COLUMBUS, Ohio – After capturing its sixth-consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season crown, the third-ranked and No. 1-seed Ohio State men’s tennis team (28-2, 11-0) started the 2011 postseason with a 4-0 decision over No. 8-seed Michigan State (18-9, 4-8) in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wis. The Buckeyes are vying for their sixth-consecutive conference tournament under head coach Ty Tucker. The victory over the Spartans was Ohio State’s 13th win in a row.
The Scarlet and Gray will play winner of the No. 4-seed Illinois/No. 5-seed Michigan matchup at 11 a.m. ET Saturday. Live stats will be available at www.UWBadgers.com.
2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Blaz Rola clinched the victory for Ohio State for the fifth-straight match by handing Michigan State’s Aaron Pfister a 6-2, 6-0 loss. Rola’s overall record improves to 34-5, including a 9-1 mark in the Big Ten and 13-1 ledger when competing on court two.
The 4-0 shutout extended Ohio State’s Big Ten tournament win streak to 16 matches. Tucker, the Buckeyes are 26-5 in conference tournament action and have won 77-consecutive Big Ten matches.
The Buckeye tandem of Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt quickly gave Ohio State an advantage in doubles by downing John Stratton and Drew Lied, 8-2, on court one. Allare and Kobelt, the 18th-ranked duo nationally, improve to 23-8 overall and 9-1 vs. Big Ten opponents. The pair is 14-5 at the No. 1 position.
On court two, 2-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year Chase Buchanan and senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa continued their doubles success, moving to 10-2 on the season with a 8-6 win vs. Pfister and Austin Brooks. Buchanan is 26-8 and Uzawa is 20-4 overall in doubles.
Allare, a First Team All-Big Ten member, put the top-seeded Buckeyes up 2-0 with a straight-set 6-1, 6-1 victory over Stratton on court four for his 20th-consecutive singles win. Allare, the 47th-ranked player in the country is now 32-3 overall, 23-1 in duals, 10-0 vs. the Big Ten and 17-0 at the No. 4 position. The Mason, Ohio, native has not lost in singles action since falling to No. 47 Sadio Doumbia of No. 11 Georgia, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, Feb. 6.
Devin McCarthy put Ohio State within one point of advancing to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Lied at No. 6. McCarthy, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors, improved his perfect record at the No. 6 position to 10-0. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native currently is 28-5 overall and 10-1 vs. Big Ten competition.
Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals (Match #4)
No. 3 Ohio State 4, No. 50 Michigan State 0
April 29, 2011
Nielsen Tennis Stadium
No. 10 Chase Buchanan (OSU) vs. Denis Bogatov (MSU) 6-2, 2-1, unfinished
No. 3 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Aaron Pfister (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
No. 122 Ille Van Engelen (OSU) vs. Austin Brooks (MSU) 7-5, 2-0, unfinished
No. 47 Matt Allare (OSU) def. John Stratton (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 98 Balazs Novak (OSU) vs. Ronnie Hulewicz (MSU) 6-0, 3-1, unfinished
No. 74 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Drew Lied (MSU) 6-0, 6-1
No. 18 Matt Allare/Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. Drew Lied/John Stratton (MSU) 8-2
No. 82 Chase Buchanan/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Austin Brooks/Aaron Pfister (MSU) 8-6
Blaz Rola/Balazs Novak (OSU) vs. Jason Norville/Mat Nelson 6-4, unfinished