— Ohio State M Tennis (@OhioStateMTEN) April 28, 2019
ANN ARBOR, Mi. – The Ohio State Men’s tennis team earned their fourth-consecutive Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday afternoon, defeating Illinois 4-1.
The Buckeyes entered the match ranked No. 1 in the nation and coming off a thriller of a match on Saturday with Michigan, where they rallied to defeat the Wolverines 4-2. Illinois took down Penn State on Saturday afternoon to improve their record of 18-7. The Buckeyes and Fighting Illini previously met on April 7 in Champaign. Ohio State was victorious on the day, defeating Illinois 4-2.
Having lost the doubles point on Saturday to Michigan, only the second time all season for the Buckeyes, Ohio State was going to need a good start in order to beat a high-caliber team like Illinois. These teams are no stranger to one-another, and it was competitive from the get go. Alex Kobelt and Kyle Seelig responded well to yesterdays performance by dominating their doubles match. The duo jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and would go on to defeat Gomes/Budic 6-3. JJ Wolf and Martin Joyce trailed early on, but it wouldnt be enough to stop the tandem on court one. Wolf and Joyce went on to win 6-4 and clinch the doubles point.
As you would expect from such a high-magnitude match between Ohio State and Illinois, singles play was a rollercoaster. Senior leaders Hunter Tubert and Martin Joyce jumped out to a big lead for the Buckeyes, giving Ohio State momentum. However, it was the back and forth between Wolf and Kovacevic on court one that had the crowd alive and loud. Total competitiveness across the board between the teams in the early goings. Both Wolf and Seelig would go to tiebreakers in their first sets while Joyce, Tubert and Alex Kobelt all took their first sets to give them the advantage.
Kyle Seelig fought threw his tiebreaker and took the lead, winning his first set 7-6(5) while Wolf would fall in his first set 6-7(8) to Kovacevic. Soon after, Alex Kobelt and Martin Joyce would defeat their opponents on courts 3 and 5 to put the Buckeyes within a point of clinching another Big Ten Tournament title. As the crowd gathered around court 4, and Seeligs teammates formed group, Seelig kicked it into another gear and would go on to win his match 7-6, 6-2.
The rest of the Buckeyes stormed the court as they celebrated their fourth-consecutive Big Ten Tournament Title. Graduating seniors Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert finish their career 57-0 against Big Ten opponent and 4-time tournament champions.
Up next for the Buckeyes will be the NCAA Tournament in Orlando. The NCAA selection show will be on Monday at 6 pm at NCAA.com.
No. 1 Ohio State 4, No. 2 Illinois 1
No. 1 – #9 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) vs. #1 JJ Wolf (OSU), 7-6(8), 3-4 unfinished
No. 2 – #51 Alex Brown (UI) def. #22 John McNally (OSU), 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 – Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Zeke Clark (UI), 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 – #53 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Siphosothando Montsi (UI) 7-6(6), 6-2
No. 5 – Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. Keenan Mayo (UI) 6-4, 6-2,
No. 6 – Hunter Tubert (OSU) vs. Vuk Budic (UI), 6-1, 4-6, 4-2 unfinished
No. 1 – #30 Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OSU) def. Aleks Kovacevic/Alex Brown (UI), 6-4
No. 2 – #41 Alex Kobelt/Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Vuk Budic/Gui Gomes (UI), 6-3
No. 3 – Fletcher Scott/Keenan Mayo (UI) vs. John McNally/Hunter Tubert (OSU), 5-5 unfinished
Order of Completion: Doubles: 2-1 Singles: 5-2-3-4
Records: Ohio State: 29-2, Illinois: 18-8