Ohio State capped off a tremendous week in Chicago by knocking off defending champion Wake Forest 4-2 to win the program’s second Men’s National Team Indoor Championship. Ohio State got off to a quick start at No. 2 doubles as the ITA No. 7 ranked team of Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt cruised to a 6-1 win. Wake Forest was fairing much better elsewhere with break leads late in the match at both No. 1 and No. 3 however despite winning 6-3 at No. 1 they’d be unable to close the door at No. 3. Ohio State’s Hunter Tubert and John McNally fought off a match point to break on the deciding point for 4-5 and then they fought off another match point to hold on the deciding point for 5-5. After a pair of holds, Tubert and McNally would fall behind 3-2* in the tiebreak but would go on to take the next five points to win it 7-3.
Ohio State came out strong in singles and took four of six opening sets. Buckeye junior JJ Wolf quickly made it 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 1 and shortly thereafter redshirt junior Alex Kobelt made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 5. Ohio State had set and break leads at both No. 2 and No. 4 plus Hunter Tubert was about to get a split at No. 6 so it looked like it was just a matter of time before the shutout was complete however Wake Forest showed its resiliency and came charging back.
Wake sophomore Bar Botzer put the Deacs on the board with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 3 and freshman Siddhant Banthia came back from 3-1 down in the third set to defeat Hunter Tubert 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Over at No. 2, Petros Chrysochos came back from 3-4* down to force a third set against John McNally and at No. 4 Wake freshman Melios Efstathiou erased a 2-4 second set deficit to take a 5-4 lead against Martin Joyce. If Efstathiou would have been able to force a third set the tension would have been unbelievable but Joyce came back with a hold, a break, and then after falling behind 0/30 he’d take the next four points to close it out 7-5, 7-5.
Ohio State M Tennis (@OhioStateMTEN) February 18, 2019
Ohio State’s recap has a post-match interview with Ty Tucker.
#2 Ohio State 4, #1 Wake Forest 2
Feb 18, 2019 at Chicago, Illinois (Midtown Athletic Club)
1. #2 JJ Wolf (OSU) def. Bona Gojo (WF) 6-0, 6-3
2. #62 John McNally (OSU) vs. #1 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), unfinished
3. #21 Bar Botzer (WF) def. #12 Kyle Seelig (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. #49 Melios Efstathiou (WF) 7-5, 7-5
5. #86 Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. Yuval Solomon (WF) 6-3, 6-3
6. Siddhant Banthia (WF) def. Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
1. Bona Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) def. JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce (OSU) 6-3
2. #7 Kyle Seelig/Alex Kobelt (OSU) def. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) 6-1
3. Hunter Tubert/John McNally (OSU) def. Siddhant Banthia/Julian Zlobinsky (WF) 7-6 (7-3)
Wake Forest 12-2; National ranking #1
Ohio State 13-0; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,5,3,6,4)
ITA Indoor Team National Championship Match
The National Team Indoor All-Tournament Team won’t be announced for a few more days though these are my picks at each spot in the lineup.