COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team will begin its April schedule at Northwestern at 1 p.m. ET Saturday in the Combe Indoor Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. The Buckeyes finished March with a 4-1 record, with all matches taking place on the road.
Ohio State (18-2, 3-0 Big Ten) is coming off consecutive wins against Big Ten opponents Iowa and Illinois this past week. The Scarlet and Gray will attempt to extend their Big Ten win streak to 70 matches vs. the Wildcats (9-7, 0-2). The match this weekend serves as the fifth of seven consecutive road contests for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have or will face eight teams ranked in the ITA Top 75 during the months of March and April (No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 13 Illinois, No. 62 Iowa, No. 14 Kentucky, No. 53 Michigan State, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Notre Dame). Ohio State is 12-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a perfect 6-0 mark in Columbus.
Additionally, the Scarlet and Gray are 55-2 as the No. 3 ranked team in the country, including a 4-0 mark this season.
Fans can follow the action vs. Northwestern with live updates at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. To access the updates, select the schedule tab from the men’s tennis homepage.
A Look Back
The Buckeyes finished March with a sweep of Big Ten teams, defeating No. 66 Iowa, 5-2, and shutting out No. 10 Illinois, 7-0, March 25 and 27, respectively. The two wins moved Ohio State to 3-0 in conference play and extended its Big Ten win streak to 69 in a row.
The Buckeyes improved to 32-21 all-time against the Hawkeyes. Head coach Ty Tucker has guided Ohio State to 13 consecutive victories against Iowa. Tucker has never lost to the Hawkeyes since he became Ohio State’s mentor in 1999.
Junior Chase Buchanan claimed the match-winning point at No. 2 singles against Nikita Zotov in straight-sets 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles action, Ohio State claimed the point after sweeping all three matches. Buchanan and senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa teamed up to win at No. 2 by defeating Austen Kauss and Jonas Dierckx, 8-1. Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt, the No. 14 ranked duo in the nation, clinched the doubles point for the Buckeyes, beating Marc Bruche and Will Vasos, 8-5, at the No. 1 spot.
Singles play began with Buckeyes winning the first four matches. Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy grabbed the first Ohio State win at No. 5 by downing Dierckx 6-0, 6-3. Freshman Blaz Rola gave Ohio State a 3-0 lead after finishing off Bruche 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1. Allare, a senior co-captain, captured Ohio State’s final point of the match, handing Kauss a 6-3, 6-4 straight-set defeat at No. 4 to earn his 101st career victory.
Against Big Ten rival Illinois, McCarthy handed Bruno Abdelnour a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at No. 6 singles to earn the match-clinching fourth point for the five-time defending Big Ten champions.
The Buckeyes improved to 38-54-1 all-time against the Illini. Since 2005, Ohio State has won 11 of 12 against Illinois, including the previous eight matchups. Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker improved his overall mark to 13-9 vs. the Illini.
Ohio State emerged with the doubles point despite the Illini claiming the first match of the afternoon at No. 2. Buchanan and Uzawa suffered their first doubles defeat of the season, falling to Stephen Hoh and Abe Souza, 8-3.
Allare and Kobelt would answer with an 8-5 win over Brian Alden and Johnny Hamui.
Senior co-captain Balazs Novak and Rola moved to 4-0 on the season as a team, defeating Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich, 8-3, at the No. 3 position to complete the Buckeye rally.
Singles competition began with No. 43 Allare giving the Buckeyes a 2-0 advantage after downing No. 64 Souza in straight-sets 6-3, 6-2. Novak captured a 6-2, 6-2 win over Hoh to give him his 20th singles triumph en route to moving to 10-0 at No. 5. Freshman Ille Van Engelen downed No. 78 Hamui in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 at No. 3.
Buchanan and Rola rounded out singles play with come-from-behind wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Buchanan, the 19th player nationally, upset No. 7 Nevolo 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 after losing the opening set. Rola also narrowly fell in the opening set, but came back to win 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 against Kalmanovich.
Scouting the Wildcats
Northwestern enters the contest with a 9-7 overall record and 0-2 mark in Big Ten play. Northwestern began the season winning its first four matches, but have lost three of its last four. The Wildcats fell in both of their Big Ten matches on the season at No. 22 Minnesota, 6-1, and at Wisconsin, 4-3. Wins for Northwestern include Ball State, Harvard, William & Mary, Northern Illinois, Western Illinois, Western Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast and UIC.
