COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Ohio State men’s tennis team (23-2, 6-0 Big Ten) will resume Big Ten play this weekend when it travels to Wisconsin and Minnesota. The match vs. the No. 73 Badgers will begin at 3 p.m. ET from Madison, Wis., while the contest against the No. 24 Gophers will get underway at 1 p.m. ET from Minneapolis, Minn.
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Ohio State owns an eight-match win streak. Additionally, the Buckeyes have won 54 out of their last 55 road matches (non-tournament).
Throughout the months of March and April, the Scarlet and Gray have or will play 12 teams ranked in the ITA Top 75. In addition to No. 24 Wisconsin and Minnesota, Ohio State has faced No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 9 Pepperdine, No. 17 Illinois, No. 60 Iowa, No. 13 Kentucky, No. 27 Michigan, No. 57 Michigan State and No. 28 Notre Dame. Following this weekend, the Buckeyes will play No. 68 Purdue and No. 22 Indiana. Ohio State is 15-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a perfect 8-0 mark in Columbus.
A Look Back
Ohio State picked up its 23rd win of the season by defeating No. 28 Notre Dame (15-9), 5-2, Wednesday at Stickney Tennis Center.
Buckeye Devin McCarthy clinched the win for the five-time defending Big Ten champions for the second-consecutive match. McCarthy, a redshirt-sophomore, defeated Niall Fitzgerald 6-3, 6-3 for his 24th victory of the season. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native moved to 19-2 in dual singles and 9-1 at the No. 5 position.
The win evened up the all-time series against the Irish, 26-26. It was also the fifth-consecutive victory for head coach Ty Tucker, who improved to 8-4 overall vs. Notre Dame.
Wisconsin enters the match vs. the Buckeyes with a 9-10 overall record and 3-3 mark in the Big Ten. The Badgers began the season winning their opener vs. Butler, 7-0, before falling to Wake Forest and Boise State at the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifier, both by a 4-0 decision. Wisconsin has defeated Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue in conference action, while losing to Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana. The Badgers are 8-5 at home and 3-9 against teams that are nationally ranked.
Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin
The Scarlet and Gray hold a 39-32 all-time mark vs. Wisconsin. Since Ty Tucker became head coach in 1999, the Scarlet and Gray have never lost to the Badgers, going a perfect 20-0.
Gauging the Gophers
Minnesota is 14-3 after splitting a pair of home matches vs. Indiana and Purdue this past week. Friday, Indiana ended the Gophers’ five-match win streak. However, Minnesota bounced back and down Purdue, 4-3.
Buckeyes vs. Minnesota
Ohio State is 25-38 all-time vs. the Gophers. Under 12th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes are 12-3 vs. Minnesota, claiming wins in the last nine contests. Ohio State has not lost to Minnesota since the 2002-03 season.
Rola One Shy of 30
Blaz Rola boasts a 29-5 overall record. Should he come away with a victory this weekend, the Ptuj, Slovenia, native will become the first Buckeye to amass 30 wins this season. Rola is 16-3 in dual competition and 12-5 vs. ranked opponents. He is 7-2 and 9-1 at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, respectively.
Ohio State vs. Top 25
The Buckeyes own a 10-2 record vs. competition ranked in the ITA Top 25 this season. Since 1999, Ohio State is 75-40 against Top 25 opponents, but that number improves to 69-11 since the 2005-06 campaign.
Ohio State vs. Top 25 Opponents
No. 18 Mississippi W 6-1
No. 11 Georgia W 6-1
at No. 24 No. Carolina W 6-1
No. 14 Texas Tech* W 4-1
No. 5 Texas* W 4-1
No. 1 Virginia* L 1-4
No. 15 Louisville W 6-1
at No. 17 Texas A&M L 0-4
at No. 11 Pepperdine W 6-1
at No. 10 Illinois W 7-0
at No. 12 Kentucky W 4-3
No. 23 Michigan W 6-1
*ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Ohio State in Top 25
Since 2001, the Scarlet and Gray are 234-35 when ranked in the ITA Top 25 poll. That mark improves to 187-12 from the 2005-06 season onward.
Big Ten Best
Ohio State has won 72 consecutive matches in the Big Ten after the 6-1 triumph vs. Michigan April 10. Entering the season, the Buckeyes have collected five-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. Head coach Ty Tucker also has nabbed Big Ten Coach of the Year every year during the span as well. Last season, Ohio State recorded a combined Big Ten singles mark of 58-2 and a total Big Ten doubles record of 18-8. In addition to the conference win streak, the Buckeyes also have won 124 of their last 129 league contests, including postseason play.
In the Rankings
Ten of the 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Polls announced April 12.
2 Ohio State
57 Michigan State
Buckeye Matt Allare is on a 15-match win streak. Allare is 27-3 overall with an 18-1 mark in duals. The Mason, Ohio, native is 13-0 at the No. 4 position and 7-1 vs. ranked competition. The senior co-captain’s 27 singles wins overall are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola‘s team-high 29 victories.
