March 11, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 8 Ohio State men’s tennis team will face No. 12 Pepperdine for a 4 p.m. ET match up Tuesday at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. The Buckeyes (14-2; 1-0 Big Ten) and Waves (10-3 overall) will meet for the second time in three weeks. Ohio State shut out Pepperdine, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 16.
In a Nutshell
• Ohio State is 14-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play. The Buckeyes are 10-0 at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus.
• The Buckeyes improved to 328-44 (.882) as a Top 25 team since 2001. Ohio State moves to 108-49 (.688) vs. Top 25 programs since 2000.
• Following their wins vs. No. 25 Notre Dame Feb. 23 and LSU Feb. 24, the Scarlet and Gray extended their home win streak to 160 matches. The Buckeyes’ last loss at home was a 5-2 setback vs. Illinois April 5, 2003.
• In the early portion of the Big Ten season, Ohio State is in second place with a 1-0 conference record and overall mark of 14-2. Illinois, who has played two conference matches and is 2-0, leads the league with an overall record of 7-4.
• Redshirt junior Peter Kobelt leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 24. With a 24-5 overall record that includes a 10-2 mark in the dual play, Kobelt is 4-1 and 6-1 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.
• Junior Blaz Rola is 10-0 overall with a 7-0 record at No. 1 singles and 3-0 mark at the No. 2 position.
• The Buckeyes are earning impressive victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles from Hunter Callahan and Constantin Christ. Callahan, a redshirt sophomore, is 5-0 at No. 5 singles freshman Christ is 7-0 on court No. 6.
• In doubles action, the duo of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are a team-best 12-1 overall. The tandem has posted an 8-1 record at No. 2 doubles and a 4-0 mark at the top position.
• Redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka has posted an Ohio State best 17-1 overall record in doubles, which includes a 14-0 ledger in dual play. Metka is 13-0 at No. 3 doubles.
Buckeyes vs. Waves
Following their win over Pepperdine in the quarterfinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championship Feb. 16, the Buckeyes improved to 7-1 vs. the Waves. Ohio State’s lone loss to Pepperdine was an 8-1 setback in Malibu during the 1978-79 season.
A Peek at Pepperdine
The Waves are 10-3 overall, including a 2-3 mark vs. nationally-ranked competition. With a 3-1 road record, Pepperdine is even tougher to beat on its home courts as it has compiled a 5-0 record in Malibu. Four Pepperdine student-athletes, led by No. 7 Sebastian Fanselow, are ranked in the singles ITA standings. Fanselow is 14-5 overall, including a dual record of 8-3, which also serves as his mark at No. 1 singles. In the doubles rankings, the Waves are led by No. 27 Francis Alcantara and Finn Tearney. The pair is 12-4 overall and 6-3 in dual and No. 1 doubles action.
In the Rankings
In the latest ITA singles and doubles rankings released Feb. 26, four Buckeyes are ranked in the singles Top 40. Peter Kobelt is No. 2 in the nation, while Blaz Rola is 17th. Connor Smith is ranked 28th and Chris Diaz is No. 40. In doubles, the tandem of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are 12th and Kobelt and Smith are ranked 16th.
With the 7-0 Big Ten Conference win at Penn State March 2, Ohio State won its 13th-consectutive Big Ten opener. The last time the Buckeyes dropped their conference opener was Feb. 19, 2000 vs. Minnesota, 5-2.
Playing the Best
The Buckeyes are 5-2 vs. ITA Top 25 programs this season. Ohio State collected wins from No. 6 Georgia, 5-2, Feb. 3 and No. 5 Pepperdine, 4-0, Feb. 16 in the quarterfinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championship. The Scarlet and Gray also beat No. 13 Cal, 4-0, Feb. 15 in the opening round of team indoors, No. 25 Notre Dame, 7-0, Feb. 23 and No. 24 LSU, 7-0, Feb. 24. The Buckeyes dropped a pair of 4-3 results to No. 15 Texas A&M Feb. 10 in College Station and No. 1 Virginia in the semifinals of the ITA Team Indoor Championship.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes posted back-to-back wins the week of Feb. 25 with a 4-1 win at North Carolina Feb. 27, followed by a 7-0 victory in their Big Ten Conference opener at Penn State March 2.
Against the Tar Heels, Ohio State won the doubles point for the 14th time this season thanks to a pair of victories by 12th-ranked tandem Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen over Nelson Vick and Maik Ulrick, 8-2, and Buckeyes Blaz Rola and Kevin Metka over Andrew Gores and Oystein Steiro, 8-3. In singles competition, Peter Kobelt (No. 2 singles), McCarthy (No. 3 singles) and Chris Diaz (No. 5 singles) all garnered wins. Kobelt defeated Brett Clark, 6-3, 6-2, McCarthy handed William Parker a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 loss and Diaz downed Taylor Meyer, 6-4, 6-2.
Opening the Big Ten season at Penn State, the Scarlet and Gray secured victories at all three doubles positions, including an 8-0 shutout by Rola and Metka at No. 3 over Tomas Hanzlik and Roman Trkulija. In singles, four Buckeyes – McCarthy, Van Engelen, Hunter Callahan, and Constantin Christ – won their respective matches in straight sets. At No. 1 singles, Kobelt rallied from a first-set loss to beat Bryan Weinetz, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. Rola, playing at the No. 2 position, dropped the second set, 6-4, after winning the first, 6-1. In the final set, Rola clinched the victory with a 6-2 win.
Big Ten Tournament Hosts
Ohio State will host the 2013 Big Ten Tournament April 25-28 at the Varsity Tennis Courts. The Buckeyes have won the conference tournament eight times – 1991, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Ohio State will host three consecutive matches starting March 19 when Louisville travels to Columbus for a 5 p.m. start. The Buckeyes will commence the heart of their Big Ten schedule when they play Purdue at 6 p.m. March 22 and Indiana at noon March 24.