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Michigan men's tennis NCAA tourney run ends against rival Ohio State


The Michigan men’s tennis team, brimming with confidence from beating Ohio State twice during the season, including for the Big Ten Tournament championship, stumbled against its rivals in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals ending its postseason run.

No. 5-seed Michigan, making its first Elite Eight appearance under coach Adam Steinberg, fell 4-2 to No. 4 Ohio State late Thursday in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes will face Kentucky in the national semifinals on Saturday.

This was the fourth meeting this season between Michigan and Ohio State, and each won two matches. Michigan defeated Ohio State at home, 4-0, on March 18 and then beat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten title match at Wisconsin, 4-2, on May 1. Ohio State won 4-1 against Michigan at OSU on April 15.

Michigan got the important doubles point and took a 1-0 lead heading into singles. Patrick Maloney and Nick Beaty were the first off with a 6-2 victory. Ondrej Styler and Jacob Bickersteth sealed the point defeating Cannon Kingsley and J.J. Tracy, 6-4. Styler and Bickersteth broke Kingsley for the win. The top court of No. 24 Nino Enrenschneider and Andrew Fenty was suspended at 5-5. The duo trailed 1-4 before getting back on serve.

Ohio State started fast in singles and had considerable momentum when play was suspended because of lightning and then rain. The  matches moved from the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the University of Illinois to the indoor courts after a 49-minute stoppage.

There was considerable confusion, however, because with the move indoors, the chair umpires on each court could not access the scoreboards so spectators on-site and watching online could not keep track of the scoring.

Michigan’s only singles win came from Bickersteth, who defeated Jake Van Emburgh, 6-3, 6-3. Maloney had lost the first set 6-1, won the second 7-5, but his match was not completed after OSU clinched. Ondrej Styler, playing No. 1 singles for the Wolverines, lost to Cannon Kingsley, 6-4, 6-4. Styler had defeated Kingsley in a three-set match to clinch the Big Ten Tournament title.

Styler will be playing in the NCAA Tournament singles competition.

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achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis