April 18, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fifth-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team will conclude its regular-season schedule vs. Michigan State at 3 p.m. Friday in Columbus, Ohio, and against No. 26 Michigan at noon Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The 2012-13 class of Devin McCarthy, Connor Smith and Ille Van Engelen will represent the Scarlet and Gray for the last time in a regular-season home event and will be recognized prior to the match Friday vs. Spartans.
Devin McCarthy has twice been named second-team All-Big Ten in 2011 and 2012. McCarthy currently is 14th (tied) on the all-time Ohio State career singles wins list with 98 victories. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native also has climbed the career doubles wins list this season and is currently 17th with 75. The combined win total for McCarthy’s career so far is 173, which ranks 13th all-time at Ohio State. McCarthy also is on the all-time single-season doubles wins lists. In 2012 McCarthy posted 34 doubles victories to move into a tie for 12th. Additionally McCarthy has excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was named an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. McCarthy was recognized as a Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist, which honors a student-athlete who has attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics, at the annual Scholar-Athlete banquet three weeks ago.
Connor Smith transferred to Ohio State after his sophomore season and although the Tampa, Fla., native has played for the Scarlet and Gray for only two years, he has left his mark on the program. Smith boasted 32 doubles wins in 2012, his first season as a Buckeye. The 32 victories is a tie for 20th place on the all-time Ohio State single-season doubles wins list. For an encore, Smith has posted 30 singles victories in 2013.
Ille Van Engelen
A two-time All-Big Ten honoree, a first-team recipient in 2011 and a second-team selection in 2012, Ille Van Engelen has amassed a 49-17 career singles record and a 63-13 career doubles ledger. Van Engelen’s 63 doubles victories are good for 26th all-time on the Buckeye doubles wins list. The junior from Eindhoven, Netherlands, had the most successful doubles campaign of his career in 2012 when he won 35 matches to tie for ninth on the single-season doubles wins list. Additionally, Van Engelen was an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete in 2011.
Closely Contested Big Ten Race
With the regular season coming to a close, three teams are in contention for the Big Ten regular-season title. Ohio State leads the pack with a 9-0 conference record, while Michigan sits in second at 8-1 in the Big Ten. In third place is Minnesota, posting a 7-2 record in conference play. The Wolverines will open the weekend vs. Penn State before hosting the Buckeyes. The Gophers will conclude the regular season at Nebraska and vs. Iowa. Complete Big Ten Standings
Friday is the Buckeyes’ centennial match as the Ohio State Department of Athletics is celebrating its 100th year as a department and membership in the Big Ten Conference. Throughout the season for all sports, fans can log on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com/100 to learn more about the history of the Ohio State Athletics Department, including timelines, by the numbers, video and historical images from the past 100 years.
In a Nutshell
• Ohio State is 26-2 overall, including a 9-0 record in Big Ten Conference play and a 16-0 ledger in Columbus.
• The Buckeyes improved to 340-44 (.885) since 2001 as a Top 25 team. Ohio State is 110-49 (.692) since 2000 vs. Top 25 programs.
• Following their win vs. Wright State, the Scarlet and Gray extended their home win streak to 166 matches. The Buckeyes’ last loss at home was a 5-2 setback vs. Illinois April 5, 2003.
• Ohio State has shut out 17 of its opponents in 2013.
• Against Northwestern April 14, the Buckeyes earned their 26th doubles victory.
• With the Big Ten regular season coming to a close, Ohio State is in first place with a 9-0 conference record and overall mark of 26-2.
• Redshirt junior Peter Kobelt and senior Connor Smith lead the Buckeyes in singles wins with 30. With a 30-7 overall record that includes a 16-4 mark in dual play, Kobelt is 6-1 and 10-3 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Smith boasts a 22-3 dual record including a 5-0 mark on court No. 3, 12-2 ledger on court No. 4 and 5-1 record on court No. 5.
• Junior Blaz Rola is 20-1 overall with a 15-1 record at No. 1 singles and 5-0 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 14-1 at No. 5 singles. True freshman Christ is 14-0 on court No. 6.
• In doubles action, the duo of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are a team-best 22-2 overall. The tandem has posted a 15-2 record at No. 2 doubles and a 6-0 mark at the top position. Blaz Rola and Kevin Metka remain perfect on the season with a 17-0 overall ledger. All 17 wins by Rola and Metka have come at No. 3 doubles.
• Redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka has posted an Ohio State best 26-2 overall record in doubles, which includes a 23-1 ledger in dual play. Metka is 21-0 at No. 3 doubles.
At 5-4 in Big Ten Conference play and 11-11 overall, the Spartans are in seventh place in the league. Ohio State leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 41-35. Last season, the Buckeyes defeated the Spartans 7-0 in East Lansing and under Ty Tucker’s tutelage Ohio State owns a 14-0 record vs. Michigan State.
With a 13-7 overall record, including an 8-1 mark in the Big Ten, Michigan is second in the conference. Evan King leads the way for the Wolverines with a record of 25-4 and a team high ranking of No. 10 in the ITA singles poll. Michigan’s Vlad Stefan is also ranked 108th in the ITA singles poll. Teaming up with Shaun Bernstein and Alex Buzzi, King is one half of both ranked doubles teams for Michigan. The duos are ranked No. 29 and No. 44, respectively. Michigan leads the all-time series with Ohio State 28-67-3. However the Buckeyes own a 16-2 record against Michigan since Ty Tucker was named head coach in 1999.
Five Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 100 of the ITA individual standings released April 16. Peter Kobelt paces the Buckeyes with a No. 8 ranking, while Blaz Rola is No. 11. Connor Smith is polled 62nd and Chris Diaz is ranked 82nd. Devin McCarthy rounds out the ranked group at No. 91.
In doubles, Kobelt and Smith are ranked in the Top 20 at No. 18. The pair of Rola and Kevin Metka is ranked 38th, while McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are No. 45.
Up Next: B1G Tournament Action
Up next for the Buckeyes is the Big Ten Tournament April 25-28 at the Varsity Tennis Courts. Ohio State will play host to the conference tournament for the first time since 2002. The Buckeyes have won the conference tournament eight times – 1991, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.