNally and Seelig, the top two seeds in the draw. After trading early breaks, McNally came back to hold from 0-40 and the two were on serve at 2-2. They traded breaks again in the middle of the set and then went into a tiebreaker. McNally jumped out early in the breaker and held the advantage throughout, winning 7-4.

McNally took control of the second set early and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. He would then go on to win the set and title 6-1.

McNally is the ninth Buckeye to win the ITA Midwest singles title and the first since Herkko Pollanen in 2015. It was the 10th singles title overall for Ohio State as Peter Kobelt won the title back to back in 2012 and 2013.

This was the second time McNally had to play a teammate this weekend as he faced freshman Justin Boulais in the quarterfinals on Sunday. That was a tightly contested match that saw McNally pull out a three-set 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 victory.

“I had to play against two of our guys this week and they both showed what great tennis players they are,” McNally said. “I was really impressed with Justin. He just turned 18 the other day and he’s playing at a very high level. Knowing that we lost some very good players from last year’s team, seeing Justin play the way he did this weekend gave me a lot of assurance headed into the spring. And Kyle has been a rock for Ohio State the past four years. I knew this final match was going to be tough because you never want to play against a teammate. You want him to win just as much. Buckeye it was nice to have an all Buckeye final which is a credit to Coach Tucker and this program.”

The doubles final pitted McNally and Cash against Michigan’s top doubles team of Andrew Fenty and Mattis Siimar. The Wolverine duo dominated at the net in the first set and rolled to a 6-3 victory. McNally and Cash were finally able to get a break in the second but Fenty and Siimar rallied and had three match points at 5-3. But the Buckeyes stepped up and got a nice winner down the line from Cash on a deuce point to break and stay alive. They then won the next two games to take the second set 7-5.

That setup a super tie-breaker to decide the match. Two great forehand winners, one each from Cash and McNally, gave the Buckeyes a 6-4 lead. That was the edge and momentum they needed and they held on for a 10-6 win.

McNally and Cash are just the fifth Buckeye doubles team to win the ITA Midwest Regional crown and the first since Kevin Metka and Peter Kobelt in 2013.

Four Buckeyes have automatically qualified for the ITA Fall Championships next month in Newport Beach, Calif. In addition to McNally and Seelig in singles, freshman Cannon Kingsley qualified by winning the consolation bracket at the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa. Cash and McNally also earned the region’s doubles spot by virtue of their title. That tournament is set for Nov. 6-10.

October 20, 2019

In the third round of the singles main draw Sunday morning, all three Buckeyes advanced to the quarterfinal round. Kyle Seelig continued his impressive tournament run with a strong performance against Matthew Terry of Cleveland State resulting in a 6-4, 6-2 victory. In the next round, he kept his pace and dictated the tempo versus Mattias Siimar of Michigan sealing his semifinal berth (6-1, 6-3). 

John McNally fell short in the first-set tiebreaker against Vuk Budic of Illinois but would later regain control to clinch his spot in the quarterfinal match against fellow Buckeye teammate Justin Boulais (6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4). Freshman standout Boulais cruised into his quarterfinal match with McNally by taking down Harrison Brown of Michigan in two sets (6-1,6-3).  

The Battle of the Buckeyes did not disappoint as the two OSU teammates fought deep into the third set, with John McNally pulling away the tight victory over Boulais (7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3). Seelig is set to face Ondrej Styler of Michigan in the semifinal round, and McNally will square-off with Dominik Stary of Northwestern. Both matches will begin at 8:00 a.m. (ET) Monday 

The Ohio State/ Michigan rivalry was existent in the semifinal round of the doubles main draw as both Buckeye doubles teams matched up against Michigan tandems in quest of the championship. On Court 1, Robert Cash and John McNally defeated Ondrej Styler and Connor Johnson in dominant fashion to reach the championship round (6-3,6-3). On Court 2, James Trotter and Justin Boulais showed spurts of resilience but ultimately fell to Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar in the second set (7-6(3), 6-3) 

October 19, 2019

Ohio State got off to a hot start in the opening round of the singles main draw. Six out of the seven participating Buckeyes won their first-round matches, with Andrew Lutschaunig falling to Lenard Soha of Wisconsin in a third set tiebreaker (4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4)).  

