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NCAA men’s tennis: Arizona falls at Ohio State in Round of 16

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The Round of 16 remains Arizona’s ceiling, but it’s getting closer to breaking through.

The Wildcats fell 4-2 at third-seeded Ohio State on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament’s third round in Columbus, Ohio. Arizona ends its season with a 23-7 record.

The match was clinched with near simultaneous third-set wins by OSU’s Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy over Arizona’s Jonas Ziverts and Gustaf Strom on No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Ziverts lost 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 while Strom fell 3-6, 6-2, 4-6.

The Buckeyes took the doubles point by winning all three matches, then picked up 2-set singles wins at No. 1 and No. 6. Arizona’s lone singles victory was at No. 5, with Jay Friend winning 6-1, 6-4. Arizona’s Herman Hoeyeraal trailed 3-1 to OSU’s James Trotter in a third-set tiebreaker when the match ended.

It was the second time in three years the UA reached the round of 16, losing 4-3 at Tennessee in 2021. This year the Wildcats hosted NCAA matches for the first time in program history, earning the No. 14 overall seed and sweeping Boise State and Oklahoma State.

With five of its six top singles players expected to return—only Ziverts is out of eligibility—Arizona should be in line for another NCAA run after sharing at least a piece of the Pac-12 regular-season title the past two seasons.