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Men’s tennis: No. 2 Buckeyes post eighth consecutive victory over Minnesota

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Junior Mikael Torpegaard defeated Minnesota’s Matic Spec, 6-4, 6-4 in a match on April 14. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Athletics

The Ohio State men’s tennis team snagged yet another victory to mark the eighth consecutive win after their match against Minnesota.

The Buckeyes came in at a final score of 6-1 over their Big Ten competitor. OSU now stands at 8-0 in the conference play and 23-3 overall while Minnesota dropped to 5-3 in the conference and 15-7 overall.

The OSU team started out strong by gaining the first point in the match. On court two, OSU sophomore Martin Joyce and junior Hugo Di Feo won the first match after winning four consecutive games to post a 6-2 over Minnesota’s Justyn Levin and Josip Krstanovic. Sophomore Hunter Tubert and freshman JJ Wolf finished at another 6-2 for the Buckeyes over Stefan Milicevis and Eli Ogilvy to make the doubles point of the match. Tubert and Wolf also won their last four games to take the match point.

The first court with OSU junior Mikael Torpegaard and senior Herkko Pollanen had an unfinished match when the double point was made, finishing 4-4 against Minnesota’s Matic Spec and Felix Corwin.

Redshirt freshman Kyle Seelig started the singles matches with a dominant 6-2, 6-3 victory over Krstanovic. This puts Seelig at 18-2 for his dual match record for the season.

“Kyle Seelig has done a good job and really separated himself from the competition,” Head Coach Ty Tucker said. “After we get the doubles point, he’s been a guy who has got a lot of big wins for us.”

Torpegaard followed with the next point for the Buckeyes, but not with as much ease. Minnesota’s Matic Spec pulled a few good breaks in the first set, but Torpegaard came back with crucial breaks of his own to turn the match around with a more aggressive attack in the second set.

“Playing a player of his type, his very aggressive hits, first strike hits, hits almost every ball almost as hard as he can, it’s tough to get rhythm in the beginning, so I was struggling a little bit,” Torpegaard said. “But as the match went on, I found the rhythm, especially my serve. I found a little bit more aggressive game myself and it got easier as the game progressed.”

Torpegaard remains undefeated at 22-0 in the season after his 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spec, solidifying his No. 1 spot.

“It’s always relieving to win these matches even though I’m favored,” Torpegaard said. “I’m always playing with a target on my back, so people want to come in here, people want to beat me. They have nothing to lose, I have everything to lose, so it felt good to win.”

Di Feo came in on the third court for the fourth point for OSU. Finishing at a double 6-3, 6-3 score, Di Feo sealed the victory for the Buckeyes to take the match from Milicevic. This is the eighth straight win for Di Feo, placing him at 18-2 in the dual play.

The last three courts played to the finish, but the competition was more evenly matched. Joyce posted a final score of 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 against Marino Alpeza, being the only court to play the full three sets. In the last set, Joyce had a 5-1 lead, but gave up a break. Coming back in the final few sets, Joyce managed to hang in to give the Buckeyes their fifth point.

Wolf played two close sets on the second court, but fell to Corwin with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) score. Pollanen was the last to weigh in with the sixth point for the Buckeyes. On court four, he won both sets, but not without playing two tiebreakers. Pollanen wrapped the match to defeat Eli Ogilby in 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8) score.

The Buckeyes play again this Sunday against No. 29 Wisconsin at noon. The match is Senior Day to celebrate Pollanen and Di Feo for OSU’s final home regular-season match of the year.

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