By Blake Moore
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Sophomore Vinh Thai (Galloway/St. Charles) and freshman Noah Elliott (Hilliard/Davidson) each posted 4-0 records, guiding the Ohio Northern men's tennis team in a tight 5-4 loss to Eastern Nazarene (Mass.) and a 9-0 triumph over Roanoke (Va.).
With Friday's results, the Polar Bears move to 4-4 overall this season. Eastern Nazarene is now 5-4 overall while Roanoke drops to 0-4 on the year.
ONU concludes its 2019 Spring Break trip to Hilton Head Island with a 3-2 record. The Orange and Black previously defeated Randolph (Va.) 9-0 and Bridgewater (Va.) 8-1 and lost to Wilkes (Pa.) 6-3 earlier this week.
In the day's opening match, the Polar Bears claimed an early 2-1 lead after doubles play. Thai and Elliott secured an 8-3 victory at No. 1 doubles and sophomore Hoang Do (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) and freshman Zach Beaschler (Ada) posted an 8-2 win in the No. 2 slot.
However, the Lions roared back with four wins on the six singles courts, which included three 10-6 superbreaker victories, to claim the match.
Meanwhile, Thai and Elliott swept the No. 1 and No. 2 courts with 6-4, 3-6, 10-3 and 6-1, 6-1 triumphs, respectively.
In the second match, ONU jumped ahead early once again after sweeping all three doubles competitions. Northern would record 8-7, 8-3, and 8-1 victories on the No. 1-3 courts, respectively.
The Polar Bears went on to sweep the singles competitions as well, which included Thai's 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles and Elliott's 6-4, 7-6 win in the No. 2 slot to end the day undefeated.
Ohio Northern will return to action with back-to-back home duals against NAIA foes Spring Arbor (Mich.) and St. Francis (Ind.) on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 24, respectively. The Spring Arbor match is slated for a 3 p.m. start inside the Westwood Tennis Center in Lima while the St. Francis match will start at 12 p.m. at the University Tennis Courts.