No. 1 Ohio State Rallies at No. 10 Notre Dame to Win 4-2
Feb. 22, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Despite dropping the doubles point and the first singles point, the No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team (14-0) rallied to take the next four singles matches to defeat No. 10 Notre Dame, 4-2, Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind. With the road victory, the Buckeyes improve to 7-0 against Top 25 teams in 2014.
Senior Peter Kobelt, who was named Most Outstanding Player at the 2014 ITA Indoor Team Championships this past week, defeated No. 37 Greg Andrews 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a rematch of the ITA/USTA Midwest Regional Singles Championship to clinch the match for the Buckeyes.
“Greg is not only a great player, but a great friend,” Kobelt said. “Every time we play it’s always close and I was fortunate to come away with the win today. It’s always exciting to clinch match point for your team, especially against a very good Notre Dame team.”
In doubles action, redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz (Columbus, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach (Halle, Germany) fell to Ryan Bandy and Eric Scnurrenberger on court No. 3, 8-5. The No. 2 duo of Kobelt and redshirt junior Kevin Metka (Worthington, Ohio) defeated No. 17 Andrews and Alex Lawson, 9-7, on court No. 1 to it up. The point came down to court No. 2, where redshirt junior Hunter Callahan (Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania) and freshman Herkko Pollanen (Helsinki, Finland) fell to No. 46 Josh Hager and Billy Pecor, 8-6.
Down 1-0 heading into singles play, the Buckeyes won the first set on four courts, with three of them going down to tiebreaks. Steinbach fell to No. 121 Bandy 6-3, 6-3 to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead, but Callahan claimed a 6-4, 6-4 win over Schnurrenberger on court No. 6 to cut that lead in half. Diaz was next to finish, defeating Quentin Monaghan 7-6, 6-4 on court No. 2 to tie the match, 2-2. On court No. 5, Metka claimed a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 decision against Eddy Covalschi to give Ohio State its first lead of the match. The match on court No. 1 had zero breaks of serve with Kobelt rallying to win 6-7, 7-6, 7-6. Pollanen’s match on court No. 3 against Hagar was then suspended at 2-2 in the final set.
The Buckeyes now turn to a Monday match against the No. 58 Indiana in Bloomington for their first conference match of the season. Ohio State has a 44-41 head-to-head record against the Hooisers, including claiming the previous 14 contests and Tucker holds a 14-2 record against Indiana in his coaching career.
On Feb. 28, Ohio State will host No. 23 North Carolina (10-1) at 6 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes hold an 8-0 record against the Tar Heels, who are led by No. 15 Brayden Schnur, No. 21 Ronnie Schneider and No. 39 Brett Clark in singles and No. 53 Schneider/Jack Murray and No. 58 Esben Hess-Olesen/Brett Clark in doubles. Ohio State will then host its first Big Ten home match against No. 43 Penn State March 2 at Noon ET. As always, admission is free.