The tenth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team went up to Ohio State hoping to upset the No.3 Buckeyes but instead, the Bulldogs were defeated 4-0. This was Georgia’s third consecutive match against a top-10 team and the final contest before next week’s ITA National Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va.
“Ohio State played a great match today,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz, “in front of a great crowd. It was high-quality tennis throughout. It came down to a matter of points at each court. Right now, we’re coming up a little bit short. We had some opportunities and we need to do a better job of cashing in on those. Ohio State played a great match today, again. Our guys will be tougher and better for it.”
The Buckeyes (8-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead after picking up two wins in doubles. The first match in the books was a 6-2 win for Ohio State on No. 2. Paul Oosterbaan and Walker Duncan fell to the 25th-ranked pair of Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce, while Wayne Montgomery and Nathan Ponwith earned a 6-2 victory of their own on No. 3 to tie the doubles score at 1-1. The point came down to No. 1, where Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb were tied with No. 38 Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen at 4-4 before dropping the match, 6-4.
In singles, Ohio State notched wins on Nos. 1, 4 and 6 to earn the victory. The first match completed was No. 4, where 47th-ranked Herkko Pollanen defeated Oosterbaan, 6-2, 6-4. Montgomery, who was 1-1 against top-five opponents in the fall, fell 6-4, 6-4 to No. 2 Mikael Torpegaard. Kyle Seelig clinched the match for the Buckeyes at No. 6 with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Duncan.
Ponwith, who is 3-0 in dual matches on the season, dropped the first set against the eighth-ranked player in the country, Hugo Di Feo, before fighting back to force a third set. The match went unfinished. The freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz., has earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice already this season.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to the ITA National Indoor Championship, hosted by the University of Virginia. The tournament begins Friday, Feb. 17.
1. #38 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State) def. Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (Georgia), 6-4
2. #25 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce (Ohio State) def. Paul Oosterbaan/Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-2
3. Wayne Montgomery/Nathan Ponwith (Georgia) def. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (Ohio State), 6-2
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State) def. #15 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia), 6-4, 6-4
2. #55 Emil Reinberg (Georgia) vs. JJ Wolf (Ohio State), 7-5, 4-3, unfinished
3. #117 Nathan Ponwith (Georgia) vs. #8 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State), 3-6, 6-4, unfinished
4. #47 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State) def. Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia), 6-2, 6-4
5. #77 Martin Joyce (Ohio State) vs. Jan Zielinski (Georgia), 7-6 (6), 4-3, unfinished
6. Kyle Seelig (Ohio State) def. Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-2, 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,6)