No. 1 Ohio State Stays Undefeated with 4-1 vs. No. 12 UNC
Feb. 28, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In front of a loud and excited crowd at the Varsity Tennis Center, the No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team remained undefeated with a 4-1 win over No. 12 North Carolina Friday evening in Columbus. With the victory, the Buckeyes (16-0, 1-0 B1G) have now won 182-consecutive home matches - just two wins shy of the NCAA Division I record (Stanford women’s tennis – 184 wins).
“The nice thing about tonight is that we weren’t able to finish at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, but we were still able to get the win against a tough North Carolina team,” director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker said. “We had a great crowd tonight and I thought the people that were able to come out saw a high-quality tennis match. It’s a great win, but we have to get ready for an undefeated Penn State team on Sunday.”
Redshirt junior Kevin Metka (Worthington, Ohio) clinched both the doubles point and the overall match for Ohio State. Metka improves to 17-4 overall in singles and 26-4 overall in doubles in the 2013-14 campaign.
“Our team was pumped going into doubles and we knew it was going to be a fight on all three courts,” Metka said. “We needed the energy from the crowd and I thought it helped us get through the doubles point. In singles, I was able to pull the first tiebreaker away and continue the momentum into the second set. This is another big win for Ohio State.”
The home win puts the Scarlet and Gray at 8-0 vs. Top 25 teams this year.
In doubles play, Ohio State was first to get on the board with redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz (Columbus, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach (Halle, Germany) upsetting No. 44 Brett Clark and Esben Hess-Olesen 8-3 on court No.3. It was the first victory over a ranked opponent for the pair. North Carolina bounced back with Brayden Schnur and Ronnie Schneider claiming an 8-6 victory on court No. 2 over redshirt junior Hunter Callahan (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and freshman Herkko Pollanen (Helsinki, Finland).
The doubles came down to court No.1, where No. 3 duo of senior Peter Kobelt (New Albany, Ohio) Metka battled into a tiebreak. There were no breaks of serve in the set and the Buckeye pair defeated Nelson Vick and Oystein Steiro 8-7 (7-3) to clinch the doubles point.
Ahead 1-0 in singles, Ohio State took the first set on the bottom three courts, while the Tar Heels swept the top three courts. Steinbach was first off of the court with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Steiro on court No. 5. Seconds later, No. 72 Callahan took his match over Vick 6-3, 6-0 on court No. 6. North Carolina cut the Buckeye lead to 3-1 on court No. 3, with No. 47 Clark defeating Diaz, 6-3, 6-1.
Metka battled down 2-4 in his tiebreak and went on to win his match on court No. 4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Play was suspended on the remaining courts, with No. 9 Kobelt down a set, but up in the second set against No. 19 Schnur on court No. 1. Pollanen dropped his first set against No. 29 Schneider, but rallied to take the second and was on serve in the third when Metka clinched.
Ohio State now turns to its first B1G home-match of the season on Sunday against No. 34 Penn State at Noon. The Buckeyes are 23-6 all-time vs. the Nittany Lions and have won the last 15 meetings against Penn State. The Nittany Lions travel to Columbus with a perfect 10-0 (best start in program history) record with their match at Ohio State marking their first road match of the dual season.
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