Entering the main draw as the No. 1 seed, John McNally won in two sets (6-2,6-4) over Ryan Fu of Michigan. Freshman Justin Boulais controlled the tempo en route to a victory against Boris Spanjaard of DePaul (7-5,6-1). German native Tim Seibert also clinched a second-round berth in two sets over Matthew Che of Notre Dame (6-2, 6-1). In the bottom half of the bracket, Robert Cash coasted past Jesus Perez Plaza of Chicago State (6-1,6-1) while James Trotter defeated Johan Hedstrom of Illinois-Chicago (6-4, 6-3). Redshirt senior Kyle Seelig punched his ticket to the next round with a dominant victory over Diego Le Gal Perez of Illinois State (6-1,6-2). 

In the second-round, McNally, Boulais, and Seelig secured their spot in the third-round of the singles main draw. Facing Luke Smrek of Marquette, McNally seized a tight 6-4, 7-5 victory leading into doubles play. Seelig battled with Peter Kuszynski deep into the second set and pulled away with a 6-1, 7-5 win. Boulais continued his strong tournament play and breezed past of Freddie O’Brien of Eastern Illinois (6-2,6-1). Seibert, Trotter, and Cash fell 

In the quarterfinals of the doubles main draw, two Ohio State pairs triumphed to land a spot in Sunday’s semifinal round. Cleveland State’s Nico Mostardi and Luke Phillips kept pace with McNally and Cash, until the OSU pair broke at 5-4 and held to post an 8-5 win. Boulais and Trotter jumped out to an early lead versus Guillermo Cabrera and William Howells of Notre Dame, and kept them at distance en route to an 8-4 quarterfinal victory. On Court 4, Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar of Michigan outdueled Andrew Lutschaunig and Kyle Seelig to advance to the semifinal round.  

October 18, 2019 

Tim Seibert and Jacob Wareti set the tone early for the Buckeyes in the opening round of the doubles main draw by defeating William Wale and Niko Wasilewicz of UIC (8-3) en route to the second round. After a convincing win over Mike Jansen and Freddie O’Brien of Eastern Illinois (8-3), Wareti and Seibert fell short in the third round to No. 1 seed Kennosuke Nouchi and Jannik Opitz of Western Michigan (8-4).  

Coming off of first-round byes, three OSU doubles teams won their second and third round matches in dominant fashion. No. 3 seed Robert Cash and John McNally began tournament play by pulling out an 8-5 victory over Christopher Casati and Boris Spanjaard of DePaul. Cash and McNally would later solidify their quarterfinal berth by a win over Chase Colton and Scott Sculley of Wisconsin (8-3).  

No. 4 seed Justin Boulais and James Trotter kicked off their tournament run with a hard-fought victory over Danilo Vukotic and Filip Zupancic of Toledo (8-5). The tandem then controlled the tempo against Ryan Fu and Patrick Maloney of Michigan (8-2) to advance to the next round.  

Kyle Seelig and Andrew Lutschaunig found rhythm early on against Joao Garretto and Laurentiu Mandocescu of Youngstown State leading to an 8-2 victory over the pair. In the third round, they came out victorious in a tightly contested tiebreaker versus Jared Pratt and Lenard Soha of Wisconsin (8-7(4).

October 17, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jacob Wareti opened play for Buckeyes on Thursday at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship by splitting a pair of qualifying matches. He defeated Toledo’s Filip Zupancic in three sets and then fell to Wisconsin Green Bay’s Satchel Penn in the afternoon.

In the win over Zupancic, Wareti broke early and took the opening set 6-4 but then dropped the second 7-5. In the third, he jumped out quick and won the deciding set 6-3. The second round match wasn’t as kind as Benn took advantage early and won in straight sets 6-2, 7-5.

Ohio State is hosting the regional this weekend at both the OSU Varsity Tennis Center and the Racquet Club of Columbus. Admission to both venues is free all weekend.

The final round of qualifying will begin Friday morning at 8 a.m. followed by the first three rounds of doubles matches throughout the rest of the day on Friday. The singles main draw is set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.