URBANA, Ill. – The No. 5 Ohio State men’s tennis team lost a heartbreaker to No. 1 UCLA, 4-3, in the semifinals of the NCAA championships Monday afternoon at the Khan Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes conclude the 2013 season 35-3 overall and Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions.
A trio of seniors in Devin McCarthy, Connor Smith and Ille Van Engelen finished their Buckeye careers. McCarthy, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, wrapped up his Ohio State career with 184 combined career wins (104-18 in singles and 80-19 in doubles). Smith, a Tampa, Fla., native who joined the Buckeyes in 2012, recorded an Ohio State combined career record of 133-26 (66-14 in singles and 67-12 in doubles). Van Engelen, who hails from Eindhoven, Netherlands, posted a combined career record of 119-32 (51-17 in singles and 68-15 in doubles).
For just the third time this season, Ohio State
dropped the doubles point in its match vs. UCLA. The Buckeye pair of McCarthy and Van Engelen lost an 8-3 decision at No. 2 doubles to Adrien Puget and Karue Sell before the No. 12 pair of Peter Kobelt and Smith suffered an 8-4 loss to No. 42 Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov at the top position. Earlier this season, the Scarlet and Gray lost the doubles point at Texas A&M Feb. 10 and at Illinois April 12. Ohio State lost 4-3 to the Aggies, but rebounded for a 4-3 victory vs. the Illini.
The Buckeyes began to dig their way out of 2-0 deficit when McCarthy won his 22nd-consecutive match at No. 4 singles, following a 6-1, 6-1 loss at No. 5 singles by Chris Diaz. Diaz, redshirt freshman from Hilliard, Ohio, lost to Clay Thompson. McCarthy, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, beat Dennis Mkrtchian, 6-1, 6-3, to help Ohio State pull to within one (2-1). However, the Bruins’ Sell held on for a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory on court No. 6 vs. Constantin Christ to help them take a 3-1 advantage. The Scarlet and Gray then won back-to-back matches at Nos. 3 and 1 singles to tie the score at 3-3. First, Smith won a second-set tiebreak, 7-5, after winning the first set 6-2 against No. 22 Puget. With the team score set at 3-2, Rola, No. 12 in the ITA polls, rallied from a first-set loss (7-5) to defeat Novikov, 6-3, 6-2, in the final two sets. Like their match vs. USC, the Buckeyes’ match against UCLA came down to Kobelt at No. 2 singles. Playing 25th ranked Giron, Kobelt, ranked No. 8, lost 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.
Tennis Match Results
Ohio State vs. UCLA
May 20, 2013 at Urbana, Ill.
(Khan Tennis Complex)
#1 UCLA 4, #5 Ohio State 3
1. #12 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. #27 Dennis Novikov (UCLA) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
2. #25 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. #8 Peter Kobelt (OSU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
3. #71 Connor Smith (OSU) def. #22 Adrien Puget (UCLA) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
4. #73 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. #75 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
5. #119 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #104 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Constantin Christ (OSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
1. #42 Marcos Giron/Dennis Novikov (UCLA) def. #12 Connor Smith/Peter Kobelt (OSU) 8-4
2. #77 Adrien Puget/Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #90 Ille Van Engelen/Devin McCarthy (OSU) 8-3
3. Alex Brigham/Clay Thompson (UCLA) vs. Blaz Rola/Hunter Callahan (OSU) 7-7, unfinished
Ohio State 35-3; National ranking #5
UCLA 29-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,4,6,3,1,2)
2013 NCAA Championships Semifinals