The Ohio State men’s tennis team saw its season come to an end when it lost to top-ranked UCLA, 4-3, in the NCAA tournament semifinals on Monday.
The No. 5 Buckeyes had to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole after they lost the doubles point for the third time this season. Redshirt senior Devin McCarthy and junior Ille Van Engelen lost an 8-3 decision to junior Adrien Puget and redshirt freshman Karue Sell of UCLA before redshirt junior Peter Kobelt and senior Connor Smith lost, 8-4, to Bruins sophomores Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov.
McCarthy then won his 22nd-consecutive singles match to help OSU earn its first point, bringing the score to 2-1. The Buckeyes fell behind, 3-1, though, after freshman Constantin Christ fell to Sell in singles play.
OSU won back-to-back matches to even the score, 3-3, and set the stage for a winner-take-all final singles match between Kobelt and Giron.
Kobelt took the first set by a score of 6-4, but was not able to sustain the effort needed to send his squad to the finals. Giron won the final two sets by scores of 7-6 (4) and 6-4, respectively.
McCarthy and Van Engelen finished their Buckeye careers with the loss to the Bruins. Smith, Kobelt and junior Blaz Rola will compete in the NCAA doubles and singles championships on May 22. OSU ends the season with a 35-3 overall record.