No. 3 Ohio State Claims Seventh-Consecutive Outright Big Ten Title
April 22, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio– Before honoring Chase Buchanan and Steven Williams on senior day, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team captured its seventh-consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season title with a 6-1 victory over No. 21 Michigan (16-6, 9-2) Sunday afternoon at the outdoor Varsity Tennis Courts.
Connor Smith’s 6-2, 6-2 win over Alex Buzzi sealed Ohio State’s 29th win (29-2, 11-0 Big Ten) of the season and 146th-consecutive victory in Columbus. Smith improved to 26-6 overall, including 15-4 record at the No. 6 position.
“We’re very fortunate to be on the run that we’ve been on these last seven years,” said Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of the fans and the tremendous work put in by our team, especially seniors Chase [Buchanan] and Steven [Williams].”
In addition to winning its seventh-consecutive conference championship, the win vs. the Wolverines was Ohio State’s 90th-consecutive against Big Ten opponents.
The Buckeye duo of Peter Kobelt and Smith handed Buzzi and Barrett Franks an 8-4 loss on court two to begin the afternoon. Winners of eight consecutive matches, Kobelt and Smith have amassed 24 victories on the season.
The No. 1 pair of Buchanan and Blaz Rola beat No. 22 Evan King and Shaun Bernstein 8-3 to earn the doubles point for the Buckeyes. With the victory, Buchanan and Rola improve to 28-3 overall, including a 19-3 mark at No. 1 doubles.
At No. 3 doubles, No. 34 Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen collected their team-high 30th win after beating Michael Zhu and Alex Petrone 8-4.
Kobelt, ranked 67th-nationally, put Ohio State up 2-0 after only surrendering one point to Shaun Bernstein, winning 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. He moved to 9-1 in the Big Ten and 22-10 overall.
McCarthy lifted the Buckeyes to a 3-0 advantage after posting a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Franks. The win was McCarthy’s 26th of the season (26-6) and 15th at the fifth position (15-2). Smith sealed the win shortly after.
In remaining singles play, Van Engelen was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Michael Zhu, earning his 25th victory of the season. Buchanan, ranked No. 12, beat Petrone 6-3, 6-2 on court two in his final regular-season collegiate match, giving him a 36-1 record vs. Big Ten competition. The New Albany, Ohio, native currently boasts a 101-23 singles record in his career, including 45 wins vs. ranked opponents.
Rola was the final Buckeye to finish, falling to King, who is ranked eighth nationally, 6-3, 6-3. The Buckeye sophomore finished the regular-season 29-5 overall with a 12-4 record vs. ranked opponents.
Ohio State will be back in action April 26-29 as it heads to Evanston, Ill., for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament.
Tennis Match Results