Ohio State men's tennis is back on top in the Big Ten.
One week after the team clinched a share of their 17th consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship, the Buckeyes competed in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Ohio State defeated Indiana (4-0) in the quarterfinals, Illinois (4-1) in the semifinals and Michigan (4-0) in the finals to capture the program's first conference tournament title since 2019.
In the championship match, the Buckeyes secured the doubles point over the Wolverines as James Trotter and Andrew Lutschanig plus Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy won on Court 2 and Court 3. Meanwhile, Ohio State's duo of Robert Cash and Justin Boulais fell 6-4 to Michigan's Andrew Fenty and Gavin Young on Court 1.
Trotter carried the momentum from his doubles win into his solo matchup with Young, defeating his Michigan counterpart in two sets (6-4, 6-2) and claiming the team's second team point. Despite their loss in doubles, Cash and Boulais bounced back in the singles portion of the match, with Cash dismissing Jacob Bickerseth (6-1, 6-4) to earn Ohio State's third point and Boulais exacting revenge on Fenty (7-6. 6-4) to secure the tournament title for the Buckeyes.
After the match, Trotter was named the 2023 Big Ten Tournament MVP. The Hyogo, Japan, native and four-time All-Big Ten honoree was a combined 4-0 at the tournament and has a perfect 25-0 record in singles matches this season.
2023 Big Ten Tournament MVP— Ohio State M Tennis (@OhioStateMTEN) April 30, 2023
He was a combined 4-0 on the weekend and remains a perfect 25-0 in singles matches this season pic.twitter.com/66hknx9NMg
Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker, who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the 16th time, has now led the Buckeyes to 14 Big Ten Tournament titles since he took over the program in 2000. Tucker's teams have also captured 17 regular-season Big Ten championships and have made 22 appearances in the NCAA Championships, with a 23rd appearance set for 2023.
A top-five program nationally for most of the season, Ohio State peaked as the No. 1 overall team in the ITA Team Rankings on Feb. 8. The Buckeyes held that position for several weeks until their losses to then-No. 7 Texas at the ITA Indoors and then-No. 5 South Carolina on the road.
Since their loss to the Gamecocks, Ohio State has won 14 consecutive matches –including the team's three victories at the Big Ten Tournament – and has accumulated a 29-2 record overall, making Tucker's squad one of the hottest teams in the country as it enters the national tournament.
The NCAA Championships will occur from May 17-28 at the USTA National Campus and Collegiate Center in Orlando, Florida. Ohio State's most recent appearance in the tournament came last year when the Buckeyes reached the semifinals before they were defeated 4-1 by the Kentucky Wildcats, who eventually fell to Virginia in the title match.