Tennis Teams Mop Up

By Jeff Rapp, April 30th, 2017

Ohio State racked up a pair of Big Ten titles in the sport of tennis this weekend – the men topping all comers in West Lafayette, Ind., on Sunday and the women doing the same in Champaign, Ill.

The men’s team took down rival Michigan 4-1 to claim its 12th tournament title and the 10th in the last 12 years.

The women’s squad also dumped Michigan, this time by the score of 4-0.

The win gives the OSU men a season-sweep of the Wolverines as they also won 4-1 in Ann Arbor on March 26. More impressive, the win over UM is the 24th straight for the Ohio State program.

Michigan boasts one of the best doubles teams in the nation but the Buckeyes made their presence felt in the early going.

On court three, J.J. Wolf and Hunter Tubert won the first nine points of the match and went up a break at 2-1. Martin Joyce and Hugo Di Feo also took an early break lead and snagged another break to go up 5-1. They were broken in their attempt to serve for the match but they bounced-back with a break of their own to win 6-2.

Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen were on serve with the No. 22 team of Connor Johnston and Jathan Malik until winning back-to-back games to go up 5-3. UM held to make it 5-4 and then the Buckeyes clinched the point and the match 6-4.

In singles, the Buckeyes kept the momentum from the doubles point and would set the tone as four different Buckeyes jumped out to 4-1 first-set leads. Torpegaard was coming off his first loss of the spring last Sunday and one week later, he showed why he is the top player in the country. The Denmark native was the first off the court with a dominating 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 80 Malik.

Di Feo then put the second point on the board with his 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Myles Schalet on court three. He improved to 23-2 in dual matches this spring and is 15-1 at the No. 3 spot.

After Michigan put its only point on the board with a win at No. 2, the team’s lone senior Herkko Pollanen clinched the title on court five. The Finland, native posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Runhao Hua to give the Buckeyes the title.

OSU also earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Being ranked No. 2 in the latest ITA rankings, Ohio State will likely host first and second round matches on May 12 and 13. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for May 2 (5 p.m. Eastern, NCAA.com).

#2 Ohio State 4, #16 Michigan 1

Singles
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #80 Jathan Malik (MICH) 6-3, 6-1
2. #123 Alex Knight (MICH) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-3, 6-4
3. #9 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Myles Schalet (MICH) 6-3, 6-3
4. Martin Joyce (OSU) vs. Kevin Wong (MICH) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
5. Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Runhao Hua (MICH) 6-1, 6-4
6. Kyle Seelig (OSU) vs. Carter Lin (MICH) 6-3, 6-6, unfinished

Doubles

1. #14 Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #22 Connor Johnston/Jathan Malik (MICH) 6-4
2. #27 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Runhao Hua/Alex Knight (MICH) 6-2
3. Hunter Tubert/JJ Wolf (OSU) vs. Myles Schalet/Kevin Wong (MICH) 4-5, unfinished

Updated records:
• Michigan 22-6, 9-2 Big Ten
• Ohio State 29-3, 11-0 Big Ten

On the women’s side, the top-seeded Buckeyes soared past second-seeded Michigan at the Atkins Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Illinois. The Buckeyes earned their second consecutive conference tournament crown and second overall.

In doubles play, Ohio State’s Anna Sanford and Sandy Niehaus defeated Michigan’s Chiara Lommer and Brienne Minor, 6-3, on court two. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes’ Gabriella De Santis and Ferny Angeles Paz topped Wolverines’ Mira Ruder-Hook and Valeria Patiuk, 6-2, to give Ohio State the doubles point and a 1-0 advantage.

Picking up singles wins for Ohio State were Miho Kowase, Paz and De Santis. Kowase secured a 6-2, 6-2 win over Alex Najarian at No. 4 singles, while Paz posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over Patiuk at the No. 6 position. At No. 3 singles, De Santis defeated Lommer, 6-4, 6-1, to clinch the 4-0 team victory.

With the win, Ohio State earns the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, which will take place May 18-29.

No. 4 Ohio State 4, No. 10 Michigan 0

Singles
1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) vs. #25 Kate Fahey (MICH) 7-5, 3-0, unfinished
2. #60 Anna Sanford (OSU) vs. #24 Brienne Minor (MICH) 7-5, 1-6, 2-1, unfinished
3. #94 Gabriella De Santis (OSU) def. Chiara Lommer (MICH) 6-4, 6-1
4. #95 Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Alex Najarian (MICH) 6-2, 6-2
5. #102 Sandy Niehaus (OSU) vs. Mira Ruder-Hook (MICH) 6-3, 4-6, unfinished
6. #117 Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Valeria Patiuk (MICH) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles
1. #19 Francesca Di Lorenzo/Miho Kowase (OSU) vs. #9 Kate Fahey/Alex Najarian (MICH) 5-4, unfinished
2. Anna Sanford/Sandy Niehaus (OSU) def. Chiara Lommer/Brienne Minor (MICH) 6-2
3. Gabriella De Santis/Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Mira Ruder-Hook/Valeria Patiuk (MICH) 6-3

Updated records:
• Michigan 21-5
• Ohio State 28-2