April 2, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The seventh-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team will face its 14th ranked opponent of the 2013 season when it travels to Lexington to face No. 8 Kentucky at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
On the season the Buckeyes are 12-2 vs. ranked competition, including a 6-2 record against Top 25 programs. The Buckeyes’ only losses were at No. 15 Texas A&M Feb. 10 and vs. No. 1 Virginia in the semifinal of the ITA Team Indoor Championship Feb. 17.
Window into the Wildcats
The Kentucky men’s tennis team currently is ranked No. 8 in the latest ITA standings released March 26. Leading the way for the Wildcats is a pair of players ranked in the Top 25 singles poll and a doubles team in the Top 25 of the doubles poll. Anthony Rossi is the 18th ranked player in the country, while Tom Jomby is No. 24. Jomby is a member of the ranked doubles team as well. When partnered with Kevin Lai, the duo comprises the 19th ranked doubles team in the country.
The Buckeyes and Wildcats are familiar foes, having met 27 times heading into the match Wednesday. Ohio State holds a three-match advantage over Kentucky, with the all-time record at 15-12. The squads met twice last year, both times as ranked teams. Then third-ranked Ohio State notched a 4-3 victory over sixth-ranked Kentucky in the first match. In the second match, the No. 2 Buckeyes defeated the No. 7 Wildcats by a score of 4-0.
In a Nutshell
• Ohio State is 20-2 overall and 5-0 in Big Ten Conference play. The Buckeyes are 13-0 at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus.
• The Buckeyes improved to 334-44 (.883) since 2001 as a Top 25 team. Ohio State is 109-49 (.690) since 2000 vs. Top 25 programs.
• Following their win vs. Indiana, the Scarlet and Gray extended their home win streak to 163 matches. The Buckeyes’ last loss at home was a 5-2 setback vs. Illinois April 5, 2003.
• Ohio State has shut out 14 of their opponents in 2013.
• Against Iowa March 31, the Buckeyes earned their 21st doubles victory.
• In the early portion of the Big Ten season, Ohio State is in first place with a 5-0 conference record and overall mark of 20-2.
• Redshirt junior Peter Kobelt leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 27. With a 27-5 overall record that includes a 13-2 mark in dual play, Kobelt is 5-1 and 8-1 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.
• Junior Blaz Rola is 16-0 overall with a 12-0 record at No. 1 singles and 4-0 mark at the No. 2 position.
• The Buckeyes are earning impressive victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles from Chris Diaz and Constantin Christ. Diaz, a redshirt freshman, is 10-1 at No. 5 singles. True freshman Christ is 10-0 on court No. 6.
• In doubles action, the duo of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are a team-best 17-1 overall. The tandem has posted a 12-1 record at No. 2 doubles and a 5-0 mark at the top position. Blaz Rola and Kevin Metka remain perfect on the season with a 13-0 overall ledger. All 13 wins by Rola and Metka have come at No. 3 doubles.
• Redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka has posted an Ohio State best 21-2 overall record in doubles, which includes an 18-1 ledger in dual play. Metka is 17-0 at No. 3 doubles.
Five Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 100 of the ITA individual standings released March 26. Peter Kobelt paces the Buckeyes with a No. 4 ranking, while Blaz Rola is No. 13. Connor Smith is polled 43rd and Chris Diaz is ranked 59th. Devin McCarthy rounds out the ranked group at No. 84.
In doubles, Kobelt and Smith moved up to 13th. The pair of McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen is No. 27 and Rola and Kevin Metka are ranked 57th.
B1G 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.
After three-consecutive matches on the road, the Scarlet and Gray will return to Columbus for three matches at home. The first match will be against Wisconsin at 5 p.m. Friday. The next two matches will be in a double header format, with Ohio State facing Minnesota at noon and Wright State at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Matches are scheduled to be played outdoors at the Varsity Tennis Courts on Olentangy River Road. In the case of inclement weather, matches will be moved indoors to The Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center at 880 W. Henderson Road.