WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Capital University Men's Tennis had its season come to a close in the first round of the OAC Tournament following a 5-4 loss to rival Otterbein University on Tuesday night. The Cardinals came from behind following doubles play to take the victory with strong backend lineup play.
No. 5 Otterbein (12-10) used four victories in the final four singles flights to come from behind and defeat Capital, 5-4. Capital possessed a 2-1 lead after doubles play concluded, but the Cardinals responded with wins by Derek Kreiger (def. Santino DiMichaelangelo 6-4, 6-4), Juan Vera (def. Hunter Walter 6-4, 6-2) and Riley Yost (def. Ben Heiland 6-1, 7-6 [7-4]) to retake the lead by a 4-2 count.
Capital rebounded with wins at the top of the singles lineup to tie the match at 4-4. Senior Dale Booher (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) staked claim to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Perry Williams, while junior C.J. Martin (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) defeated Been Keen in the second spot, 6-4, 6-1.
The match-deciding point was claimed by Otterbein's Tyler Wharton in the third-flight singles bout against John Roberts. The two competitors went back and forth for much of the match. Wharton edged out Roberts, 7-6 following a 7-4 tiebreaker. He then came back and won the second set, 6-3, to give Otterbein the match's final point and the team win.
Capital's early advantage came by way of doubles victories by Booher and DiMichaelangelo over Been Keen and Perry Williams (8-1), while Martin and Roberts took care of Derek Krieger and Tyler Wharton (8-5).
The loss eliminates Capital from the OAC Tournament, leaving them with an 8-16 overall record for the 2016-17 campaign.
Booher ends his career with the Purple and White on a five-match winning streak on both the singles and doubles circuit. He finished the year 6-2 in OAC competition out of the number one singles spot, and 10-14 overall. After a lineup change paired Booher with Santino DiMichaelangelo, the senior went 8-1 in doubles play to close out the year.