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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team returns to the road after winning itsfirst Big Ten contest of the season March 4 at Penn State, 7-0. The Buckeyes (15-1, 1-0) will travel to College Station, Texas, Thursday to face the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies (11-3, 0-0). The match is the second of seven consecutive road contests for Ohio State. Including the match vs. the Aggies, the next six opponents are all ranked in the ITA polls.  

The Buckeyes are 55-2 when they are the No. 3 ranked team in the country.

Fans can follow the action with live updates at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. To access the updates, select the schedule tab from the men’s tennis homepage.

Revisiting Penn State
The Buckeyes extended their road win streak to 49 matches with a 7-0 shutout at Penn State March 4. The win moved Ohio State to 2-0 on the road this season and extended its Big Ten win streak to 67 matches. Freshman Ille Van Engelen nabbed his 10th-career win, handing Bryan Welnetz a 6-2, 6-3 loss at No. 3 to net the victory for the Buckeyes. Chase Buchanan defeated Eddie Bourchier 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 to improve to 17-4 overall and 12-1 in dual action. Buchanan, the 14th-ranked player in the country, is an undefeated 7-0 when playing at the No. 1 spot.

In other singles action, Blaz Rola defeated Jason Lee 6-3, 6-2 for his team-high 24th win. Rola, the nation’s fourth-ranked player, moves to 7-0 at No. 2. Classmate, Nelson Vick, captured his 13th win in a row. Vick beat Guanhua Chen 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 to improve to 7-0 in spring play and 13-3 overall in his rookie campaign.

In doubles action, freshman Blaz Rola and senior Balazs Novak teamed up for the first time this season and  the decision proved successful as the Buckeye duo won, 8-3, over Welnetz and Chris Hasyn at No. 2.

At No. 1, the 12th-ranked team of senior Matt Allare and freshman Peter Kobelt defeated Bourchier and Russell Bader, 8-5, to earn the doubles point for the Scarlet and Gray. Allare and Kobelt moved to 14-4 as a team, including a 5-1 mark at when competing at the No. 1 position.

Scouting the Aggies
Texas A&M enters the contest with an impressive 11-3 overall record. The Aggies have yet to play a Big 12 opponent. Texas A&M started the season winning four of its five contests, with the only loss occurring at No. 5 Texas. At the ITA National Team Indoors Championship in Seattle, Wash., the team fell, 4-1m to No. 4 Illinois and, 4-2, to Washington. The Aggies bounced back with a 4-2 victory over rival No. 19 Texas Tech. Including the win vs. the Red Raiders, Texas A&M has reeled off five wins in a row. The last four have come against No.68 TCU, No.53 LSU, No.24 Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

Buckeyes vs. Texas A&M
Ohio State is 2-2 all-time vs. the Aggies, with both wins happening under head coach Ty Tucker.

Last season No. 3 Ohio State defeated Texas A&M, 4-3, for the third-consecutive year. No. 23 Chase Buchanan downed No. 16 Austin Krajicek 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 1. No. 30 Justin Kronauge beat Alexis Klegou 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to claim the victory for the Scarlet and Gray.

Ohio State vs. the Big 12
The Buckeyes travel to College Station with a 9-4 record all-time vs. teams hailing from the Big 12. Ohio State has played one Big 12 opponent since their meeting last year vs. the Aggies, defeating No.14 Texas Tech, 4-1, during the ITA National Team Indoor Championship event in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 18-21.

Big Ten Best
Ohio State currently is on a 67 match win streak in the Big Ten after the victory over Penn State last week. Entering the season, the Buckeyes have amassed five-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. Coach Tucker has also 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 67 consecutive match win streak in conference play, the Buckeyes also have been a winner in 119 of its last 124 league contests, including postseason play.

Looking for Road Win No. 50
After defeating No. 19 North Carolina earlier this season, 6-1, and Penn State last week, Ohio State enters the match vs. Texas A&M this weekend on a 49 consecutive regular season (non-tournament) road win streak. The last road loss for the Buckeyes occurred at Notre Dame during the 2005-06 season where they fell to the Fighting Irish, 5-2.

