Top Seed Ohio State Advances to Big Ten Tournament Final
April 28, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The top-seeded Ohio State men's tennis team (31-2, 11-0 B1G) advanced to the final of the 2012 Big Ten Tennis Tournament Saturday after earning a 4-1 victory over No. 5 seed Indiana (23-9, 7-4) at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. The No. 3 Buckeyes will meet third seed Illinois at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
The Buckeyes' 92nd-consecutive conference win sends them to their seventh-consecutive Big Ten tournament final, where they have been victorious in their previous six appearances.
Connor Smith won his 29th singles match in his first season as a Buckeye after a 6-1, 7-6 triumph vs. Dimitrije Tasic. Smith moved to 16-4 at the sixth position and has won six consecutive matches.
Ohio State dropped the doubles point for just the third time this season to start the semifinal matchup. Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen, ranked 31st nationally, lost to Alastair Barnes and Josh MacTaggart 8-5 on court two.
Peter Kobelt and Smith also lost 8-5, falling to Stephen Vogl and Will Kendall at No. 3 doubles to give Indiana a sweep of the first two matches.
After unfinished decisions on courts one through three Friday, the trio of Buckeye First Team All-Big Ten selections, Chase Buchanan, Blaz Rola and Kobelt, was the first to finish their respective singles matches vs. Indiana.
Buchanan, ranked 11th-nationally, had no trouble defeating Isade Juneau 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles for his 11th-consecutive victory to tie the match at 1-1. The senior from New Albany, Ohio, improved to 26-6 overall, including an 11-2 ledger at the top position.
Ohio State took its first lead of the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win by Rola over 79th-ranked MacTaggart. The Buckeye sophomore, ranked sixth nationally, won his team high 30th singles match. Rola has earned at least 30 victories in each of his two seasons donning the Scarlet and Gray.
Kobelt was a 6-1, 6-4 winner vs. Jeremy Langer at No. 3 singles, putting Ohio State within one point of advancing to the tournament final. Kobelt, ranked 67th, improved to 14-7 at the third position for an overall mark of 23-10. Kobelt's partner, Smith, would earn his sixth-consecutive win shortly after to claim Ohio State's 31st victory of the season.
The Scarlet and Gray are 46-39 all-time vs. the Hoosiers, having won 14 consecutive, all under the guidance of head coach Ty Tucker.
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