The No. 3 Buckeyes battled back from a significant deficit and excelled in tiebreaker after tiebreaker to stay unbeaten and knock off No. 5 Ole Miss 4-2. Ohio State (3-0) posted a cumulative 5-2 record in tiebreakers over the course of the afternoon and posted the winning number with victories in singles 2-5. The Rebels (1-1) were ahead in the sixth singles match, with Jonas Berg leading Balaz Novak 6-3, 4-1 when play was suspended.
Ole Miss jumped out early with the first point thanks to dominating efforts at all three doubles positions. Matthias Wellermann and Bram ten Berge finished first with an 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles and Robbye Poole and Jacob Klaeson put the point on the board with an 8-4 win as well at the No. 3 position. In No. 1 doubles, Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg were ahead 6-4. Coming into play, Ole Miss was 101-5 when taking the doubles point.
"We came out strong and seized a lot of momentum," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "That occurring and Erling winning was a great way to start, but we lost some battles at the end. Ohio State is a great team, and I congratulate them."
Tveit, ranked No. 26 nationally, disposed of No. 6 Justin Kronauge 6-3, 7-5 for the two-point advantage, but Ohio State was just beginning to make its run.
Brian Kociecko defeated Poole 6-2, 7-6 to get things started, but it was the next two matches that swung the contest.
No. 5 Wellermann and Steven Moneke put on the best show with a thrilling three-set affair that went to tiebreakers during every set. But as the trend appeared all day, the Buckeyes came out with two of the three. Wellermann and Moneke each missed out on set points during each inning but Moneke secured the final set 7-5 to tie the match at two.
OSU's Matt Allare made quick work of Kalle Norberg, 7-6, 6-4, to give the Buckeyes a lead at 3-2, but centre court was providing the match that would decide the event.
As Norberg fell on Court 3 and Berg was in the midst of handling Balaz Novak on Court 2, ten Berge and Drew Eberly garnered most of the attention. ten Berge took the initial set 7-6, but Eberly fought back and took the final two sets 7-6, 6-4 for the deciding point. ten Berge fed off the raucous crowd to break his opponent on two occasions, but Novak fought off the charge and took the final four games before being met by a silver and crimson mob at midcourt.
Ole Miss has to regroup quickly with two more top-25 matches on tap. The Rebels travel to Tulsa Okla., next week to face No. 11 Oklahoma State and the No. 23 Golden Hurricanes.
"It was good for us to see some competition before SEC play," Tveit said. "Usually we don't see this much competition, but it will prepare us for the National Indoor."