No. 1 Buckeyes Set for Top 5 Showdown at No. 4 Oklahoma
Associate head coach Justin Kronauge
March 6, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team travels to No. 4 Oklahoma for a Top 5 road match at 6 p.m. ET Friday in Norman, Okla. The top-ranked Buckeyes (17-0, 2-0 B1G) are off to their best start to the season in program history and look to give the Sooners (11-1, 0-0 Big 12) their first home loss of the season.
TOP 25 BATTLES
Entering its ninth meeting of the season vs. a Top 25 team, Ohio State boasts a 121-50 (.708) record vs. Top 25 competition since 2000. The Buckeyes are 2-4 vs. opponents that are fourth in the country and a 13-1 record as a No.1-ranked team.
The Buckeyes are 8-0 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; No. 10 Notre Dame, 4-2 and No. 12 North Carolina, 4-1).
OHIO STATE VS. OKLAHOMA
The Buckeyes hold a 3-0 all-time series record against Oklahoma, with Ohio State taking a 6-1 decision in Columbus the last time they played in 2006. The fourth-ranked Sooners have four players and two doubles teams ranked in the ITA rankings. In singles, Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alvarez Llamas are ranked second and third, respectively, while Dane Webb comes in at No. 24 and Andrew Harris at No. 25. In doubles, Webb and Harris are T-46 and Peerakit Sirbutwong/Nick Papac round out the rankings at 60.
DUAL SEASON DOMINANCE
• With a 17-0 overall record, the Buckeyes own a 366-45 (.889) record as a Top 25 team since 2001.
• Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan leads the Buckeyes in wins with 19 victories in singles followed by redshirt junior Kevin Metka and senior Peter Kobelt with 18 and 17 victories, respectively.
• In dual matches, Callahan is 15-0, while Metka is 14-1 in 2014. Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach trails right behind with 13 wins for the dual season
• Kobelt has the Top dual record at No. 1 singles (10-1).
• In doubles, Kobelt and Metka are 23-5 overall with a 7-2 mark vs. nationally-ranked pairs.
• Ohio State has won 183-consecutive matches in Columbus (11-0 in 2014). The streak is the longest active among Division I sports and one win shy of the record (184 – Stanford women’s tennis)
• The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 255-consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006)
• Since 1999, Ohio State is 401-48 (.892) when ranked in the ITA Top 25.
• The Buckeyes are 8-0 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; No. 10 Notre Dame, 4-2; No. 12 North Carolina 4-1).
• Ohio State won its first national team indoor title Feb. 17 with a 4-1 win over USC in Houston, Texas.
• Ohio State also has been victorious in 84-consecutive regular-season Big Ten matches, dating back to 2005.
• For the eighth-consecutive season, Ohio State was crowned the Big Ten regular-season champions and won the conference tournament title seven of the last eight seasons in 2013.
Guided by director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes defeated four Top 25 teams, including two Top 5 programs en route to the national title to put Ohio State at its best start to a season in program history. The Buckeyes downed No. 12 Florida in the first round, 4-1, Feb. 14 with Hunter Callahan clinching and No. 13 Texas, 4-2, Feb. 15 in the quarterfinals. Redshirt junior Kevin Metka clinched the match to send the Buckeyes to a semifinal against No. 1 Virginia.
The semifinal proved to be a 4-3 classic with Metka pulling off the upset with a 6-5 (7-5), 5-6 (5-7), 6-5 (12-10) victory, saving two match points Feb. 16. No. 3 USC was next, with Ohio State earning the doubles points and claimed the title with a 4-1 win over the Trojans Feb. 17. Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach clinched the championship for Ohio State with a 6-5 (7-4), 6-4 win over Connor Farren on court No. 4.
TOP OF THE POLL
The Buckeyes remained No. 1 for the third-consecutive week in the latest ITA rankings announced Tuesday. The Top ranking is the second time in Ohio State program history after being ranked No. 1 during the 2008-09 season. Ohio State is now 13-1 all-time as the No. 1 team in the country.
B1G ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Kobelt, the ninth-ranked player in singles and part of the third-ranked doubles duo, was awarded the B1G Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week for two consecutive weeks Feb. 18 and 25, respectively. The New Albany, OH native is now a three-time recipient of the award, claiming seven wins in his last 10 matches against nationally-ranked opponents.
Ohio State will travel to face No. 35 Georgia at 2:30 p.m. March 12 in Athens, Ga.