Success in Duals
Ohio State has been dominant so far throughout the 2011 schedule in dual action. In singles, the Buckeyes are a combined 81-8 (.910). Senior Balazs Novak paces the squad with 14 victories. Chase Buchanan and Devin McCarthy each have 12, while freshman Blaz Roala has 11.

In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 35-11 (.760). Senior Matt Allare leads the way with a 10-4 mark, while Novak and McCarthy are right behind at 10-3 and 11-3, respectively.

Last season, Ohio State finished with a combined dual-record of 160-32 (.833) in singles and was 85-20 (.810) in doubles.

Eight Buckeyes Ranked in Latest Poll
New Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Tuesday March 1.

Senior co-captain Balazs Novak marked the biggest improvement of any Buckeye, entering the rankings for the first time this season at No. 76, partly because of his then 13-match win streak.

Junior Chase Buchanan, who was ranked 21st in the Feb. 14 standings and 63rd in the inaugural standings, jumped seven places to No. 14. Freshman Blaz Rola moved up one spot to No. 4 after he was initially ranked seventh Jan. 4. Senior Matt Allare jumped six spots to No. 39, while redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy is 46th, improving nine places.

A trio of freshmen round out the rankings for the Scarlet and Gray. Peter Kobelt had a large gain, jumping 23 spots from 86th to 63rd. Nelson Vick broke the century barrier moving to No. 95, while Ille Van Engelen sits at No. 112.

In the doubles poll, the teams of Rola-Buchanan and Allare-Kobelt each dropped two spots in the rankings. Rola and Buchanan fell to No. 8, while Allare and Kobelt now sit at No. 12. The duo of Novak and McCarthy form the No. 76th team in the March 1 release.     

McCarthy, Novak Earn All-ITA Indoor Team Honors
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy and senior Balazs Novak were each named to the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships All-Tournament Team. McCarthy was selected at No. 5 and Novak at No. 6 for their outstanding play.

McCarthy reeled off wins in two of the first three rounds of the tournament. 

He defeated No. 14 Texas Tech’s Gabriel Wanderley 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and upset No. 23 Drew Courtney of No. 1 Virginia 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals, earning the only Buckeye point vs. the Cavaliers. The match vs. No. 93 Vasko Mladenov of No. 5 Texas went unfinished in the quarterfinals.

At No. 6, Novak earned wins in his first two matches of the tournament. The senior co-captain handed Texas Tech’s Raphael Pfister a 6-2, 6-0 setback, while also downing Daniel Whitehead of Texas 6-4, 6-3. Novak’s match vs. Justin Shane of Virginia was unfinished.

Virginia players were selected for the No. 1 through No. 4 positions.

1,000 Program Victories
With a 7-0 shutout of Cleveland State Feb. 24, Ohio State captured the program’s 1,000th victory. Entering play vs. the Aggies, the overall record currently stands at 1,003-693-10. Head coach Ty Tucker has 306 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 121 consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. They won the first 11 matches to begin the season at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, five coming against ranked teams. 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 1,003 victories in its long history.

Streaking Buckeyes
Four Buckeyes enter the contest Thursday boasting at least seven-match win streaks. Senior Balazs Novak leads all Buckeyes with a 14-match win streak on the season for an overall mark of 18-2. Novak defeated Penn State’s Russell Bader 6-0, 6-2 March 4.

Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy carries a win streak of 12 into the match, while redshirt-freshman Nelson Vick enters the road contest with 13 consecutive wins. McCarthy downed Chris Young of Penn State 6-2, 6-0 to move to 17-2 overall and 12-0 in dual single action. McCarthy previously defeated Gabriel Wanderley of No. 14 Texas Tech 6-3, 6-4 and No. 23 Drew Courtney of No. 1 Virginia 6-4, 7-5 in the ITA semifinals.  Vick’s mark of 13-straight wins pushes his season record to 17-3.

Senior Matt Allare owns a win in seven straight contests including a win at No. 1 vs. Robert Fox of Cleveland State 6-4, 6-3.

Chase Buchanan Nabs Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honors
For the second time this season, junior Chase Buchanan was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week the conference announced Feb. 21. Buchanan (17-4) won four matches during the span, including wins against No. 24 North Carolina and No. 5 Texas.

