Buckeyes hold off No. 23 Northwest on route 4-1 – Ohio State Buckeyes
COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 2-ranked Ohio State was on the road Friday night for the Big Ten’s first matchup of the season against No. 23 Northwestern. The Buckeyes fought back after losing the double point to win the game 4-1.
The game marks the third time this season the Buckeyes have lost the doubles point but have persevered to win the game via four singles wins. The four winners for the Buckeyes were Justin Boulais, James Trotter, Cannon Kingsley and Alexander Bernard.
Ohio State is now 8-2 against the top 25 teams this season and has gone 28-1 against Northwestern since 2000, with Friday’s game being the 22nd straight win over the Wildcats. The Buckeyes are 1-0 in Big Ten play and 18-2 overall this season.
The first court finished first as the North West team of Steven Forman and Simen Bratholm edged Buckeyes Robert Cash and Boulais 6-4. Northwestern’s pair of Ivan Yatsuk and Gleb Blekher were the first to beat Ohio State’s No. 7 Andrew Lutschaunig and Trotter to take a 4-2 double-two lead. The Wildcat duo held on to defeat the Buckeyes 6-4. Kingsley and JJ Tracy’s match was left unfinished in the double three after leading 5-4 to Northwestern’s Trice Pickens and Natan Spear.
Bernard, ranked No. 63, started on court five with a 6-2 win in the first set, then cruised to a 6-4 win in the second set to secure his victory over Presley Thieneman. Bernard now improves to 11-3 on aggregate in his debut campaign. Trotter finished first on court four with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pickens. Trotter, the nation’s 25th player, battled his way through the game to a stress-free victory. The Buckeye improve to 16-0 on the year. Boulais battled to break Forman in the first set, taking the lead after a 4-4 tie and managed to hold on for a 6-4 win. The second set was much smoother for No. 53-ranked Boulais as he beat Forman 6-3 to add the third count for the Buckeyes. On court two, No. 12-ranked Kingsley worked his way into the opening set with a 6-3 win over Yatsuk. Things got much tougher for the Buckeye in the second set as the set reached a tiebreaker. Kingsley fought off an early tiebreaker deficit to win the set 7-6(5) and win the match for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes travel to Champaign, Illinois for their third game of the season with Illinois. Ohio State is 2-0 so far against Fighting Illini this season and has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. The first serve is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Atkins Tennis Center.
#2 Ohio State 4, #23 Northwest 1
1. #53 Justin Boulais (OSU) def. #54 Steven Forman (NU) 6-4, 6-3
2. #12 Cannon Kingsley (OSU) def. Ivan Yatsuk (NU) 6-3, 7-6(5)
3. #15 JJ Tracy (OSU) vs. Simen Bratholm (NU) 3-6, 4-5, unfinished
4. #25 James Trotter (OSU) def. Trice Pickens (NU) 6-4, 6-4
5. #63 Alexandre Bernard (OSU) def. Presley Thieneman (NU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Jack Anthrop (OSU) vs. Gleb Blekher (NU) 7-6(6), 3-1, unfinished
1. Steven Forman/Simen Bratholm (NU) def. #36 Robert Cash/Justin Boulais (OSU) 6-4
2. Ivan Yatsuk/Gleb Blekher (NU) def. #7 Andrew Lutschaunig/James Trotter (OSU) 6-4
3. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy (OSU) vs. Trice Pickens/Natan Spear (NU) 4-5, unfinished
Ohio State 18-2; National ranking #2
Northwest 10-7; National ranking #23
Finishing order: Doubles (1.2); Singles (4,5,1,2)
T – 3:03