March 6, 2016
NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 4 ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team picked up its seventh win this season over a top-25 team as it rolled to a 4-1 victory over No. 13 Oklahoma in Norman.
The win was made a little sweeter for the Buckeyes as they exacted a bit of a revenge on the Sooners who halted the Buckeyes’ NCAA record 200-match home win streak last year in Columbus.
“It’s a great day when you can get a road win over a good team like Oklahoma,” said Director of Tennis Ty Tucker. “The guys came out and got the doubles point and then did what we needed to do in singles. It was some of the best tennis we’ve played this year.”
Needing to get off to a good start in doubles, the Buckeyes couldn’t have asked for anything better, getting 6-4 wins on courts one and three to take the point. Sophomore Mikael Torpegaard and junior Herkko Pollanen are one of the hottest doubles teams in the country right now and they continued to roll on count one, knocking off the No. 35 pair of Andrew Harris and Alex Ghilea.
After Ralf Steinbach and Martin Joyce fell on court two, the team of Hugo Di Feo and Matt Mendez came through with the clinching point. Di Feo and Mendez fell behind a break early but battled back to get back on serve at 4-4 and then won the next two games. Mendez was making his first appearance in a match since Feb. 14 and claimed his first doubles win since the opening day on Jan. 20. He’s now 7-1 in doubles play this season.
“Matt is a tremendous tennis player,” Tucker said. “If you want to be one of the top teams in the country, you better have a good bench. Matt is a great player and he stepped up big for us today.”
As has been the case most of the season, the first singles point game from the top with Torpegaard. He took down No. 63 Axel Alvarez 6-4, 6-2 for his 11th victory this spring.
The second point came from the bottom of the lineup as Joyce downed Andre Biro 6-3, 6-4 on court six. Joyce has also been a roll this spring, notching nine singles victories and is 12-2 overall.
Oklahoma got on the board with a 6-4, 6-4 victory from Maxime Mora on court five over Pollanen and looked to be mounting a comeback with leads on courts two and three. But Chris Diaz put a stop to the match as he topped Florin Bragusi 6-2, 6-4, closing the match with a beautiful drop shot.
“We got up 3-0 and it looked like they were starting to get some momentum but our captain came through,” said Tucker. “Chris (Diaz) finished it with a tremendous drop-shot volley on the deuce point. It takes a really good player to pull off a shot like that in that situation.”
The win was the sixth-straight for the Buckeyes who got a total team effort on Sunday. “We got wins from six different players today and we needed every one of them,” said volunteer assistant coach David Schilling.
Ohio State will return to action on March 17 when it heads to Tampa, Fla., to take on No. 17 USF. The match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
#4 Ohio State 4, #13 Oklahoma 1
1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #63 Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Alex Ghilea (OU) vs. #17 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) 4-6, 6-2, 5-0, unfinished
3. Spencer Papa (OU) vs. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 7-5, 6-6 (1-0), unfinished
4. #32 Chris Diaz (OSU) def. Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Maxime Mora (OU) def. #45 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Andre Biro (OU) 6-3, 6-4
1. #19 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. #35 Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) 6-4
2. Axel Alvarez Llamas/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #13 Martin Joyce/Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 6-4
3. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (OSU) def. Austin Siegel/Andre Biro (OU) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,6,5,4)