As a student at Ohio State, I can personally attest to the fact that this university is truly an everything school. Academics are top notch in all fields of study, the majority of athletic teams compete for a national championship on a consistent basis, and there is an endless amount of opportunities to pursue — whatever you choose.
However, in this article, I am choosing to highlight my second point. But, to your likely surprise, I am not going to be talking about the perennial power football team, or even the men’s basketball team that has become a title contender in recent years. Instead, I will be focusing on men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, and softball. Now, before you click to a different article, I ask that you continue to open your mind, read about these teams, and learn a little bit more about these lesser talked about Buckeyes.
While their regular seasons are coming to a close, you may discover that some of them are in the midst of, or about to start, an exciting postseason run!
Did you know that Ohio State has one of the best men’s tennis programs in the country? They have finished with a top-five ranking every year since 2006, with the exception of 2012. It truly is remarkable how good they are year in and year out — kind of like Ohio State football.
The men’s tennis team entered the postseason tournament at 20-3 on the year, and finished as runner-ups in the Big Ten Tournament. Five Buckeyes earned All-Big Ten honors this season, one of them being John McNally — if there are any tennis fans reading this and that name sounds familiar, it’s because his sister, Caty, plays professionally on the tour.
Cannon Kingsley was the coaches’ unanimous selection for Big Ten Player of the Year. Why unanimous, you might ask? It might have something to do with the fact that he has been perfect this year with a singles record of 27-0. Additionally, JJ Tracy became the 10th Buckeye to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
This past Friday, the team won their opening round of the NCAA Tournament, as they have for every year for the past seventeen; the Buckeyes defeated VCU with a 4-1 W. The next day, the thirty-fifth ranked Buckeyes upset the No. 10 seed Wake Forest, with another 4-1 win.
The Bucks have now advanced to the Round of 16, where they will take on TCU on the May 17 at 1 p.m. ET. Maybe now you’ll tune in to see how the rest of their season plays out?
Let me state right now that women’s tennis is very exciting to watch. Now, I am a little biased, since I myself have played for the majority of my life, and still love to whenever I can. But, how can you disagree when it comes to OSU’s dominant women’s tennis team?
They finished their regular season at 21-3, and are the Big Ten regular season AND tournament champs. Melissa Schaub was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career, while Irina Cantos Siemers was a unanimous All-Big Ten pick and Isabelle Boulais was also named to the All-Big Ten Team.
The Buckeyes made their seventh consecutive — and 17th overall — NCAA Tournament appearance in program history this past weekend. Coming in ranked at No. 15, they shut out UIC 4-0 this past Friday to advance to the next round. They then secured an exciting 4-3 win against Vanderbilt on Saturday to move on to the Round of 16.
Ohio State, now 23-3 on the year and on a 15-match winning streak, will play Texas at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 16. Again, won’t you at least look at the final score — for me?
I feel like everyone knows that it’s tough for teams north of the Mason-Dixon Line to dominate in college baseball. I mean, how can you compete with the southern schools who get to play outdoors all year round?
I really don’t know how TTUN manages to be good every year, but football is what really matters between these two schools, and I am having trouble recalling the last time they beat us, so we’re just going to overlook this issue for now. Anyways, this year is more of the same for the OSU baseball team. They are currently 17-14, and sit right in the middle of the Big Ten standings at No. 6.
However, there are a couple exciting storylines to follow this season. Freshman phenom Kade Kern is having a monster first collegiate season. He leads the team with a .376 batting average, and has become the starting center fielder and consistent three-spot hitter.
Another player to keep an eye on is redshirt junior pitcher Seth Lonsway, who was named to the Golden Spikes Preseason Watch List, which is awarded annually to the best amateaur baseball player. He currently has a 3.21 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched.
While there is no Big Ten Tournament this year due to the pandemic, the Buckeyes have a couple more weeks of regular season play before NCAA tournament selections are announced on May 31. Now would be the perfect time to start watching the baseball Bucks to see how the rest of their season shapes out, and hopefully cheer them on in the postseason.
I believe that I have saved the best sport for last. Softball truly has a special place in my heart because it has been my sport since I was eight years old! Now, while I am not playing for the Buckeyes (Coach Kovach Schoenly — I am always ready if you need me), it has been really fun to follow along with them this season.
The Buckeyes are having a similar season to the baseball team; 21-18 record, sitting at seventh in the Big Ten standings. A few players to spotlight are Sam Hackenbracht, Mariah Rodriguez, and Payton Buresch.
Hackenbracht is second on the team with a .342 batting average, and her 10 home runs are tied for the most in the Big Ten while her .479 on-base percentage is fourth-best. Rodriguez leads the team with a .343 batting average and has seen a 151-point improvement in her average from last season.
Last but certainly not least, Buresch has a 2.30 ERA over the last two seasons with the Scarlet and Gray, with 15 wins and 28 games started. Again, there is no Big TenTtournament because of COVID (sigh), but the Women’s College World Series (aka the NCAA Tournament) selections are this coming Sunday, May 16. I highly recommend you tune in to the WCWS — it is one of most exciting parts of women’s sports, and Ohio State could definitely be a part of it.
Which team are you most excited to follow along with?
This poll is closed
All of them!