No. 5 Buckeyes Advance to ITA Indoor Championship
Feb. 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fifth-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team produced another 4-3 classic with the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the semifinals at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship Sunday held at the Downtown Club at the Met in Houston, Texas. Down 3-1, the Buckeyes (12-0) fought back to win the Top 5 contest and advance to the championship match at Noon CST Monday. Under director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State remains the only team to defeat Virginia – the defending champions - in the Indoor Championships in the last six years, with the Buckeyes winning as well in the semifinals during 2012 campaign.
“It was an incredible match,” Tucker said. “Both teams had chances to win it and our guys kept fighting no matter what the circumstances were at the moment. They wanted to win the match. It’s nice to beat the defending champs and it will take a huge effort by our guys tomorrow to bring home the trophy.”
The win vs. the Cavaliers also snaps a 36-match win streak for Virginia.
Knotted at 3-3, redshirt junior Kevin Metka (Worthington, Ohio ) saved two match points in the final set tiebreaker before prevailing over Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 6-5 (7-5), 5-6 (5-7), 6-5 (12-10) at No. 5 singles to seal the win for the Buckeyes. It was the second-consecutive clinch for Metka at the tournament and his team-best 11th win of the season.
No. 23 Kobelt downed No. 3 Frank, the ITA All-American Champion this season, on court No. 1 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to cut the Cavalier lead to 3-2. Steinbach then tied the match with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-5 (7-5) victory over Justin Shane on court No. 4 to set up Metka for the memorable moment in his tennis collegiate career.
The Buckeyes now turn the championship match, against the winner of No. 2 UCLA/No. 3 USC. Last season, the Buckeyes defeated the Trojans, 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament before being edged by UCLA, 4-3, in the NCAA semifinals in Illinois. The match will be held at 1:00 p.m. EST, with a link to live scoring link above.