COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday's Ohio Athletic Conference opener came down to one singles match that seemed destined to break a tie between rivals. Dale Booher rose to the occasion to steal the show and the final match point, helping the Capital men's tennis team defeat the defending conference champions, Otterbein University, 5-4.
Set to take on the Cardinals' David Seckel, Booher rallied to overcome his opponent to obtain the fifth and final point. Facing match point twice, Seckel fought to break serve but Booher dropped in a forehand that was returned into the net, giving the sophomore and the Crusaders the win. The final score of his match was 6-4, 6-4.
Booher is now 5-3 in singles play this season and has won his last two individual matches.
The win helped begin Capital's season 1-0 in OAC play and was especially gratifying being that it was over their rivals and defending OAC regular season and tournament champions. Last year, the Cardinals (4-9, 1-1 OAC) set a new school records for wins in a season (19).
Capital (6-3, 1-0) began the match strongly, taking two of three doubles matches. Booher and Luke Buchanan teamed up to outlast Will Willson and David Seckel in tie-breaking fashion, 9-8 (2-0). CJ Martin and Kenny Duncan rolled to an 8-4 win over Zach McDivitt and Perry Williams to add to that lead.
Buchanan won his third straight top-flight singles match over Willson (7-5, 6-2) and was joined in victory by Streety, who defeated Williams, 7-6 (5-0), 6-2. After Otterbein stole wins in the third, fifth and sixth flights, Booher saddled up for the deciding match.
Mount St. Joseph University will serve as Capital's next opponent in Cincinnati tomorrow afternoon. First serve is set for 4 p.m. Their next OAC match will be on Saturday, March 28 at home against Baldwin Wallace University set for 11 a.m.