MASON, Ohio – The Capital University men's tennis team was eliminated from the 2015 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon after falling to rival Otterbein University. The Cardinals overcame an early disadvantage after doubles play downed the Crusaders, 5-4. Capital's season comes to a close as they finish 14-5 overall.
The Crusaders and Cardinals engaged in another tooth-and-nail battle to determine what team would earn the right to advance to the OAC championship round. It was only fitting that rivals and two of the three teams that shared the regular season championships squared off at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in the semi-final round.
It was nearly déjà vu as Friday's match came down to the final singles bout to declare a winner. The same build-up was witnessed in Capital's victory over the Cardinals on March 25 when sophomore Dale Booher sealed the win in the final singles match of the day.
Number-three players Kendall Coffman and Kenny Duncan squared off, witnessing Duncan get ahead with a 7-6 (7-5) win to get the leg up on his opponent. However, Coffman took the second and third sets by 6-2 scores, clinching the win for Otterbein.
Otterbein will now advance to the OAC Championship to play John Carroll on Saturday. John Carroll is the third of three teams that shared the regular season title.
Capital took an early 2-1 advantage after the conclusion of doubles play, taking the number two and three doubles matches. Sophomore Beau Streety (Tuscon, Ariz.) and junior Jared Judson (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) earned Capital's first match point by defeating Kendall Coffman and Ben Keen, 8-6.
Otterbein came back and took the top-flight doubles match to tie it up, but Capital regained the advantage when senior Kenny Duncan (Poland, Ohio) and freshman C.J. Martin (Hilliard, Ohio) won the number-two doubles match, outlasting Zach McDivitt and Perry Williams, 9-8 (7-0).
Otterbein (12-10) and Capital swapped wins after singles play began. Dale Booher (Hartville, Ohio) handled business against David Seckel, 6-3, 6-2 before Otterbein came back with wins in the fifth and sixth spots in the singles lineup.
All tied, 3-3, Otterbein garnered its first lead when Will Willson beat junior Luke Buchanan (Westerville, Ohio/Central) in the top-flight singles match, 7-5, 6-2. Streety kept Capital alive with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Perry Williams, guiding all eyes to the decisive match between Duncan and Coffman.
Duncan closes out his career with Capital with a team-best 12 singles wins in 17 matches this season. He and C.J. Martin also went 10-3 as a pair in doubles play.
Booher and Buchanan also finished the season with 10 singles wins, each. The duo also posted 10 wins as a doubles team.