Allare Reaches Milestone
Senior co-captain Matt Allare reached the century-mark, winning his 100th career singles match March 21 at Pepperdine. Allare, ranked 43rd nationally, picked up the win by defeating Pepperdine’s Alfredo Moreno 6-3, 6-4.His career record is now 107-18, while his season mark stands at 27-3 and 18-1 in duals. Allare is a perfect 13-0 when playing the No. 4 position.
Allare, a Mason, Ohio, native was 25-5 last year, 31-5 his sophomore campaign and 24-5 during the 2007-08 season, his first as a Buckeyes for a total of 80 singles wins entering his final year as a Buckeye.
20 is the Magic Number
Three Buckeyes claimed their 20th singles win on the season vs. Iowa and Illinois, March 25 and 27, respectively. Chase Buchanan picked up his 20th victory after defeating Iowa’s Nikita Zotov 6-1, 6-1 and Illinois’ No. 7 Dennis Nevolo, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Buchanan is now 25-5 on his junior campaign.
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy downed Hawkeye Jonas Dierckx 6-0, 6-3 and Bruno Abdelnour 6-4, 6-4 of Illinois to improve to 20-3. McCarthy currently is 24-4 in singles.
Co-captain Balazs Novak needed only one win to join the pair in the 20-win column and it came against Stephen Hoh, who Novak defeated 6-2, 6-2. The Budapest, Hungary, native’s record currently stands at 23-5.
The trio joined teammates Blaz Rola and Matt Allare as Buckeyes to amass 20 victories in singles play so far on the season. Combined, the five Buckeyes stand are an impressive 128-22 (.855) on the year.
Success in Duals
Ohio State has been dominant so far throughout the 2011 dual schedule. In singles, the Buckeyes are a combined 121-19 (.879). Chase Buchanan leads the squad with 20 victories. Balazs Novak and Devin McCarthy have 19 apiece, while Matt Allare has 18. Freshman Blaz Rola is right behind with 16 dual wins.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 56-17 (.768). Novak leads the way with 17 doubles victories, while Allare, Rola and Buchanan each have earned 16 dual wins. Redshirt-freshman Peter Kobelt is one behind with 15 wins.
Seven Ranked in Latest Poll
Campbell/ITA College individual rankings were released April 12. Ohio State leads the nation with seven players ranked in the singles poll. No. 1 Virginia is second with six players ranked in the Top 125.
Buckeyes in ITA Rankings (April 12)
5 Blaz Rola
12 Chase Buchanan
43 Matt Allare
65 Devin McCarthy
67 Peter Kobelt
102 Balazs Novak
112 Ille Van Engelen
Big Ten Athletes of the Week
Two Buckeyes in Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola have been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week a total of four times this season. Buchanan has earned the distinction three times, including this past week and Feb. 8 and 22. Rola was honored March 22.
1,000 Program Victories
With a 7-0 shutout of Cleveland State Feb. 24, Ohio State captured the program’s 1,000th victory. The Buckeyes’ overall record currently stands at 1,011-694-10. Head coach Ty Tucker has 314 wins in his 12 years leading the Buckeyes and his predecessor John Daly earned 427 in his 28 years.
Dominant in Columbus
The Buckeyes have won a school-record 124 consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. Ohio State won the first 11 matches to begin the season at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, six coming against ranked teams. They have since won three straight contests at Stickney Tennis Center to move to 9-0 vs. ranked opponents. In the Big Ten, no other team in any sport has won as many consecutive contests at home than the Buckeyes. Ohio State was victorious in all 21 home matches last season, marking the seventh-consecutive year the team achieved perfection in Columbus. The home win streak began April 6, 2003 with a 5-2 triumph over Purdue.
100th Anniversary of Tennis
The opener against Butler and Xavier marked the 100th year of men’s tennis at Ohio State. The tennis program started in 1912 and after 99 complete seasons, the men’s tennis program has an overall record of 988-692-10 for a .585 winning percentage. Head coach Ty Tucker is the 11th coach in Ohio State men’s tennis history and with his winning percentage hovering around .850, he is the winningest coach in Buckeye tennis history. Ohio State currently has 1,011 victories in its long history.
Tucker Gets 300th Victory
The win against LSU Feb. 12 served as head coach Ty Tucker‘s 300th career victory. His overall career mark as the Buckeye leader now stands at 315-53. Tucker is now the second coach in Buckeye men’s tennis history to amass 300 wins. Tucker’s predecessor, John Daly, was 427-333 in 28 seasons from 1972-1999. Tucker has averaged 27 wins in 11 seasons and his current .856 active winning percentage is the highest in Ohio State history.
The Buckeyes will return home to conclude the regular season against Indiana at 4 p.m. April 22 and Purdue at noon April 24. The Easter Sunday contest against Purdue will also include Senior Day festivities.