COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team (19-2, 4-0 Big Ten) shut out Northwestern (9-8, 0-3 Big Ten), 7-0, Saturday at the Combe Indoor Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. The victory marked the 70th-consecutive Big Ten win for the visiting Buckeyes dating back to 2004.
Redshirt-freshman Nelson Vick clinched match point for the five-time defending Big Ten champions. He downed Chris Jackson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 to move to 8-1 in duals. Vick’s overall record is an impressive 18-4, with a 5-1 tally at the No. 6 position.
The match against the Wildcats served as the fifth of seven consecutive road contests for the Buckeyes (Penn State, Texas A&M, Pepperdine, Iowa, Illinois and Kentucky are the others). The Scarlet and Gray improve to 56-2 as the No. 3 ranked squad in the country. The Buckeyes are 6-1 on the road this season, having now won 53 out of their last 54 road contests, a streak that began in 2005-06.
With the win, Ohio State evened up the all-time series record, 43-43. Since 1999, under head coach Ty Tucker‘s direction, the Buckeyes have amassed a 14-1 record vs. Northwestern. Tucker’s only loss against the Wildcats occurred in 2004-05, when Ohio State fell 5-2. Since that setback, the Buckeyes have reeled off eight victories in a row vs. their Big Ten counterpart.
The Buckeyes swept all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead into singles competition. Senior co-captain Matt Allare and redshirt-freshman Peter Kobelt, the 13th-ranked duo nationally, won the first match of the day by defeating Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf at No. 1, 8-4. The pair moves to 9-2 at the No. 1 position and 18-5 overall.
Clinching the doubles point for Ohio State was junior Chase Buchanan and senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa. The Buckeye tandem moved to 4-1 on the season after downing Andrew McCarthy and Tobias Reitz, 8-5, at No. 2.
Blaz Rola and Balazs Novak finished doubles action by handing Northwestern’s Jackman and Raleigh Smith an 8-5 loss at No. 3. The duo moves to 5-0 on the season with all of their matches occurring at the No. 3 doubles position.
Ohio State moves to 72-22 (.766) in doubles contests in 2010-11.
Rola, a freshman from Ptuj, Slovenia, was the first Buckeye to complete singles action by defeating Graves in straight-sets 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1. Rola extends his win streak to five and his overall team-high win record to 28-3. He is 15-1 in dual play and now holds a 6-1 mark at the No. 1 position.
Allare gave Ohio State a 3-0 advantage by picking up his 11th singles win in a row. The co-captain downed Reitz 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 to improve his yearly mark to 24-3. He is now an unblemished 11-0 at the No. 4 position.
In other singles action, freshman Ille Van Engelen beat Northwestern’s McCarthy 7-5, 6-1 at No. 3. Van Engelen improved to 12-5 with the victory. Buchanan downed Wolf 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 for his 21st season win. Buchanan is 7-1 at No. 2 and 16-2 in dual play. Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy completed the shutout for Ohio State downing Smith 6-4, 6-4. McCarthy is 7-0 at No. 5 and 21-3 overall.
Up next, the Buckeyes will take a break from Big Ten action when they travel to Lexington, Ky., April 6 to take on No. 14 Kentucky. The match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex. Ohio State is 10-12 all-time vs. the Wildcats. Under Tucker’s guidance, the Buckeyes are a perfect 7-0 against Kentucky, including wins the last two seasons.
Men’s Tennis Results
No. 3 Ohio State 7, Northwestern 0
April 2, 2011 at Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
1. Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Joshua Graves (NU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. Spencer Wolf (NU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. Andrew McCarthy (NU) 7-5, 6-1
4. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Tobias Reitz (NU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Raleigh Smith (NU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Nelson Vick (OSU) def. Chris Jackman (NU) 6-1, 6-2
1. Peter Kobelt/Matt Allare (OSU) def. Joshua Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) 8-4
2. Chase Buchanan/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Andrew McCarthy/Tobias Reitz (NU) 8-5
3. Blaz Rola/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Chris Jackman/Raleigh Smith (NU) 8-5
Ohio State 18-2; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,4,6,3,2,5)