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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 4/27/2024, Last updated: 4/27/2024
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Men's Tennis Tournament: Day 2 Recap

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EVANSTON, Ill. — The field for the Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament has been cut in half following quarterfinals play Friday at Northwestern.

Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska advanced on a day that began outdoors before action moved into the Combe Tennis Center.

No. 1 seed Ohio State began defense of its Big Ten Tournament title with a 4-0 win over No. 9 seed Penn State. OSU's JJ Tracy, ranked 16th nationally, clinched match point at No. 3 singles. Robert Cash was a double winner, dropping just two games total in wins at No. 6 singles and No. 2 doubles.

The Buckeyes (28-1) will meet No. 5 seed Nebraska (17-9) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the day's first semifinal match. The Cornhuskers recorded the second upset of the tournament with a 4-2 win over No. 4 seed and 26th-ranked Illinois in an epic, 3-hour and 40-minute match that started outdoors before moving inside.

Illinois' Mathis Debru fought off two match points but his match at No. 6 singles against Rudi Christiansen was halted at 6-6 in a third-set tiebreaker after Shunya Maruyama secured match point for Nebraska at No. 3 singles. At No. 1 singles, Calvin Mueller of Nebraska defeated Hunter Heck of Illinois in a battle off All-Big Ten First Team performers.

No. 2 seed Michigan earned a spot in the semifinals with a 4-0 win over No. 7 seed Northwestern before a partisan crowd of Wildcat supporters. The Wolverines captured the doubles point, improving to 11-0 when doing so, then followed with three straight wins in singles. Michigan's Gavin Young, who's ranked 19th in the country, won at No. 1 singles for the 130th combined victory of his career.

Michigan (15-11) will meet arch-rival Michigan State (22-5) at 2 p.m. Saturday. MSU downed Indiana, 4-1, in the last match of the evening. The 19th-ranked Spartans captured the doubles point via a tiebreaker while the singles flights were just as competitive as five of the six matches were extended to three sets. David Saye's win at No. 4 singles provided the deciding point.