IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Ohio State men’s tennis left Iowa City on Sunday evening with another conference victory, defeating the Hawkeyes 4-1.
The Buckeyes entered the match ranked No. 1 in the nation with a record of 21-2. Ohio State defeated Nebraska in Lincoln on Friday evening to advance to 6-0 in conference play and came to Iowa to further improve upon that. Iowa, ranked No. 48 in the latest ITA National Rankings, were coming off a win over No. 30 Penn State on Friday and had a record of 13-6. The match was originally set for 12 pm noon EST but was pushed back to 2:30 pm due to inclement weather in Iowa City. Eventually the teams would hit the courts for a showdown between two ranked Big Ten squads.
Doubles play was competitive from the start and would continue that way throughout. John McNally and Hunter Tubert trailed 1-3 early on and were in a hole. Meanwhile, the No. 18 tandem of Alex Kobelt and Kyle Seelig were taking on No. 74 Okonkwo/Davies and jumped out to an early 3-1 lead. Martin Joyce and JJ Wolf traded games with the Hawkeyes throughout but could never pull away. Kobelt and Seelig were the first pair to finish, defeating their opponent 6-2. Awaiting the next point, both remaining matches would be tied at 5-5 late in their matches. McNally and Tubert would complete the comeback and defeat Tyler/Snezhko 7-5 to give Ohio State the doubles point. The Buckeyes yet again took a 1-0 advantage into singles play.
Similar to doubles play, singles action was very competitive from the start. The Hawkeyes would jump out to leads quickly on three of the six courts. Hunter Tubert dropped the first set of his match with Nikita Snezhko 3-6, but would respond with a dominate 6-1 second set win. On court one, JJ Wolf was the first to finish, defeating Kareem Allaf 6-2, 6-2. Wolf has been on a tear this season and it shows week-in week-out. Wolf is now 25-0 this season, 19-0 in dual matches and 6-0 on the tour. Following Wolf, to put the Buckeyes up 3-0 was John McNally. McNally defeated Jonas Larsen 6-3, 6-3 in a match that saw McNally have control the entire way through. Alex Kobelt jumped out to a big lead in his first set, winning 6-2, before dropping the following set 4-6. Just after McNally won his match, on court six Hunter Tubert found himself leading 3-0 in the third set of the rollercoaster of a match he was in. Tubert would go on to win 6-2 and improve his record to 14-4 in dual matches this season. Martin Joyce would fall to Oliver Okonkwo 3-6, 4-6 while Kyle Seelig’s match ended unfinished, 7-6, 4-3.
The Buckeyes improve to 22-2 and 7-0 in the Big Ten with this win over the Hawkeyes. Their win in Iowa City also marks the 18th ranked win for No. 1 Ohio State in 2019. The team will travel home before heading back out west to Evanston, Ill. on Thursday ahead of their match with Northwestern on April 12, followed by the highly-anticipated match with No. 15 Illinois.
1. #1 JJ Wolf (OSU) def. Kareem Allaf (IOWA) 6-2, 6-2
2. #24 John McNally (OSU) def. Jonas Larsen (IOWA) 6-3, 6-4
3. Oliver Okonkwo (IOWA) def. Martin Joyce (OSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Will Davies (IOWA) vs. #68 Kyle Seelig (OSU) 6-7 (5-7), 3-4, unfinished
5. Joe Tyler (IOWA) vs. Alex Kobelt (OSU) 2-6, 6-4, 3-4, unfinished
6. Hunter Tubert (OSU) def. Nikita Snezhko (IOWA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
1. #18 Kyle Seelig/Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. #74 Will Davies/Oliver Okonkwo (IOWA) 6-2
2. Kareem Allaf/Jonas Larsen (IOWA) vs. #33 Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OSU) 5-6, unfinished
3. John McNally/Hunter Tubert (OSU) def. Nikita Snezhko/Joe Tyler (IOWA) 7-5
Ohio State 23-2 (8-0 B1G); National ranking #1
Iowa 13-7 (4-3 B1G); National ranking #48
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,2,3,6)