Minnesota’s Dino Bilankov prevailed at No. 4 singles, but second-ranked Ohio State proved too much for the Gophers as the Buckeyes posted a 6-1 victory at the Baseline Tennis Center.
The match was Minnesota’s Big Ten opener and ninth consecutive against a ranked opponent. The Gophers are now 2-10 overall with all their defeats coming against ranked foes. Ohio State is 14-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State already owned a 6-0 lead before Bilankov rallied from a first set loss to Shuhei Uzawa. Bilankov dropped the opening set 6-4, won the second set 6-3 and took a super-tiebreaker 10-7 by scoring four of the last five points.
The Buckeyes took the doubles point and won the No. 3 doubles match in a tiebreaker as Chi Pham and Derek Peterson battled to an 8-7 loss. Raoul Schwark and Tobias Wernet took the opening game of their No. 1 doubles contest, but fell 8-2 to the nation’s eighth-ranked tandem, Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge.
Kronauge, ranked seventh in the country individually, posted a 6-1, 6-1 win over Schwark at No. 1 singles. Schwark entered the match ranked 77th in the country and dropped to 17-9 overall with the loss.
Sebastian Gallego took four games off the nation’s 29th-ranked player, Bryan Koniecko, at No. 3 singles. Koniecko prevailed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Tobias Wernet held a 4-3 first set lead against the nation’s 34th-ranked player Steven Moneke, but Moneke rattled off nine straight games to take the match 6-4, 6-0.
The Gophers play their next match on Mon., March 17 at the University of San Diego.
#2 Ohio State 6, Minnesota 1
1. #7 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. #77 Raoul Schwark (MINN) 6-1, 6-1
2. #34 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Tobias Wernet (MINN) 6-4, 6-0
3. #29 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 6-1, 6-3
4. Dino Bilankov (MINN) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)
5. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Pierre Dumas (MINN) 6-2, 6-2
6. #120 Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Chi-Lang Pham (MINN) 6-2, 6-2
1. #8 Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Raoul Schwark/Tobias Wernet (MINN) 8-2
2. Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Dino Bilankov/Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 8-2
3. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Chi-Lang Pham/Derek Peterson (MINN) 8-7 (7-1)
Ohio State 14-1, 2-0 Big Ten; National ranking #2
Minnesota 2-10, 0-1 Big Ten
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,1,6,3,4)