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.
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.
- 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
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