No. 1 Ohio State Hosts No. 12 North Carolina, No. 34 Penn State
Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach
Feb. 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team continues its home schedule with two matches this weekend, hosting No. 12 North Carolina at 6 p.m. Friday before opening its Big Ten home slate against No. 34 Penn State at Noon Sunday at the Varsity Tennis Center. The home matches mark the first in Columbus since the Buckeyes (15-0, 1-0 Big Ten) captured their first ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 17 in Houston.
ALL ABOUT STATS
- With a 15-0 overall record, the Buckeyes own a 364-45 (.889) record as a Top 25 team since 2001.
- Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan leads the Buckeyes in wins with 17 victories in singles followed by redshirt junior Kevin Metka and senior Peter Kobelt with 16 victories each.
- In dual matches, Callahan is 13-0, while Metka is 12-1 in 2014. Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach trails right behind with 11 wins for the dual season
- Kobelt has the top dual record at No. 1 singles (9-1).
- In doubles, Kobelt and Metka are 22-4 overall with a 7-2 mark vs. nationally-ranked pairs.
- The Buckeyes have won 181-consecutive home matches, dating back to the 2003 campaign.
- Ohio State also has been victorious in 83-consecutive regular-season Big Ten matches, dating back to 2005.
KOBELT NAMED MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Peter Kobelt was named was named Most Outstanding Player at the ITA Indoor Team Championships Feb. 21. Kobelt is the first Buckeye to receive the honor, which he achieved after winning seven of his eight matches in leading Ohio State to its first national indoor title. The senior went 3-1 at first singles during the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship. In doubles, paired with Kevin Metka, the duo went 4-0 over the weekend.
Joining Kobelt were three additional Buckeyes, including Ralf Steinbach, Kevin Metka and Hunter Callahan at singles No. 4-6, respectively. Kobelt and Metka were named to the doubles all-tournament team at No. 1.
TOP 25 BATTLES
Entering its eighth meeting of the season vs. a Top 25 team, Ohio State boasts a 120-50 (.706) record vs. Top 25 competition since 2000. The Buckeyes also own a 6-1 record vs. opponents that are 12th in the country and a 11-1 record as a No.1-ranked team.
The Buckeyes are 7-0 against teams ranked in the Top 25 in 2014 (No. 17 Kentucky, 4-0; No. 8 Texas A&M, 4-3; No. 12 Florida, 4-1, No. 10 Texas, 4-2; No. 1 Virginia, 4-3; No. 3 USC, 4-1 and No. 10 Notre Dame, 4-2).
BUCKEYES VS. TAR HEELS
Ohio State holds an 8-0 head-to-head record against North Carolina, with the Buckeyes taking the last meeting 6-1 in 2012. The Tar Heels (11-1) are currently on a six-match winning streak after sweeping Navy and The Citadel in a doubleheader this past weekend. North Carolina is well-represented in the latest ITA ranking poll, with freshman Brayden Schnur leading the team at No. 19. Ronnie Schneider, another freshman, is ranked No. 29, while sophomore Brett Clark is ranked No. 47. In doubles, the Tar Heels have two ranked doubles teams in Esben Hess-Olesen/Clark at No. 44 and Schneider/Jack Murray at No. 56.
OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE
The Buckeyes are 23-6 all-time vs. the Nittany Lions and have won the last 15 meetings against Penn State. Last season, the Scarlet and Gray won, 7-0, in University Park, Pa. Leonard Stakhovsky is the lone member ranked in the ITA polls at No. 50 in singles. The Nittany Lions travel to Columbus with a perfect 10-0 (best start in program history) record with their match at Ohio State marking their first road match of the dual season.
A LOOK BACK AT HOUSTON
Ohio State is off to its best start in program history thanks to winning result in Houston. To qualify for Houston, the Buckeyes defeated No. 57 Denver and No. 48 Louisville 4-0 and 4-1, respectively. At the championship, Ohio State defeated No. 12 Florida 4-1, No. 13 Texas 4-2, No. 1 Virginia 4-3 and No. 3 USC 4-1 to claim their first ITA national title and rise to the No. 1 ranking in the country. Peter Kobelt was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, while Ralf Steinbach, Kevin Metka and Hunter Callahan were named to the All-Tournament Team at the No. 4-6 singles spots, respectively. Kobelt and Metka were also named to the team at No. 1 doubles.
BACK-TO-BACK HONORS FOR KOBELT
Peter Kobelt was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week for the second-consecutive time, the conference office announced Tuesday. Kobelt, a native of New Albany, Ohio, earns his third career conference weekly honor.
He posted wins in all four of his matches to lead Ohio State to victories over No. 10 Notre Dame (4-2) and No. 58 Indiana (5-2). Kobelt defeated No. 37 Greg Andrews of Notre Dame (6-7, 7-6, 7-6) and Sam Monette of Indiana (6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3) in the No. 1 singles position. In doubles, he earned victories over No. 17 Andrews and Alex Lawson of Notre Dame (9-7), and Monette and Daniel Bednarczyk of Indiana (8-7 (7-3)), with redshirt junior Kevin Metka.
TOUGH ROAD SWING AHEAD
The Buckeyes will next prepare for two road matches, including one against a Top 25 opponent. Ohio State travels to No. 3 Oklahoma for a Top 5 showdown at 6 p.m. March 7 before traveling to Athens, Ga. – the site of the 2014 NCAA Championships – to face No. 35 Georgia at 2:30 p.m. March 12.