No. 1 Ohio State Claims Ninth-Consecutive Outright Big Ten Title
April 18, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the ninth-consecutive year, the Ohio State men’s tennis has claimed a Big Ten outright regular-season championship. The No. 1 Buckeyes (26-3, 10-0 Big Ten) defeated Iowa (9-13, 1-9 Big Ten), 7-0, Friday evening at the Varsity Tennis Center in front of home crowd of 300 guests. Guided under director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker, the Scarlet and Gray extended their NCAA home win streak record to 188-consecutive matches, while improving their Big Ten regular-season win streak to 92-consecutive contests. The program has now collected 13 conference championships in program history.
“To win an outright title is unbelievable and to claim nine straight championships is a pretty nice feeling,” Tucker said. “These guys have fought all year and it’s great to see a guy like Peter Kobelt go out a champion and hopefully the younger guys can continue the tradition. We’ve played some up-and-down matches here and there, but we’ve always had someone step up to the challenge. I thought we played a complete match tonight.”
Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan clinched the match for the Buckeyes, winning 6-2, 6-3 on court No. 5 against Dominic Patrick on a returned serve. Callahan improves to a team-best 28 wins in 2014, while claiming his seventh match point of the year, which also leads the squad.
The Buckeyes slightly altered the doubles lineup, with freshman Marko Goles-Babic (Zagreb, Croatia) teaming up with freshman Herkko Pollanen (Helsinki, Finland) at No. 3 doubles. Senior Peter Kobelt (New Albany, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach (Halle, Germany) claimed an 8-2 victory over Brian Aiden and Michael Swank on court No. 1 to start out doubles play. Goles-Babic served back-to-back aces to down Chase Tomlins and Joey White 8-6 on court No. 3, giving Ohio State the doubles point. Callahn and redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz (Columbus, Ohio) trailed Jonas Diercks and Matt Hagan 6-4 on court No. 2 when play was suspended.
Kobelt was the first to finish on court No. 1 in singles, picking up a straight-set win 6-1, 6-1 against Diercks. With the win Kobelt now has 117 career singles wins, which is seventh-best in the OSU record book. The two victories tonight also put him at 248 career combined wins, passing former Buckeye All-American Steven Moneke (2006-09) for third on the OSU all-time list.
Goles-Babic finished second on court No. 6 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Swank. The win marks his second of the dual season for the first-year Buckeye. Pollanen followed Callahan on court No. 5 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory vs. Aiden, while Diaz was victorious on court No. 3, downing Andres Estenssoro, 6-1, 6-1. Steinbach was the last to finish vs. the Hawkeyes and saved triple-match point in the second set to force a third-set super tiebreaker.
The Buckeyes will conclude the 2014 regular season against No. 63 Nebraska Sunday with a chance to claim an undefeated conference record for the ninth-consecutive season. The Buckeyes will recognize senior Peter Kobelt following the match as part of Senior Day. The match is scheduled to be played outside.
Tennis Match Results
#1 Ohio State 7, University of Iowa 0