No. 2 Buckeyes Advance to B1G Championship
April 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The second-ranked and top-seeded Ohio State men’s tennis team (29-3, 11-0 B1G) defeated fifth-seeded Northwestern, 4-0, to advance to the championship match of the 2014 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament at the MSU Outdoor Courts in East Lansing, Mich.
Ohio State will play No. 2 seed Illinois at noon Sunday in the tournament championship. The Buckeyes have won the conference tournament nine times – 1991, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Big Ten Network will air the championship match on tape delay at 7 p.m. May 8.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray notched wins on courts one and three to take a 1-0 advantage vs. the Wildcats. Peter Kobelt and Ralf Steinbach downed Raleigh Smith and Mihir Kumar, 8-6, at No.1 doubles to improve to 8-1 overall in 2014. With the win, Kobelt passed former Buckeye All-American and current associate head coach Justin Kronauge for first on the OSU all-time career doubles win list with 134 career victories. Hunter Callahan and Chris Diaz clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 victory vs. Fedor Baev and Kircheimer.
The Buckeyes notched three straight-set victories in singles play to earn a spot in the B1G championship match. Redshirt junior Kevin Metka added the first point for the Buckeyes in singles competition, defeating Alex Pasareanu, 6-1, 6-3. Kobelt claimed his 120th career victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win vs. Smith on court one to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead. Callahan collected his 10th-straight singles victory as he clinched match point for the Buckeyes, topping Strong Kircheimer, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5 singles.
Freshman Herkko Pollanen led Sam Shropshire, 6-3, 4-3, on court two while Steinbach was ahead 7-6 (3), 5-3, when play was suspended. After splitting the first two sets, Diaz was ahead 3-2 vs. Kumar on court four when the B1G semifinal match was called.
Before last season’s championship win over Michigan, Ohio State defeated Illinois in five out of the previous six tournament finals.
Tennis Match Results
Ohio State 4, Northwestern 0