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Ohio State men’s tennis looking to bounce back against Minnesota, Wisconsin

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Redshirt-junior Chris Diaz prepares to hit the ball during a match against Oklahoma on March 6 in Columbus. OSU lost, 4-3. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer

Redshirt-junior Chris Diaz prepares to hit the ball during a match against Oklahoma on March 6 in Columbus. OSU lost, 4-3.
Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer

Another streak bit the dust when the Ohio State men’s tennis team dropped its first regular season Big Ten game in almost 10 years Sunday at Illinois.

But it’s not time to give up on the season, as the Buckeyes have Minnesota set to come to town Friday and Wisconsin on Sunday.

“All of a sudden our goal is to not lose another match the rest of the season,” coach Ty Tucker said.

With only six matches left in the regular season, the general consensus for the Buckeyes is to just keep moving and not get stuck on their 4-0 loss at Illinois, redshirt-junior Chris Diaz said.

“We just kind of have to put that loss behind us, learn from it a little bit,” Diaz said. “Just got to get better, play with a lot of energy, focus on our weaknesses and what we did wrong in those matches.”

Tucker has a similar mindset, and he said he’s more focused on moving to the outside courts than the losses the Buckeyes have suffered this season.

“We’re just trying to keep playing, keep moving in the right direction,” he said. “We haven’t been outside in the Big Ten yet so coming outside and getting used to some wind and some cold conditions are going to be what we need to get moving on to be ready.”

With all eyes facing forward, Diaz said OSU is not taking Minnesota lightly. The Golden Gophers are not only undefeated this year in the Big Ten, but they have also won seven of their last eight matches overall.

“They’re a really good team. They’ve got a lot of great players, so we got to be ready for them,” Diaz said.

Tucker agreed that the Golden Gophers pose a tough challenge, but said there’s one advantage OSU might have going in.

“Minnesota is quite a tough team, so we’ll have our hands full this week, but at least it’s at home,” he said.

Even though their 200-match home winning streak was snapped earlier this season, Diaz said the Buckeyes still find comfort playing at home.

“Our fans are awesome. They’re always coming out and supporting us, giving us a lot of energy so that really helps us provide more energy on the court,” Diaz said.

Luckily for OSU, four of its last six matches are scheduled to be held in Columbus. The Buckeyes are set to take on Minnesota on Friday at 3 p.m. and Wisconsin at noon Sunday.

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