Crusaders Fall Short of Upset Win in OAC’s Opening Round

Pictured: CJ Martin (credit: Capital University Athletics)
Pictured: CJ Martin (credit: Capital University Athletics)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

MASON, Ohio – The Capital University men's tennis team gave Ohio Northern University a run for its money in the opening round of this year's OAC Tournament but fell just short in a 5-3 loss on Wednesday afternoon at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Ohio Northern (15-8), which entered the tournament as the number three seed, got off to a quick start with wins at number one and three doubles. Hunter Walter and Ben Heiland dropped an 8-1 decision to Connor Christian and Jake Abbott prior to the Polar Bears picking up a second point in the top flight matchup. C.J. Martin and Santino DiMichaelangelo challenged the top team of Hoang Do and Vinh Thai, but ultimately pulled up short in an 8-5 loss.

Capital picked up its first point from the duo of Graeme Green and John Roberts after outlasting Tim Kargl and Andrew Garcia in a tight 9-8 (8-6) win.

The Polar Bears increased its lead to 3-1 with a victory at number six singles when Cody Hurley defeated Ben Heiland 6-2, 6-3.

Green got Cap back into the match with a 6-2, 6-2 win at number one singles over the reigning OAC Player of the Week, Vinh Thai.

After winning the first set, 6-1, Santino DiMichaelangelo dropped the next two sets to Connor Christian, 6-4 and 6-3. Facing a 4-2 disadvantage, junior John Roberts stepped it up and battled to a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victory over Tim Kargl to set Cap up for a potential comeback. The Crusaders needed to win both its number five and number two singles to pull off the comeback, but Jake Abbott took down Hunter Walter, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, to clinch the match for the Polar Bears.

Capital ends the season with a 5-9 overall record and sends off four seniors: Santino DiMichaelangelo, Ben Heiland, C.J. Martin, and Hunter Walker.