Feb. 22, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fourth ranked Ohio State returns to the Varsity Tennis Center this weekend after competing in the 2013 ITA Team Indoor Championships to face No. 25 Notre Dame at noon Saturday and No. 24 LSU at noon Sunday. Notre Dame and LSU will mark the sixth and seventh consecutive ranked opponents the Buckeyes have faced in their last seven matches. The streak started with a 5-2 victory over then-No. 6 Georgia. The Scarlet and Gray then were dealt their first loss of the season at No. 15 Texas A&M by a score of 4-3. Next on schedule was the ITA Team Indoor Championship, in Seattle, Wash. The Buckeyes managed two shutout victories over ranked opponents, defeating No. 13 Cal 4-0 and No. 5 Pepperdine 4-0, before falling 4-3 to the eventual tournament champion, No. 1 Virginia. On the 2013 spring season, Ohio State (10-2) owns a 5-2 record vs. ranked competition.
Buckeyes Battle Irish
Ohio State and Notre Dame, two universities with rich traditions in football, also have a significant history in men's tennis. The two programs have met 53 times, with the Irish holding a one-match advantage at 27 wins to Ohio State's 26. However, since Ty Tucker took as head coach for Ohio State in 2000, the Buckeyes boast an 8-4 record over the Irish, including a string of six consecutive wins.
The 2013 edition between Ohio State and Notre Dame will showcase a pair of ranked doubles teams, No. 36 Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith for Ohio State and No. 55 Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor for Notre Dame. Both teams also have ranked singles players, including No. 2 Kobelt, No. 30 Smith, No. 37 Chris Diaz and No. 62 Blaz Rola for the Buckeyes and No. 71 Greg Andrews for the Irish.
Ohio State Faces LSU
In their second match of the weekend, the Buckeyes will take on the Tigers. The match will mark the 14th meeting between the programs, with Ohio State leading the all-time series 8-5. The series has been dominated by the Buckeyes under Tucker, who owns a 7-1 record vs. the Tigers. The seven wins have come in consecutive seasons since 2006, with the only loss being 4-1 at LSU in 2005. LSU features the ranked double tandem of Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski, who comprise the No. 35 team in the country.
All About Stats
- With a 10-2 overall record, the Buckeyes own a 324-44 (.885) record as a Top 25 team.
- Redshirt junior Peter Kobelt leads the Buckeyes in wins with 20.
- Senior Connor Smith paces Ohio State in duals victories with nine.
- Junior Blaz Rola has the top dual record at No. 1 singles (6-0).
- In doubles action, the pair of Ille Van Engelen and Devin McCarthy is 8-1 overall and in dual play, a team best. The duo also is 4-0 at No. 1 doubles, which serves as a program high in 2013.
The Buckeyes head to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on the 22nd-ranked Tarheels. Ohio State and North Carolina square-off 2 p.m. at on Feb. 27.