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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State men's tennis holds off Columbia, advances to NCAA semifinals

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom05/17/24


Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Buckeyes football, recruiting, basketball and more in Scarlet Sunrise.

Ohio State men’s tennis holds off Columbia, advances to NCAA semifinals

Thursday marked the longest match of Ohio State’s season, and the three-and-a-half-hour marathon ended with drama in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The top-ranked Buckeyes led No. 8 Columbia, 3-2, except the Lions staked themselves to an advantage in not one but two ongoing matches, which were simultaneously taking place on courts located at either end of the facility. What’s more, Columbia singles players — Hugo Hashimoto (court 5) and Henry Ruger (court 6) — won the opening set on each of those courts.

Actually, those courts, despite their opposite positioning, featured identical scripts to start. Hashimoto and Ruger both claimed the first set, 7-5. Then Ohio State’s Alexander Bernard (court 5) and Robert Cash (court 6) kept the Buckeyes’ season alive by forcing second-set tiebreakers and winning those tiebreakers, 7-6 (7-5).

That’s when paths diverged.

Even though Cash found himself in a 4-1, third-set hole, it didn’t matter because, before that head-to-head wrapped, Bernard clinched the team match with a decisive 6-1, third-set victory. His triumph over Hashimoto locked up a quarterfinal win for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are headed to the NCAA semifinals for the fourth year in a row and the eighth time in program history.

Ohio State has won 18 straight matches this season and is now 34-1 on the year.

Head coach Ty Tucker’s squad got out to a 3-2 lead thanks to a pair of singles victories from JJ Tracy and Cannon Kingsley, plus the doubles point the Buckeyes pried away from Columbia.

Kingsley and Jack Anthrop took down Alex Kotzen and Ruger, 6-4. The Lions responded by winning a 6-4 match of their own, courtesy of Nicolas Kotzen and Max Westphal, who defeated the No. 49 duo of Justin Boulais and Andrew Lutschaunig from Ohio State.

The doubles point came down to the No. 3 tandem in the country, Ohio State’s Cash and Tracy. They delivered with a 6-4 win over Columbia’s Theo Winegar and Michael Zheng.

With Thursday’s victory against the Lions, the Buckeyes have booked a trip to the semifinals, where they will face No. 4 TCU Saturday at 12 p.m. Ohio State defeated TCU in the ITA Indoor Team National Championship in February, 4-3.

Will Ohio State football add any final pieces from transfer portal?

As May chugs along, the spring transfer window becomes further and further in the rear view mirror. The Buckeyes have yet to add a scholarship transfer post-spring ball, although they did bring aboard a walk-on punter from Buffalo and a walk-on wide receiver from FCS Presbyterian.

But that doesn’t mean Ohio State is completely done in its pursuit of potential difference-makers this spring. Head coach Ryan Day and his staff could still reel in a player to help bolster the Buckeyes’ depth at a key spot ahead of what they believe can be a national championship season.

Lettermen Row has the latest on Ohio State’s activity in the portal and, more specifically, on one position in particular the Buckeyes are continuing to target.

Get that here.

Four-star cornerback Blake Woodby decommits from Ohio State

Four-star Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy cornerback Blake Woodby decommitted from the Buckeyes on Thursday afternoon.

Woodby initially pledged to Ohio State back on Oct. 14.

He’s the program’s third decommitment of the cycle. Safety Jontae Gilbert and wide receiver Jayvan Boggs were previously in the Buckeyes’ 2025 class.

For more on Woodby’s announcement, go here.


Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 106 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 197 days

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