The Gahanna, Ohio, native first paired with freshman Blaz Rola to form the sixth-ranked team in the nation and defeated No. 44 Stefan Hardy and Zach Hunter of North Carolina, 8-5, Feb. 15 in Chapel Hill. Buchanan, who jumped 42 places to No. 21 in the ITA polls Feb. 18, then downed No. 30 Jose Hernandez 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to fuel the Buckeyes’ 6-1 win over the Tar Heels.

Buchanan added to his wins total at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 18-20 in Seattle, Wash. Paired with Rola, the tandem beat Texas’ No. 2 Ed Corrie and Jean Anderson, 8-5. Buchanan then followed with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Anderson to help the Scarlet and Gray prevail, 4-1, vs. the Longhorns. 

It is the eighth such honor of Buchanan’s career. He also won the award Feb. 8 after leading the Buckeyes to wins against No. 18 Mississippi and No. 11 Georgia Feb. 4 and 6, respectively.

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 307-52. 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 26.5 wins in 11 seasons and his current .855 active winning percentage is the highest in Ohio State history.

Since his inaugural season in 1999-00, Tucker has guided Ohio State to five regular-season Big Ten Conference titles and six league tournament championships, including five-consecutive from 2006-10. Tucker’s teams have never finished below fourth in the conference regular-season standings. In fact, after tying for fourth in 2000, Tucker and the Buckeyes finished second from 2001-2005 before winning the conference the last five seasons. Since that 2000 campaign, the Scarlet and Gray have won at least 20 matches each season and at least 30 the past three campaigns.

In NCAA action, Tucker and the Buckeyes have compiled a 25-11 record, advancing to the program’s first NCAA championship final in 2009 in College Station, Texas. Tucker led Ohio State as far as the quarterfinals last season and also in 2004, ’06, ’07 and ’08. Tucker also has coached eight different singles players and seven doubles tandems in 10 NCAA championships. 

Allare, Novak, Uzawa Named 2011 Team Captains
Seniors Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa were named 2011 team captains head coach Ty Tucker announced.

The trio has been instrumental in the Buckeyes’ 15-1 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 19 victories against three losses, including a 10-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak, who hails from Budapest, Hungary, is currently on a 14-match win streak. Novak is 18-2 overall and boasts a 14-0 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 4-4 overall, but has only seen action in two dual meets so far as the rest of his victories came during fall tournament play.

Prior to this season, the three seniors won a combined 244 singles matches. In 2010, each player claimed at least 20 wins. Allare was 25-5 overall in singles and 23-13 in doubles last season.

When paired with Uzawa in doubles last year, the duo went 22-13 overall, which was tied for the team lead.

Novak picked up where he left off the previous two seasons in 2008 and 2009, going 37-7 in singles and 37-3 in doubles, both team highs in 2010. During the season, Novak was an important contributor in the singles lineup with a combined 31-4 record at the Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions.

Uzawa put together a good 2010 season. He was 20-16 in singles and 25-13 overall in doubles. In singles, Uzawa was perfect at No. 3 with a 4-0 mark and was 22-13 in doubles play when paired with Allare.

The trio also has been successful in the Big Ten, earning a 41-4 combined career Big Ten singles record.

Rola Rolls to 20 Wins
Freshman Blaz Rola, the fourth-ranked singles player nationally, was the first Buckeye to achieve 20 victories on the season. His record stands at 24-3 overall with an impressive 10-1 mark in dual action. He is 4-1 while playing at No. 1 and 7-0 at No. 2. On the year, he has faced a ranked opponent 13 times, winning 10.

Freshman First
Freshman Ille Van Engelen recorded his first collegiate singles victory against Chris Herron from Butler 6-2, 6-3 Jan. 26. Van Engelen, a native of the Netherlands, also collected his first doubles win as a Buckeye. Partnering with fellow freshman Blaz Rola, the duo defeated the Bulldog team of Brandon Bayliss and Lenz Theodor, 8-4. Van Engelen is 10-4 in singles and 3-1 in doubles on the season.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will take a week off for finals before heading west to Malibu, Calif., March 21 to take on the No. 15 Pepperdine Waves. Ohio State holds a 4-1 advantage all-time vs. Blue and Orange.