Men’s tennis falls to No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus

first_img“[Bulis and Smith did an] exceptional job, [we are] very proud of them,” Masi said. “Unfortunately, we just came up short.” USC turns its focus to Tuesday’s match against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., and the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament, also set in Madison, Friday through Monday. The No. 1 USC men’s tennis team traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 2 Ohio State Sunday, falling 4-2 to the Buckeyes in a tightly contested matchup. The Buckeyes started off strong, winning two of their three doubles matches against USC. Ohio State’s partnership of No. 70 sophomore James Trotter and freshman Justin Boulais narrowly beat the team of Bulis and Holt 7-6 in a tiebreaker. Additionally, No. 31 redshirt senior Kyle Seelig and No. 22 freshman Cannon Kingsley also beat the Trojans’ pair of Dostanic and Frye, 6-4.  Masi attributed some of the issues the Trojans faced in Columbus to the fact that the matches were played indoors. USC has tended to play better on outdoor courts like those at David X. Marks Tennis Stadium, the Trojans’ home courts.  Down 0-1, the Trojans tried to bounce back in singles play with Cukierman set to face off against Kingsley. However, the nation’s top player was upset by the freshman Buckeye, losing in straight sets 6-4 and 6-2. Building off the surprising win, No. 19 junior John McNally defeated Holt in 6-3 and 6-4 sets. It was Holt’s first loss of the season as the senior entered the weekend at 11-0 in doubles play and 7-0 in singles play on the season. Smith kept the Trojans alive by knocking off Seelig in a tough match, winning 3-6, 6-1 and 6-4. Masi also praised Smith for his work against the ranked opponent. “Riley obviously coming back from a set behind … winning in three sets — that was awesome,” Masi said. However, the Trojans’ comeback attempt fell short there. Dostanic fell to Trotter 6-4, 6-7 (4) and 6-2 win to put USC away. Senior Riley Smith was one of two Trojans to win their match at Ohio State. Smith defeated Ohio State redshirt senior Kyle Seelig. (Daily Trojan file photo) USC brought their top players to the contest: No. 1 junior Daniel Cukierman, No. 15 sophomore Mor Bulis, No. 24 senior Brandon Holt, No. 33 senior Riley Smith, No. 65 freshman Stefan Dostanic, No. 69 freshman Ryder Jackson and sophomore Bradley Frye.  Ohio State was coming off a big win against then-No.1 Texas Feb. 1 and now looked to challenge the Trojans on their home courts.  However, USC fought back. First, Bulis was able to win easily against Boulais in two straight 6-2 sets. Head coach Brett Masi applauded Bulis’ impressive performance.  Despite the disappointing outcome and USC likely losing its top seed, Masi had some positive takeaways from the weekend. Overall, he was impressed by both Bulis and Smith and their contributions to the team effort. “They struggled with the [climate] elements — I think everybody did,” Masi said about the indoor setting. “It is just getting used to the elements of playing in different environments. Like indoors, as opposed to playing outdoors, is just a different type of tennis, and [we] got to get acclimated to it.” “Mor did a really good job in his singles match,” Masi said. “[He] played a great match, beating [Boulais], two in two [sets].”  last_img

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