While men's basketball has taken the biggest spotlight during the COVID-19 crisis, we shouldn't forget about the many spring athletes that have now lost their seasons.
Baseball, softball, men's volleyball, and a number of other student-athletes have been forced to end their season on nearly no-notice. While spring the athletes will likely gain an additional year of eligibility, that does not salvage the seasons the athletes had already committed to.
The spring cancelations ruined a number of programs' chances at conference titles, including the men's tennis team's quest for a sixth straight Big Ten championship, the women's track and field team's two-year sweep, and men's lacrosse first conference title since 2013.
Here's a look at what some of the Ohio State spring sports teams that lost the most with the cancelations.
After finishing the regular season No. 2 and a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament last year, the Buckeyes had high expectations coming into 2020. Even with one of the best players in collegiate tennis leaving for a professional career, Ohio State returned a talented roster capable of making another run.
Ohio State opened the season hot, defeating four top-ten teams in the indoor season. The Buckeyes earned the top-seed in the reaching Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Indoor National Championships. The team fell in the semifinals to North Carolina. After failing to repeat as indoor national champions, the Buckeyes skidded to begin the outdoor season, dropping road matches to Georgia and Stanford before ending the streak with a home victory over Penn State.
At the time of the spring sports cancellation, Ohio State was in prime position to earn its fifth consecutive Big Ten title. As the No. 5 team in the nation, the Buckeyes were by far the conference's highest-ranked team.
Were all in this together Buckeye Nation. pic.twitter.com/9ylZd2PXuy— Ohio State M Tennis (@OhioStateMTEN) March 19, 2020
Ty Tucker, Ohio State's tennis coach and reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year, was also returning two 2019 First Team All-Big Ten members in John McNally (No. 13 in singles this year) and Kyle Seelig (No. 29 in singles this year). Additionally, freshman Cannon Kingsley was looking like a rising star and was ranked as the No. 14 singles player in the nation.
Track and Field
Before the outdoor season even began, the women's track and field team could already call their year a success; Ohio State had won the past three Big Ten titles, including consecutive indoor championships in 2019 and 2020 and last year's outdoor title.
With the spring sports cancellation, Ohio State will not have a chance to complete a two-year sweep of the Big Ten; the Buckeyes ended the shortened season ranked No. 24 and were the only ranked team in the conference.
In addition to the possible team accomplishments that were abandoned, the women's track and field team had a number of athletes vying for Big Ten and nationwide medals in the outdoor season. Anavia Battle, Emma Nwofor, and Adelaide Aquilla each earned at least one Big Ten gold medal in the indoor championships while Devine Parker came in second in two events and Morgan Lewis finished third in the 60m hurdles. Battle, Nwofor, Aquilla, and Lewis all qualified for the Indoor National Championships as well, with Battle earning a silver medal in the 200m and Aquilla finishing in third in shot-put.
Additionally, a number of athletes on the men's side also had a chance at earning Big Ten or national medals. Tyler Johnson, after winning three silver medals in the conference championships, competed in two events at the Indoor National Championships while triple-jumper Clarence Foote-Talley and the 4x400 relay team of Tyler Johnson, Donnie James, Asa Burke, and Ryan Harrington both qualified. Ryan Harrington also earned a bronze and silver medal at the Big Ten indoor championships.
After finishing 8-4 a season ago, the Buckeyes came into the 2020 season with high expectations. With three returning All-Americans in Justin Inacio, Tre Leclaire, and Ryan Terefekno, Ohio State was looking to compete for its first conference title since 2013.
The Bucks recorded a 5-2 record through seven games, including a win over bitter rival No. 14 Notre Dame. Two days later, however, the season was canceled, ending the home team's open of conference immortality.
The Buckeyes have historically struggled in conference play, hitting a program worst 1-4 record a season ago. Despite this setback, Ohio State returned one of the most talented rosters in the program history and was the third-highest-ranked Big Ten team at No. 19.