Huskers Battle, Fall to #1 Buckeyes in Big Ten Semifinals


Evanston, Ill. – In the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the #59 Nebraska men’s tennis team (17-10, 6-5 Big Ten) battled, but fell, 1-4, to #1 Ohio State (29-1, 10-0 Big Ten). Although the Huskers had strong doubles matches to clinch the early point, the regular season Big Ten champion Buckeyes took four-straight singles wins to claim the match. While their conference tournament run comes to an end, the Huskers made program history by reaching the semifinal match, and reaching 17 single season wins, the most since 1990. The Huskers will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, April 29.

The Big Ten semifinal match began with doubles play at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center. Court Three was the first to finish, Shunya Maruyama and Leo Linquet falling to OSU’s Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy, 2-6. At No. 1 doubles, Husker duo Anton Shepp and Nic Wiedenhorn had a dominant upset win over #35 Andrew Lutchaunig and Justin Boulais, taking down the Buckeyes 6-3. On Court Two, Calvin Mueller and Lars Johann clinched the doubles point for the Big Red, with a 6-2 win over Robert Cash and Bryce Nakashima.

Heading into singles play with the lead, the Big Red had a rough start. No Huskers took their first sets against the Buckeyes, whose whole singles lineup were All-Big Ten Team members. At No. 1 singles, #80 Calvin Mueller faced #33 Justin Boulais for the second time in just over a week. Boulais flipped the script this time, and defeated fellow All-Big Ten First Team member Mueller, 6-2, 6-0, to even the score. Next to finish was Court Four, where Johann took on #29 Jack Anthrop. The Buckeye defeated Johann 6-2, 6-2. At No. 6 singles, Rudi Christiansen faced Robert Cash, and fell, 6-2, 6-1. Court Five sealed the match for the Buckeyes, with Alexander Bernard defeating Leo Linquet, 6-2, 6-2. No. 2 and 3 singles were left unfinished. Maruyama was down on Court Three, JJ Tracy leading 6-2, 5-2. On Court Two, Shepp faced the highest ranked Buckeye, #18 Cannon Kingsley, and kept it close until the match was abandoned at 5-7, 3-4. OSU remains undefeated in conference play, and advances to the tournament final with its 4-1 win.

With the loss, the Huskers’ Big Ten tournament run comes to a close. However, with the most wins in 34 seasons, and a trip to the semifinals, the Big Red made a mark on the 2023-24 season. In the last seven matches for the Big Red, they suffered only two losses, both to OSU. In both matches, the Huskers managed a point from the Buckeyes, remaining the only non-top 25 team to do so. With their doubles wins, Shepp passed 45 career doubles wins, and Mueller improved to 40. Shepp and Wiedenhorn’s victory over the #35 Buckeyes duo was their second ranked win.

The Huskers will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, April 29, during the selection show at 5 p.m. CT on