The Buckeye men’s tennis team lost a heartbreaker Tuesday night against Wake Forest in the NCAA Men’s Finals, 4-2. In only their second finals appearance, the Buckeyes couldn’t break past the top-ranked Demon Deacons top-heavy lineup.
From the start, the Buckeyes knew they needed to take the doubles point to have a chance to win the match—and they fell short after two extremely close matches. Mikhael Torpegaard/John McNally dropped 5-7 to Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer followed shortly thereafter by JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce dropping their doubles match 5-7 to Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri. The narrow losses in the matches gave Wake Forest the doubles point and put the Buckeyes in a must-win situation in 4 of the 6 singles matches.
In the singles matches the depth of the Buckeyes shined with Kyle Seelig—who was undefeated all tournament—quickly dispatching Alan Gadjiev 6-2, 6-2. Right after Wolf fell 6-1, 6-3 in an incredibly difficult matchup against No. 4 (and former No. 1) Petros Chrysochos. Those matches made the score 2-1 in favor of Wake Forest but the Buckeyes weren’t done yet.
With four singles matches remaining at that point, the Buckeyes were up in two, down a set but winning the second set in one, and almost defeated in the third. They needed to take three to win the match but unfortunately fell just short.
McNally dropped his third singles match 6-2, 6-2, to No. 38 ranked Mansouri and left the Buckeyes needing to win every remaining match of the day. Joyce helped the cause winning 6-1, 6-3 over Christian Seraphim and only Torpegaard and Tim Seibert were remaining.
Torpegaard was up after winning the first set and going into the end of his second set into a tiebreaker, but Seibert couldn’t close out the second set while up 5-2. Botzer was able to break him twice, winning their match 6-4, 7-5—and winning the tournament for Wake Forest.
Despite the loss, the Buckeyes still had an incredible 34-3 season, had five players earn all-tournament designation, and have three players participating in the singles and doubles championships later this week.
Torpegaard, Joyce, Seelig, and the doubles team of Hunter Tubert/ Matt Mendez all were named to the all-tournament team at their respective positions. On top of that, Torpegaard and Wolf are competing in the singles tournament for Ohio State today, and Torpegaard and Joyce will be competing in doubles.