HOUSTON -- Ohio State produced another 4-3 classic with the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the semifinals at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship on Sunday. Down 3-1, the Buckeyes (12-0) fought back to win and advance to the championship match on Monday. Under director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State remains the only team to defeat Virginia -- the defending champions -- in the Indoor Championships in the past six years, with the Buckeyes winning as well in the semifinals during 2012 campaign.
Knotted at 3-3, redshirt junior Kevin Metka saved two match points in the final set tiebreaker before prevailing against Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 6-5 (7-5), 5-6 (5-7), 6-5 (12-10) at No. 5 singles to seal the win for the Buckeyes. It was the second consecutive clinch for Metka at the tournament and his team-best 11th win of the season.
In doubles action, the No. 2 duo of redshirt senior Peter Kobelt and Metka were first off court, defeating Alex Domijan and Justin Shane 6-3 on court No. 1. Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen fell on court No.2 6-2 to Mitchell Frank and Luca Cortineli. The doubles point was then decided on court No. 3 with redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach falling to Mac Styslinger and Kwiatkowski, 6-5 (7-1).
Down 1-0 In singles play, Ohio State and Virginia each took three first sets, but Callahan tied the match with his 6-3, 6-4 win against No. 62 Jordan Diagle on court No. 6. Moments later, Pollanen fell to Ryan Shane on court No. 3 6-2, 6-5 (7-5). Virginia furthered its lead to 3-1 when Domijan, a player ranked No. 1 last season, defeated Diaz 6-1, 5-6 (1-7), 6-4 on court No. 2.
No. 23 Kobelt downed No. 3 Frank, the ITA All-American Champion this season, on court No. 1 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to cut the Cavalier lead to 3-2. Steinbach then tied the match with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-5 (7-5) victory versus Justin Shane on court No. 4 to set up Metka.
No. 3 Southern California 4, No. 2 UCLA 3
HOUSTON -- Southern California replicated last year's big semifinal win against rival UCLA with Sunday's 4-3 victory against the Bruins in that same round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Trojans reigned supreme with a tight but strong win to beat out the Bruins and score another spot in the tournament title match. Now 7-0 overall, USC will go up against Ohio State in the championship bout.
Junior Yannick Hanfmann was the hero on Sunday following up a powerful effort in doubles alongside teammate Ray Sarmiento for the clinching upset to take the doubles point with a spectacular finish in singles. It was Hanfmann's big win --- a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 upset of UCLA's No. 5 Marcos Giron -- that sealed the deal for the Trojans.
The Trojans had first tacked up the doubles point on a one-two punch from courts Nos. 1 and 3. At the No. 3 spot, USC's Johnson/de Vroome punched up a winner with a 6-4 victory against Gage Brymer/Karue Sell. The first point would be pocketed by the Trojans with No. 35 Hanfmann/Sarmiento's 6-4 upset of UCLA's No. 9 Giron/Mackenzie McDonald, and USC took that important 1-0 lift on into singles play.
There, Max de Vroome kept his momentum rolling with a swift 6-3, 6-0 dispatch of UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian at the No. 5 spot, pumping USC to a 2-0 advantage. Roberto Quiroz then whipped up another straight-set drubbing from court No. 3 as he took out No. 71 McDonald by a score of 6-2, 6-3, and USC was poised for victory, up a solid 3-0.
The Bruins wouldn't topple too easily, though.On court No. 6, UCLA registered its first point as Joseph Di Giulio managed a 6-2, 6-3 response for a win against Michael Grant to make it 3-1. At the No. 4 spot, No. 26 Brymer followed suit and got it to 3-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win against USC freshman Connor Farren. On court No. 1, UCLA's top-ranked Clay Thompson was in a second-set tiebreaker in an attempt to wrap up the tying point against No. 7 Sarmiento. Thompson would pull off the win there, getting a 6-2, 6-5 (5) victory that tugged the Bruins even with the Trojans at 3-3. That put all eyes on court No. 2, where No. 16 Hanfmann was in a three-setter against Giron. Hanfmann worked ahead in the third and held on, honing in on the victorious clincher with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 finish of Giron to notch the 4-3 Trojan win that propels USC into the ITA National Team Indoor Championships title match for the third consecutive year.
No. 7 Oklahoma 4, No. 6 Baylor 2
HOUSTON -- Oklahoma topped Baylor on Sunday in the International Tennis Association’s consolation bracket.
After losing the doubles point, the Sooners fought back and collected four points in singles play.
Axel Alvarez got the first point, ousting Diego Galeano 6-2, 6-0.
Senior Peerakit Siributwong beat Vince Schneider in straight sets 6-3, 6-0. This win marks Siributwong’s first singles victory this season.
Freshman Andrew Harris earned OU’s third singles point, defeating Mate Zsiga 6-4, 6-3.
Despite losing his first set 4-6, senior Guillermo Alcorta redeemed himself, winning his next two sets against Patrick Pradella 6-1, 6-4, which clinched the match for the Sooners.
No. 10 Texas 4, No. 11 California 2
HOUSTON -- Texas defeated California 4-2 in the consolation round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Sunday at the Downtown Club at The Met.
It marks Texas' fourth win against a top-25 opponent this season, including its second win versus a top-15 opponent in the past three matches.
Texas fell behind early as Cal's Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton defeated Nick Naumann and George Goldhoff (6-5) in a tiebreaker to clinch the doubles point.
Goldhoff lost to Filip Bergevi at No. 3 singles (6-2, 6-2) to give Cal a 2-0 team lead.
The Longhorns ended the match with four consecutive singles victories, all in straight sets.
Juniors Hess-Olesen and Glasspool respectively picked up wins against ranked opponents to tie the match at 2-2. Hess-Olesen defeated No. 62 Ben McLachlan (6-2, 6-3), while Glasspool defeated No. 68 Campbell Johnson (6-2, 6-3).
Junior Adrien Berkowicz gave Texas a 3-2 lead after defeating Cal's No. 118 Andre Goransson (6-4, 6-5).
Sohomore Nick Naumann clinched the team win for the Longhorns. Naumann defeated Cal's Gregory Bayane (6-5, 6-4) at No. 5 singles, improving to 9-2 in dual-match singles competition in the process.