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Men’s Tennis: No. 6 Ohio State kicks off the spring 2022 season with back-to-back wins

The Lantern
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The Ohio State Men’s Tennis team huddles up before the Ohio State-Michigan State match on Feb. 13, 2021. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Christian Harsa | Special Projects Director

No. 6 Ohio State men’s tennis opened its 2022 season at home with two wins Wednesday, putting out a dominant showing on the courts in a 7-0 match against Toledo and a 6-1 swing against Xavier.

Toledo

Toledo, which posted a 7-9 record last season, was up first in the double-header.

The Buckeyes rolled during doubles play, earning the doubles point with victories on two courts. Redshirt junior Andrew Lutschaunig and senior James Trotter combined for a 6-1 win while the duo of junior Cannon Kingsley and graduate Jake Van Emburgh won 6-2.

As singles action continued as Ohio State got more into the swing of the new season, with no court dropping more than two games as it rolled to the 7-0 finish.

No. 5 graduate and Oklahoma State transfer Matej Vocel stood out in his first match for the Buckeyes, only dropping two games during his straight set victory.

Vocel, who spent three seasons with the Cowboys, said he’s settling in with his new team after his first outings in Columbus.

“I think today was a day to get used to matches,” Vocel said. “On Friday we have a big Big Ten match against Illinois, so we will see where we are at with that. I hope we can show them that we are better.”

With big matchups on the horizon, including a Feb. 4 date against No. 1 Tennessee, Vocel said he is happy to play with and against the highest competition.

“Ohio State is much bigger than my old school,” Vocel said. “It’s more competition and the toughest matches. I’m happy to be playing on the biggest team.”

Xavier

The evening saw Ohio State face Xavier, which finished last season with a 2-12 record.

The Musketeers gave the Buckeyes many contested sets, starting in doubles action. Ohio State pulled two courts by scores of 6-1 and 6-3, while the last court in play was at a score of 5-2 in favor of the Buckeyes when play stopped.

Singles action saw a lot of ups and few downs as five of the six courts went in the Buckeyes’ favor in straight sets. The lone loss was at first singles, where Xavier’s graduate transfer Diego Nava upset No. 21 Kingsley in straight sets.

Nava, who spent four years at Loyola Marymount, gave Kingsley all he could handle in two tightly-contested sets, with neither man being able to pull away until the Musketeer took the sets 7-5 and 6-4.

Trotter faced a tough challenge in the match, finding himself down 3-1 in the second set before bouncing back and taking five-straight games to nab the set and the victory.

Vocel saw another hot start in the Xavier match, winning his first seven games on the way to a straight set victory of 6-0, 6-4.

Lutschaunig, who saw himself in action after an injury-plagued sophomore outing, picked up a win in straight sets of 6-3, 6-2.

Lutschaunig said the team has high hopes for what they can achieve this season, and he’s glad they could start their season on the right track.

“Everyone knows we can do something special this year, so it’s nice to come away with two wins,” Lutschaunig said.

Despite a slew of fresh faces joining the program this season, Lutschaunig said the team has bonded well and looks to use their chemistry to aid them in future outings.

“We’re in this for one common goal. We’re tight knit, and with big matches coming up that could be the difference maker,” Lutschauning said. “It’s nice to know we have each other’s back.”

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