No. 6 Texas men’s tennis suffers first loss to No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus

Brock Bolinger and Ryan Hopper

Texas suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday in a 4-0 sweep against a Buckeyes squad ranked No. 2 in the country. Ohio State is Texas’ highest-ranked opponent of the regular season. Sunday’s matchup ended up being the first time that Texas has been swept since last season’s 6-0 blowout against Baylor. 

Overall, Texas’ doubles play hasn’t been as prolific as their singles play this season, which was proven as each of the Longhorns’ top doubles pairings lost. Junior Siem Woldeab and sophomore Pierre-Yves Bailly held 15-40 and 40-30 leads in the third and fourth games, respectively, but ultimately couldn’t hold on, with the Buckeyes’ seniors Justin Boulais and Robert Cash winning the break point en route to a 6-2 win. 

One of the more consistent doubles pairings this year for the Longhorns has been redshirt junior Cleeve Harper and junior Eliot Spizzirri. However, Ohio State redshirt seniors Andrew Lutschaunig and James Trotter won the doubles point for the Buckeyes with an impressive 6-3 win over Texas’ No. 7 pairing, handing Harper and Spizzirri their first loss of the season in doubles and together in team play. 

Cash defeated Texas senior Chih Chi Huang to start off singles play. Huang was defeated in a clean sweep, losing 6-0 and 6-0. Huang’s loss is the first time Texas has been shut out in singles or doubles play this season.

In the second singles match of the day, Trotter defeated No. 13 Woldeab in straight sets. Woldeab lost 1-6, 4-6, snapping his five-match winning streak. Clinching the sweep for Ohio State was No. 90 Alexander Bernard, who upset No. 30 Micah Braswell in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

The remaining singles matches did not finish. Spizzirri, the No. 3 ranked singles player in the country, lost the first set before the match was retired at 7-5, 2-3. Ohio State’s JJ Tracy, the No. 5 singles player in the country, defeated Bailly in the first set 6-2. The match was stopped with Bailly up 3-2 in the second set. Singles play ended with Ohio State’s Jack Anthrop leading Harper 6-4 in the first set before it was retired at 4-4 in the second. All Longhorns were leading or tied in their respective sets when play was stopped. 

With Ohio State’s sweep, Texas now falls to 5–1 on the season. The Longhorns will return to Austin on Friday to face Pepperdine before their rematch with the No. 17 Arizona Wildcats.