ORLANDO, Fla. – The Ohio State men’s tennis team was defeated Thursday evening at the hands of North Carolina, 4-2, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship at the USTA National Campus.
The Buckeyes entered the match as the No. 1 overall seed and had a record of 32-2. Ohio State defeated No. 16 seed Columbia last weekend, but faced a much tougher opponent in No. 9 North Carolina in the quarterfinals. North Carolina entered the match coming off an impressive win over No. 8 USC last weekend in the NCAA Super Regional.
Ohio State started doubles play well, with a lead or tie on all three courts through four games. No. 23 JJ Wolf and Martin Joyce jumped out to a big lead and never looked back, taking the first doubles match on court one, 6-1. However the Tar Heels could not be stopped on courts two and three. The Tar Heels took the next two matches 6-2 and 6-2. This marked just the third time in 2019 Ohio State had lost the doubles point and the first loss all season for the tandem of John McNally and Hunter Tubert (20-1).
Singles play is where this match got real intense, real quick. An absolute back and forth day between the Buckeyes overall, but the Tar Heels jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead over Ohio State with wins on courts four and five. Being down 3-0, the Buckeyes were in need of a push. Kyle Seelig stayed calm and collected and defeated his opponent 6-3, 6-4. Now down 3-1, the Buckeyes had some momentum, but were still in a hole. Thankfully, Wolf was there to help. Wolf defeated Blumberg after trailing early in the first set, 7-5, 6-4. It was now 3-2 UNC with both McNally and Tubert in crunch time. McNally and Benjamin Sigouin went toe to toe for what felt like an eternity. Meanwhile, Tubert and Simon Soendergaard had a thriller of their own on court six. Back and forth, as heads turned from court two to six, McNally fell 6-3, 3-6, 4-6.
Ohio State loses just its third match of the season, bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals. The Buckeyes end the season as ITA Indoor National Champions, Big Ten Champions and Big Ten Tournament champions.
Wolf, McNally and Seelig will compete in singles while Joyce and Tubert will compete in doubles at the NCAA Championships next week.
JJ Wolf (OSU) d. William Blumberg (UNC), 7-5, 6-4
Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) d. John McNally (OSU). 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kyle Seelig (OSU) d. Josh Peck (UNC), 6,3, 6-4
Brian Cernoch (UNC) d. Martin Joyce (OSU), 6-2, 6-0
Blaine Boyden (UNC) d. Alex Kobelt (OSU), 6-1, 6-3
Hunter Tubert (OSU) vs. Simon Soendergaard (UNC), 6-4, 4-6, 5-6 unfinished
Wolf/Joyce (OSU) d. Blumberg/Boyden (UNC), 6-1
Sigouin/Cernoch (UNC) d. Kobelt/Seelig (OSU), 6-2
Kiger/Soendergaard (UNC) d. McNally/Tubert (OSU), 6-2
Order of finish: Singles (4,5,3,1,2), Doubles (2,1,3)
Records: UNC 22-6, OSU 32-3