No. 3 Buckeyes Fall to Illinois 4-3 in Big Ten Tournament Final

Go Buckeyes! Peter Kobelt was one of two Buckeyes to win in sinlges during the Big Ten Tournament championship
Go Buckeyes!
Peter Kobelt was one of two Buckeyes to win in sinlges during the Big Ten Tournament championship
Go Buckeyes!

April 29, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The top-seeded Ohio State men’s tennis team (31-3, 11-0 B1G) fell to No. 3 seed Illinois (17-7, 8-3) 4-3 in the final of the 2012 Big Ten Tennis Tournament Sunday at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill.

The third-ranked Buckeyes had won the previous six conference tournaments, with Illinois and Ohio State meeting in six of the last seven. Ohio State is now 5-1 in those contests.

After Illinois came back from a 3-1 deficit to even the match at 3-3, all eyes turned to the No. 2 singles match between Blaz Rola and Roy Kalmanovich with the Big Ten Tournament title on the line. Kalmanovich won the first set 6-4 before Rola returned the favor with a 6-3 win of his own in the second set. Kalmanovich took a 3-1 lead in the third set before Rola broke back to even it at 3-3. However, Kalmanovich broke again Rola and rode the momentum to a 6-3 third-set victory.

Ohio State will find out its overall seed and where it will play the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament (May 10-13)Tuesday during the 2012 NCAA Men’s Tennis Selection Show, which will air online at 5:30 p.m.

After dropping the doubles point to Indiana in the semifinals, Ohio State rebounded with wins on courts two and three to take a 1-0 lead vs. the Fighting Illini.

Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen, ranked 31st nationally, were the first pair done, finishing with an 8-4 win over Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon at No. 2 doubles. They improve to 32-9 overall on the season with the victory.

Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith gave Ohio State the early lead after an 8-3 win on court three vs. Stephen Hoh and Farris Gosea. The win improved the Ohio State duo’s record at the third position to 16-2 on the season and 25-5 overall.



Chase Buchanan lifted the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead after defeating No. 8 Dennis Nevolo 6-2, 6-2 at the top position. Buchanan, ranked 11th, is 27-6 on the season, including marks of 12-2 on court one and 11-4 vs. ranked completion. He will enter NCAA tournament play on a 12-match win streak. Buchanan also defeated Nevolo 6-4, 6-4 when the two met April 13 in Columbus.

Illinois rebounded and cut the Ohio State lead in half after Kopinski downed Van Engelen 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. The loss ended Van Engelen’s eight-match win streak and moved his overall record to 26-7.

Ohio State increased its lead to 3-1 after Kobelt, ranked 67th, beat Bruno Abdelnour 6-4, 6-2.

Hoh snapped McCarthy’s 13-match win streak to move the Illini within one for the second time during the championship. It wasn’t easy but Hoh left as a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 winner on court five.

Illinois evened the match at 3-3 after Guignon upended Smith 7-6, 6-4 on court six giving the Illini the momentum in the final contest between Rola and Kalmanovich.

 The Scarlet and Gray are 40-55-1 all-time vs. the Illini, having won 10 of the last 11, all under the direction of head coach Ty Tucker.

Break Points

  • Ohio State has won 146 consecutive home matches in Columbus (19-0 in 2012).
  • As the No. 3 team nationally, Ohio State is 80-3.
  • The Buckeyes have won 30 doubles points out of 33 this season. When losing the doubles point, Ohio State posts a 3-0 record.
  • Since 2001, Ohio State is 276-39 when ranked in the ITA Top 25. That percentage improves to 229-16 from the 2005-06 season onward.
  • The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 196 consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006).
  • The Scarlet and Gray are 11-3 vs. teams ranked in the ITA Top 25 and 22-3 vs. teams in the Top 75.
  • Blaz Rola leads the team with 30 singles wins, while Chase Buchanan leads with 37 doubles wins. 

Tennis Match Results
#24 Illinois 4, #3 Ohio State 3
Apr 29, 2012 at Evanston, Ill.
(Vandy Christie Tennis Center)

1. #11 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. #8 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
2. #41 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. #6 Blaz Rola (OSU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
3. #67 Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) 6-4, 6-2
4. Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #115 Ille Van Engelen (OSU) 6-3, 6-1
5. Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. #85 Devin McCarthy (OSU) 6-4, 0-6, 6-1
6. Ross Guignon (ILL) def. #105 Connor Smith (OSU) 7-6, 6-4

1. #1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OSU) vs. #28 Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 5-3, unfinished
2. #31 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) 8-4
3. Connor Smith/Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. Stephen Hoh/Farris Gosea (ILL) 8-3

Match Notes:
Illinois 17-7 (8-3 B1G); National ranking #24
Ohio State 31-3 (11-0 B1G); National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,4,3,5,6,2)
Big Ten Tournament Championship Match
Official: John Coleman