Feb. 21, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State was tested by No. 23 Florida. Placed in spots where they needed to shine, the Buckeyes rose to the occasion to pull out a 4-3 win.
The Buckeyes welcomed the Gators for their first trip to Columbus in program history. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 6-3, winning each of the last six meetings.
Ohio State opened doubles play with an inspiring hot start on court one. Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen went up 4-1 on the No. 1 nationally ranked doubles team from Florida. They eventually went on to defeat Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson 6-3. Torpegaard improved upon his team-best 11-4 record in doubles play on the year. On court two, Ralf Steinbach and Martin Joyce defeated Maxx Lipman and Elliot Orkin 6-4 to clinch the doubles point and put the Buckeyes up 1-0 in the match.
The Buckeyes carried their momentum into singles play getting off to a similarly quick start. Steinbach won his first set 6-1 on court five and eventually went on to defeat Watson in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead.
Mounting a mid-match comeback, Florida’s Alfredo Perez defeated Chris Diaz 6-2, 7-5, cutting the Ohio State lead in half to 2-1. Hugo Di Feo, after winning the first set 6-1, dropped the next two to No. 21 Elliot Orkin, losing 6-1, 2-6, 4-6, tying the match 2-2.
Martin Joyce rallied from a 6-3 loss in the first set to pull out 6-3, 6-4 wins in the second and third, putting the Buckeyes up 3-2. Florida kept it coming when Chase Perez-Blanco defeated Herkko Pollanen 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to tie the match at 3-3.
It all came down to court one. After a first set tiebreak victory, No. 5 Mikael Torpegaard fell in the second after getting off to a poor start. He rallied and shone through in the final set, acing No. 48 Diego Hidalgo three times in the seventh game to go up on serve, eventually winning 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-2.
Ohio State will be back in action at 6 p.m. on Friday when they begin Big Ten play against unbeaten Penn State at the Varsity Tennis Center.