Ex-Highlander Tubert eyes tennis crown at Ohio State
HUNTINGTON — As a tennis standout at Huntington High, Hunter Tubert prided himself on being one step ahead of the state competition.
Now, the former Highlander is doing the same on the national level for Ohio State University.
The Ohio State senior has an overall combined record of 55-11 during the 2018-19 season and is a key part of the Buckeyes’ run through the NCAA Tournament, which continues with a match against No. 9 North Carolina at 5 p.m. Thursday at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.
With a win, the Buckeyes would advance to the NCAA team semifinals Saturday afternoon in Orlando. The NCAA championship, which the Buckeyes advanced to last season, is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tubert’s strongest accomplishments have been in doubles matches, where he is 25-0 in the spring and 34-4 during the 2018-19 season.
In the spring team competitions, Tubert has gone 21-0 with teammate John McNally in No. 3 doubles while moving up to No. 1 doubles with Martin Joyce on four occasions and earning wins, including a 7-5 victory over the Texas duo of
Harrison Scott and Christian Sigsgaard, who were ranked No. 13 in the nation.
Recently, Tubert eclipsed a milestone when he reached 100 doubles wins for his career, teaming with McNally on a 6-3 win over Cleveland State’s Clark Bilinovich and Raul Teichmann in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He is currently 102-19 for his career in doubles, which includes a 64-9 mark over the last two years.
Some of Tubert’s strongest play has come down the stretch run of his Ohio State career.
In last week’s 4-1 win over Columbia in the NCAA Round of 32, Tubert and McNally secured the doubles point for Ohio State with a 6-3 win over Adam Ambrozy and Jason Liu before Tubert quickly put the Buckeyes up 2-0 in the team match with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Austen Huang to run his singles record for the season to 21-7.
In the NCAA Tournament, the team matches are regulation dual matches with doubles matches consisting of six-game sets. The team that wins two of three matches gets the doubles point. Singles action in the team format is the best of three sets and each victory within the six matches counts as one point. The team that gets to four points first wins the match and advances.
While Tubert’s career in the team format closes at some point this weekend, his career representing the Buckeyes continues next week at the singles and doubles competition for NCAA Division I men’s tennis, which takes place May 20-25 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando. Tubert and Joyce will team up as the Big Ten’s automatic qualifiers in the doubles competition, which begins Tuesday.
Tubert, a Huntington native, was a four-time singles and doubles state champion for Huntington High. During his Huntington High career, Tubert never lost a match, going a collective 155-0 in singles and doubles combined.