Buckeyes fall 4-1 to TCU in NCAA men's tennis Round of 16 match

Bill Rabinowitz
Buckeye Xtra
The Ohio State University athletic department logo, 2017. [provided by OSU]

The Ohio State men’s tennis team lost 4-1 to seventh-seeded TCU in a round of 16 NCAA tournament match in Orlando, Florida, on Monday.

The Buckeyes (22-4), who were unseeded because they played almost exclusively conference opponents in their pandemic-limited schedule, won only at No. 1 singles. John McNally defeated Alistair Gray 6-4, 6-0 in his match.

Coach Ty Tucker puts an emphasis on the doubles point, but the Horned Frogs took that one to get a jump on the Buckeyes. Ohio State’s Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy led 5-2 at No. 3, but shortly after Justin Boulais and James Trotter lost, McNally and Robert Cash fell 6-4 after losing the deuce point that would have evened the match.

In singles, the Buckeyes’ hole got deeper. McNally was the only Ohio State player to win his first set.

At No. 4, Boulais lost 6-2, 6-0 shortly after McNally’s match ended. Kingsley, who entered the match undefeated in 27 singles matches, was broken at 3-4 on the deuce point in the second set and fell 6-4, 6-4 to Luc Fomba at No. 2.

TCU (19-7) clinched the match when Tadeas Paroulek closed out Kyle Seelig 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5. Seelig was ahead 4-2 in the first set before Paroulek won the final four games. James Trotter at No. 3 was trailing 7-6, 6-3. Tracy at No. 6 was tied 3-6, 6-1, 1-1 when TCU clinched.

"We had opportunities to win the first set with Trotter and (Seelig) and came up short," Tucker said. "That put us in a big hole, and we weren’t able to fight our way all the way out of it."

Ohio State reached the round of 16 for the 15th consecutive season. Kingsley and McNally will compete in the singles tournament following the end of the team tournament.

"I’m proud of the guys for going through COVID and all the stuff that they went through and finding a way to compete," Tucker said. "When we get to the final site of the NCAA tournament and end it like we did today, it’s not what I want and not what we’re used to doing.

"But we're going to try and have a big summer and are looking forward to COVID being gone and being able to get back to full-time lifting, full-time runs and full-time practice. That’s the stuff that we missed last summer, and we’ll try to make a jump so that we can get back here next year."