In search of its first NCAA outdoor championship, the third-ranked Ohio State men's tennis team will face top-ranked and host Wake Forest in the title match Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
The Buckeyes (34-2) secured their spot in the final by dispatching No. 2 UCLA 4-1 in a Monday semifinal that was marred by weather delays but was not short on drama. Three matches were in tight third sets when Martin Joyce finally finished off Maxime Cressy of the Bruins (30-3) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to clinch the match on the fifth singles court.
Top singles star Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State defeated Martin Redlicki 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, and Kyle Seelig also earned a point with a victory over Logan Staggs 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 on the fourth singles court.
To begin the affair before a weather delay, Ohio State managed to take the doubles point. Torpegaard and John McNally edged Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith 7-6, while Hunter Tubert and Matt Mendez outdueled Cressy and Bryce Pereira by the same scoreline. The UCLA duo of Redlicki and Evan Zhu beat Joyce and JJ Wolf 7-5.
In the other semifinal, the Demon Deacons (30-2) edged Texas A&M 4-3. The No. 5 Aggies (26-6) nearly pulled off the upset; both teams were seeking their first berth in a final.
For Ohio State, meanwhile, the win offers the opportunity to avenge a loss in the 2009 national championship match against USC. The Buckeyes have been to the semifinals five times under current coach Ty Tucker.