Ohio State had several Olympic teams securing major wins over the past week as Buckeye teams enter further into the winter season, with both tennis teams, women’s hockey and men’s volleyball all putting up spotless performances, while the rest of the Olympic teams helped contribute to a strong, 7-3 record on the week.
Both Ohio State tennis teams entered the week with a higher ranked team on the schedule, and both teams exited the week with pretty massive boosts to their resumes.
The women’s team kicked off the loaded weekend on Jan. 31, with a 4-2 win in Columbus over No. 5 Duke to improve to a strong 3-0 start. The Buckeyes have now beaten top 10 teams in each of the last two weeks, with a win over then-No. 10 Oklahoma State already in the books from the ITA Kickoff.
Ohio State started strong, winning the doubles point and jumping to a 3-0 lead, before a Duke comeback put the lead in some jeopardy. With Duke on the precipice of completing the comeback, Ohio State’s Danielle Wolf toppled Yasmine Mansouri 7-5 in a third-set tiebreak to secure the victory for the Buckeyes.
“Duke is a great team and we certainly didn’t expect to walk out of here 4-0 in an hour and 45 minutes. That wasn’t part of the gameplan,” said Ohio State head coach Melissa Schaub. “We got five first sets and like good players do, Duke came back and played well in the second sets. I think we started looking at the scoreboard a little bit and got a little anxious waiting for Irina to finish it. And then when that didn’t happen, we got in a little bit of a hole on some courts. But we came back and showed some great fight. Shiori is playing some great tennis and I’d put Danielle Wolf up against anyone in the country right now. She works incredibly hard and deserved to finish it off tonight.”
Meanwhile, a day later, the men’s team shook the college tennis world with a 4-1 victory for the No. 6 Buckeyes over No. 1 Texas. The win extended Ohio State’s home win streak to 88 games, and improved its home win record since April of 2003 to 288-1.
Buckeye freshman Robert Cash clinched the win for the Buckeyes with a 6-4,6-3 victory over Chih Chi Huang, along with a doubles win with partner John McNally over Christian Sigsgaard/ Yuya Ito, 6-4 .
The women’s team will head to the National Indoors on Feb. 8 in Chicago, while the men’s team will host Arizona State next, on Feb. 7.
Ohio State continued its good run of form, improving to 7-1-1 in the last nine games after a win and tie against conference foe Bemidji State over the weekend. The tie came in the second of two matchups, with Jincy Dunne and Emma Maltais finding the back of the net for the Buckeyes in a 2-2 draw. Maltais put Ohio State ahead in the final frame, but the Buckeyes couldn’t prevent overtime, where the teams remained in stalemate, recording the game as a tie. However, Ohio State claimed the extra league point with a shootout win, as Maltais delivered another goal.
“I’m proud of our girls and I thought that they were the more dominant team, and sometimes the score just doesn’t depict how the game really looked,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “In the second period we really controlled the game but we were missing some shots that should have been on net. Overall I just think we played a fantastic game. Lynsey Wallace was unbelievable and made some huge saves.”
The first game was a 7-2 blowout win. Gabby Rosenthal scored two goals, Maltais added one of her own, joined by Sophie Jaques, Liz Schepers, Brooke Bink and Paetyn Levis.
The Buckeyes match up with Minnesota Duluth in the next weekend series, entering the two-game battle at 17-6-5 and looking like one of the nation’s strongest teams.
Ohio State took an expected step forward with a 43-3 win over Maryland on Jan. 31, but couldn’t sustain the momentum, falling in the final seconds at No. 6 Nebraska two days later, 19-15. The Buckeyes now sit at 9-3 on the season, with Northwestern and Penn State left on the duals schedule before a lengthy break leading up to the Big Ten Championships.
