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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State men's tennis falls to TCU in NCAA semifinals

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom05/19/24


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Ohio State men’s tennis falls to TCU in NCAA semifinals

TCU got payback.

Ohio State defeated the Horned Frogs in the ITA Indoor Team National Championship in February, 4-3. Flash forward to Saturday, and TCU dashed the Buckeyes’ NCAA title hopes.

The No. 4 Horned Frogs beat top-ranked Ohio State, 4-2, in the NCAA semifinals in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Ohio State had made it to the semis four years in a row and eight times overall but hadn’t, and still haven’t, won an NCAA championship in program history.

Saturday marked the Buckeyes’ second loss of the season, which they finished 34-2. Before falling to TCU, Ohio State’s lone loss this year came at Texas, where the Buckeyes suffered a 5-2 defeat.

As for this weekend’s showdown with TCU, the Buckeyes won the doubles point before momentum swung in the singles portion of the day. Although Ohio State responded, the Horned Frogs pulled away late.

The doubles point came down to Ohio State’s Cannon Kingsley and Jack Anthrop, who took down TCU’s Duncan Chan and Lui Maxted, 7-6, after winning the tiebreaker, 7-4. Prior to that nail biter, No. 63 duo Jake Fearnley and Pedro Vives from TCU got the best of No. 3 JJ Tracy and Robert Cash from Ohio State, 6-4. But Ohio State’s Justin Boulais picked up his 99th career doubles victory, teaming up with Andrew Lutschaunig for the 49th-ranked doubles pairing nationally to beat TCU’s Sebastian Gorzny and Jack Pinnington, 6-3.

Losing the doubles point put TCU in a 1-0 deficit. The Horned Frogs dug themselves out of that hole and built a lead quickly, courtesy of back-to-back two-set singles victories: No. 13 Pinnington defeated No. 34 Boulais 6-4, 7-5, and No. 77 Gorzny swept Ohio State’s Alexander Bernard 6-3, 6-4.

The other four singles bouts took three sets, starting with Anthrop’s equalizing win over No. 78 Maxted. No. 30 Anthrop claimed the first set, 6-3, before losing the second set, 6-3, and then bouncing back to take the third set, 7-5.

TCU reclaimed its match lead in a top-20 head-to-head, as No. 7 Fearnley broke free from No. 17 Kingsley in the third frame. The turning point Saturday, however, came when Ohio State’s Cash couldn’t close out TCU’s Tomas Jirousek, who even lost the first set, 6-1, and found himself needing a comeback in the third set, too.

Jirousek’s win sealed the deal for TCU, which will now play Texas in the NCAA title match. That said, had Cash held off Jirousek, the Buckeyes might be the ones getting a crack at the Longhorns because No. 19 Tracy was leading his third set, 4-3, against No. 73 Vives before the Horned Frogs clinched the match.

When it comes to team matches, Saturday was the end of the road for five Ohio State seniors: Cash, Tracy, Boulais, Kinglsey and Lutschaunig. The Buckeyes clocked out with 30 or more team match wins for the 14th time in program history. What’s more, Ohio State won its 18th straight Big Ten title, in addition to winning the Big Ten Tournament after that.

Tracy and Cash will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. And Tracy, Boulais, Kingsley and Anthrop will take part in the NCAA Singles Championship. Singles competition starts Monday in Stillwater, and doubles gets going Tuesday.

Ohio State staff watches several top 2025 and 2026 targets Saturday at EYBL session III

The Ohio State men’s basketball coaching staff was in Indianapolis for EYBL session III Saturday, and so was Lettermen Row.

Recruiting reporter Mick Walker took inventory of which top 2025 and 2026 prospects the Buckeyes were watching. That group included 2026 commit Marcus Johnson, a point guard from Garfield Heights in Cleveland who at one point popped off with 39 points for Indy Heat 16U.

Go here for the full recap of how Ohio State targets performed.

Next Man Up: How Buckeyes can replace Cade Stover at tight end

Lettermen Row’s “Next Man Up” series continued with a look at how Ohio State can replace Cade Stover at tight end. Stover is linking up with former Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud after the Houston Texans took Stover in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft.

Before Stover went pro, he enjoyed an unorthodox but ultimately prolific journey at Ohio State.

With Stroud throwing him the ball in 2022, Stover recorded the most receptions (36) and receiving yards (406) by a Buckeyes tight end in 28 years. Even without Stroud, Stover one-upped those marks in 2023 with 41 catches and 576 receiving yards, plus five touchdowns, in 11 regular season appearances.

Replacing that kind of production in 2024 will probably take more than one Ohio State tight end. For a breakdown of the Buckeyes’ options at the position, head on over here.

Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 104 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 195 days

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