By Tim Glon
MASON - Third-seeded Ohio Northern rallied from a 4-1 deficit, but top-seeded John Carroll held on for a 5-4 in the finals of the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Lindner Family Tennis Center and the South Regency Tennis Club.
The Polar Bears end their season at 14-9 overall, while the Blue Streaks (9-9) receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA III Championships.
John Carroll then won on courts one and three and led 2-1 after doubles play.
The rains came just as the singles matches started, forcing a 1 hour, 18-minute delay and moving play inside to the South Regency Tennis Club in Miamisburg.
JCU grabbed the momentum out of the rain delay and increased its lead to 4-1 with victories at Nos. 5 and 3 singles.
Freshman Noah Elliott (Hilliard/Davidson) rallied for a 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles to get ONU within 4-2.
Cochran then won 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 at No. 6 singles to make it 4-3.
Sophomore Vinh Thai (Galloway/St. Charles) tied the match at 4-all with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles.
The Blue Streaks then posted a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles to clinch the match.
"I'm very proud of the way we battled," ONU head coach Mike Bonnell said. "We did not handle the transition from indoors to outdoors well and got behind at the beginning of singles play. But we kept playing and nearly came all the way back. This was our first trip to the OAC Tournament finals for our program since 2013 and I am optimistic that there will be more of these opportunities in our future."