Almost everything worked against Maryland, as shown by the final tally. Ohio State lost just one bout, at 133 pounds, where King Sandoval defeated Jordan Decatur, 10-8. Ohio State found bonus points in eight matches, courtesy of Luke Pletcher (141 pounds, def. Hunter Baxter, PIN, 1:57); No. 2 Sammy Sasso (149 pounds def. Ryan Garllitz, TF, 23-8 (6:29)); Quinn Kinner (157 pounds, def. Lucas Cordio, TF, 16-1 (2:34)); No. 13 Ethan Smith (165 pounds, def. Kyle Cochran, MD, 20-7); No. 7 Kaleb Romero (174 pounds, def. No. 24 Philip Spadafora, MD, 13-4); No. 24 Rocky Jordan (184, def. Kyle Jasenski, TF, 18-2); No. 1 Kollin Moore (197 pounds, def. Niko Cappello, PIN, 2:36); and No. 23 Gary Traub (285 pound, def. Parker Robinson, TF, 24-9).
Against Nebraska, the Buckeyes had less luck. Crucial losses at 174 (No. 6 Mikey Labriola def. No. 7 Romero, D, 3-1); 285 (David Jensen def. No. 23 Traub, D, 8-3); and 165 ( No. 4 Isaiah White def. No. 13 Smith, PIN, 6:58) doomed Ohio State, despite great performances from Pletcher, Sasso, Moore and an upset win from Jordan over No. 9 Taylor Venz, 3-2. Smith surrender points in the final moments against White after entering those final moments with a 4-2 lead, in a match with a tied team score, 14-14.
Ohio State snagged its first road win of the season over Saint Francis in straight sets on Jan. 31. Reese Devilbiss carried the largest offensive load, connecting for 12 kills at a .688 attacking rate.
The Buckeyes kept the good times rolling on Feb. 1 with another sweep, though this one came in a bit more impressive fashion, because it came against the No. 7 team in the country, Penn State, on the road. The win moved Ohio State to 8-1 on the year, and served as its first sweep at Penn State since 2013.
Devilbiss had 15 kills at a .560 attacking rate, while Martin Lallemand put up 11 kills and 10 digs and a .435 hitting percentage.
The Buckeyes come back to the Covelli Center on Feb. 7 to take on UCSB.
SWIM AND DIVE
Ohio State impressed against Pitt, winning ten women’s swimming races and five men’s swimming events. The Buckeyes swept the diving events. Jacob Fielding won both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, as Genevieve Angerame and Lexie Barker finished first and second on 1-meter, and Jackie Brenn capped the showing with a 3-meter win.
After a week off, Ohio State will take the pool again on Feb. 14 at the Ohio State Winter Invitational.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Ohio State men’s team recorded five top-eight finishes at the Texas Tech Invitational, while the women’s team put up six, along with a new school record in the pentathlon.
For the men, Shaun Miller Jr. took second in the high jump with a career best 2.09-meter jump; Clarence Foote-Talley placed sixth in the triple jump with a 15.81-meter jump; RJ Russell took a third place finish in the 600-meter run (1:18:58); Tyler Johnson came in fifth in 400-meter (46.84); and Donnie James finished fourth in the men’s 200-meter dash (21.14 career best).
On the other side, Anavia Battle won the 200-meter dash (22.86); Alexus Pyles broke her own school record and finished first with 4040 points in the pentathlon, while Emma Nwofor placed fourth with 3950 points; Annie Ubbing (1:32.03) and Aziza Ayoub (1:32.69) placed fifth and eighth in the 600-meter run; The 4×400-meter relay team (Alyssa Marsh, Jayden Wood, Aziza Ayoub and Tamani Wilson) finished eighth (3:42.10).
The Buckeyes will next compete in the Tiger Paw Invite hosted by Clemson University.
Both teams fell in their duals this week, with the men’s team coming up just short against No. 5 Michigan, 409.600-408.500.
“I’m very proud of the team and I think the work we have been doing during the week is starting to pay off,” Rustam Sharipov, Ohio State head coach, said. “At the end of the day, on the last two events we lost our focus and I think that is what we need to work on. Other than that, I am very proud of the team and I believe we are moving in the right direction. Now, back to grinding and getting ready for next week’s meet.”
The women’s team faced a similar fate, losing to No. 8 Minnesota, 197.400-195.550. Olivia Aepli was named team MVP.
The men will next matchup with Arizona State, Cal and Stanford on Feb. 8, while the women have another dual, this time against Michigan, on Feb. 9.