By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern advanced to the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Tournament with a hard-fought 5-3 quarterfinals victory over Capital on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at University Courts.
The third-seeded Polar Bears (15-8 overall) advance and will play second-seeded Mount Union in the semifinals on Friday at 4:30 pm at the Lindner Tennis Center in Mason.
The sixth-seeded Crusaders end their season at 5-9.
Northern started the match by winning at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles.
Junior Jake Abbott (Kenton) and sophomore Connor Christian (Gallipolis/Gallia Academy) won 8-1 at No. 3 and freshmen Vinh Thai (Galloway/Saint Charles) and Hoang Do (Powell / Olentangy Liberty) won 8-5 at No. 1.
Capital then rallied in the tiebreaker to win the No. 2 doubles point 9-8(6).
Senior Cody Hurley (Centerville) won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 singles to put ONU ahead 3-1, but Capital answered with a win at No. 1 singles to pull within 3-2.
Christian rallied from a 6-1 set one loss to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to give Ohio Northern a 4-2 lead.
CU won at No. 4 singles 7-6(3), 6-3 to make it 4-3.
Abbott then closed out the match with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles, giving the Polar Bears a 5-3 victory.
Do was winning his match at No. 2 singles 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 when ONU closed out the match.
Ohio Northern will be making its 14th appearance in the OAC Tournament semifinals in the 17-year history of the event in its current team format and its first since 2014.
ONU has won 10 OAC Tournament titles, with the latest one coming in 2013.