COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Men’s tennis team defeated the Cleveland State Vikings on Friday 4-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State entered the match ranked No. 1 in the nation with a record of 29-2 overall. They earned the No. 1 overall seeding on Monday evening, one day after they win their fourth-consecutive Big Ten Tournament title over Illinois. The Buckeyes previously faced Cleveland State in Columbus when they opened the 2019 season with a doubleheader against the Vikings. Ohio State won both matches, 5-0 and 4-0.
The Buckeyes started the match with tough competition from the Vikings. Going into the match, Ohio State had only dropped the doubles point twice in 31 matches this season. The Vikings were with the Buckeyes the entire way through and even held leads for most of the matches on courts one and two. John McNally and Hunter Tubert put the Buckeyes in front defeating their opponent 6-3. With this cushion the Buckeyes needed just one victory from the remaining two doubles matches to take the lead. Both matches on courts one and two went to a 6-6 tiebreaker. JJ Wolf and Martin Joyce were defeated in the tiebreaker 6-8. It came down to Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt to settle the tie and determine the doubles point. After trailing 0-2 and 2-4, the Buckeyes surged back to win the set and the match 7-6(7).
After a doubles competition that was closer than you would like, the Buckeyes came out hot on courts three through six. Kyle Seelig, Martin Joyce and Alex Kobelt each took the first sets of their match. Meanwhile, No. 2 JJ Wolf and Nico Mostardi battled it out on court one. Wolf would go on to beat Mostardi in the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(2). After that it was a quick victory for the Buckeyes as No. 60 Kyle Seelig dominated his opponent 6-1, 6-2. Alex Kobelt would follow up with a 6-3, 603 victory of his own on court five. No. 111 Martin Joyce would call it a wrap after defeating his opponent 6-4, 6-2.
Up next for the Buckeyes will be the Vanderbilt Commodores. Vanderbilt defeated Notre Dame here in Columbus 4-3 in a thriller in the opening round on Friday.
1. #2 JJ Wolf (OSU) vs. Nico Mostardi (CSUM) 7-6 (7-2), 2-0, unfinished
2. #26 John McNally (OSU) vs. Matthew Terry (CSUM) 2-6, 3-3, unfinished
3. #60 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Luke Phillips (CSUM) 6-1, 6-2
4. #111 Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Raul Teichmann (CSUM) 6-4, 6-2
5. Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. Benjamin Slade (CSUM) 6-3, 6-3
6. Hunter Tubert (OSU) vs. Clark Bilinovich (CSUM) 6-4, 5-0, unfinished
1. Nico Mostardi/Benjamin Slade (CSUM) def. #23 JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce (OSU) 7-6 (8-6)
2. #51 Alex Kobelt/Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Matthew Terry/Luke Phillips (CSUM) 7-6 (9-7)
3. John McNally/Hunter Tubert (OSU) def. Clark Bilinovich/Raul Teichmann (CSUM) 6-3
Cleveland State 19-8
Ohio State 30-2; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,5,4)
NCAA Tennis Championship First Round
Official: Mark Anderson T-1:50