NORMAN – Oklahoma fell to Ohio State 4-0 to begin its weekend at the 2017 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship At Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va., on Friday.
The Buckeyes, ranked No. 3 in the nation in the Oracle/ITA rankings, entered the match 10-0 on the season, dropping just two dual points in the process. The loss was only the second of the season for the 14th-ranked Sooners. The Sooners first loss of the year came on the road vs. then-No. 2 Wake Forest.
Ohio State opened the match by taking the doubles point, but the Sooners and their tandems made it difficult. After Oklahoma fell at No. 3 doubles, it pushed the remaining two matches to the brink.
Oklahoma seniors Alex Ghilea and Florin Bragusi defeated Ohio State’s Martin Joyce and Hugo Di Feo, the nation’s 25th-ranked tandem 7-5 at the No. 2 spot. That left the doubles point to court one where the Sooners' pairing of Spencer Papa and Andrew Harris rebounded from down two breaks to knot the match at 5-5. The Buckeyes’ duo of Herkko Pollanen and Mikael Torpegaard went on to clinch the point for their team, winning 7-5.
"You have to credit Ohio State, they were better on this day," Crowell said. "They won most of the big points and that was the difference in the match."
Despite the final score, singles was just as competitive as doubles on both sides. Each team took three first sets, including Ghilea breaking to win 7-5 at No. 3 singles and freshman Jochen Bertsch winning a tiebreak at the No. 6 spot for OU.
"We have to rebound quickly as we face another top-10 opponent tomorrow in Northwestern. Our guys are resilient and we will be ready for tomorrow."
- Head Coach Nick Crowell
Di Feo, the country’s 8th-ranked singles player, earned OSU's first singles point over No. 24 Papa with a 7-5, 6-3 win. Joyce made it 3-0 Buckeyes with his 6-1, 6-3 victory at line five singles over Oklahoma freshman Adrian Oetzbach.
At line one singles, Harris dropped a tight first set tiebreak to No. 2 Torpegaard before falling in his match 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, which clinched the dual win for the Buckeyes. Bragusi, Ghilea and Bertsch, all up a set, went unfinished.
Oklahoma, the No. 14 seed, will be back at Boar’s Head Sports Club tomorrow in the consolation bracket to take on 6th-seeded Northwestern at 8 a.m. CT. All sixteen teams in the tournament are guaranteed at least three matches throughout the weekend.
"We have to rebound quickly as we face another top-10 opponent tomorrow in Northwestern," Crowell said. "Our guys are resilient and we will be ready for tomorrow."
The Sooners will next be at the Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman, Okla., on Feb. 24 for a meeting with Tulsa. As always, admission to regular season matches is free for all fans.
For more information on Oklahoma men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter @OU_MTennis. You can also follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram or use the hashtag #ITAIndoors for live updates. All matches will be live streamed on FloTennis, a subscription-based service, which can be found here.
1. #38 Torpegaard/Pollanen def. #42 Harris/Papa - 7-5
2. Ghilea/Bragusi def. #25 Joyce/Di Feo - 7-5
3. Mendez/Tubert def. Chamdani/Oetzbach - 6-0
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard def. #27 Andrew Harris - 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
2. #8 Hugo Di Feo def. #24 Spencer Papa - 7-5, 6-3
3. JJ Wolf vs. Alex Ghilea - 5-7, 4-4, unfinished
4. #47 Herkko Pollanen vs. #105 Florin Bragusi - 2-6, 6-6, unfinished
5. #77 Martin Joyce def. Adrian Oetzbach - 6-1, 6-3
6. Kyle Seelig vs. Jochen Bertsch - 6-7 (5-7), 4-2, unfinished