Buckeyes vs. Northwestern
Ohio State is 42-43 all-time vs. the Wildcats. Since head coach Ty Tucker began guiding the Buckeyes in 1999, the Scarlet and Gray are 13-1. Tucker’s only loss vs. the Wildcats occurred in the 2004-05 campaign, when the Buckeyes fell 5-2. Since that loss, Ohio State has reeled off seven consecutive victories.
Last season No. 4 Ohio State downed No. 57 Northwestern, 6-1, April 23, at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. It was the 11th consecutive win for the Buckeyes who moved to 19-1 on the year and 3-0 in conference action.
Junior Balazs Novak claimed the Buckeyes’ 28th victory of the season after defeating Andrew McCarthy, brother of sophomore Devin McCarthy, in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles. A native of Budapest, Hungary, Novak became the second Buckeye to hit the 30-win mark. It also marked the second straight year Novak had at least 30 singles wins in a season.
In doubles, the Buckeyes won their 19th-consecutive point with wins in each match. Juniors Shuhei Uzawaand Matt Allare finished first, winning, 8-1, over Tobias Reitz and Alex Sanborn at No. 2. The Buckeye tandem earned their team-high 19th win of the season. At No. 3, senior co-captain Justin Kronauge and Novak won their 15th-consecutive match to stay perfect on the year. The two downed Sidarth Balaji and McCarthy, 8-2. At the top of the lineup, 10th-ranked Dino Marcan and Chase Buchananwon, 8-7 (7-3), over No. 54 Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf. Marcan and Buchanan improved to 15-1 on the season, having claimed 14 straight victories.
In singles, Allare finished first in the second part of competition at No. 6. He defeated Chris Jackman 6-2, 6-1 to claim his 13th-consecutive win. Allare moved to 19-2 in dual play during the season. At No. 3, No. 40 Kronauge won his 142nd career match, posting a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Spencer Wolf. Tenth-ranked Buchanan continued his dominance at the top of the lineup with his 14th victory over a nationally-ranked opponent. Buchanan won 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) against No. 91 Graves to improve to 20-1 at No. 1 and 25-4 overall.
Big Ten Best
Ohio State has won 69 consecutive matches in the Big Ten after victories at Iowa and Illinois, March 25 and 27, respectively. 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 conference win streak, the Buckeyes also have won 121 of their last 126 league contests, including postseason play.
Big Ten Rankings
Eight of the 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Polls announced March 29.
3 Ohio State
53 Michigan State
After defeating No. 10 Illinois,7-0, No. 66 Iowa, 5-2, No. 11 Pepperdine, 6-1, Penn State, 7-0, and No. 19 North Carolina, 6-1, earlier this season, Ohio State enters the match at Northwestern with 52 wins out of its last 53 regular-season (non-tournament) road contests. The loss at Texas A&M March 10 was the first road loss for the Buckeyes since falling at Notre Dame, 5-2, during the 2005-06 season.
Rola Captures First-Career Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honor
Freshman Blaz Rola earned his first Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor March 22 after leading the fourth-ranked Buckeyes to a 6-1 victory against the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves March 21. The fifth-ranked singles player in the country, Rola picked up a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) win over 17th-ranked Sebastian Fanselow at No. 2 singles to improve to 25-3 in singles play this season. Teaming with senior co-caption Balazs Novak, the duo defeated Hugh Clarke and Alfredo Moreno at No. 3 doubles, helping Ohio State clinch the doubles point with an 8-4 victory.
A Ptuj, Slovenia, native, Rola leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 27 and is tied with two teammates for dual doubles wins with 13. Rola entered the season as the No. 2 rated freshman by the ITA and has been a constant in the Top 5 of the singles rankings this season. He, alongside junior Chase Buchanan form the ninth-ranked tandem in the nation.
It is the third time this season a Buckeye has captured the Big Ten Player of the Week award. Buchanan has the other two, earning the recognition Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, respectively.
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 102-18, while his season mark stands at 22-3 and 13-1 in duals. Allare is 10-0 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. Chase Buchanan is now 20-5 after defeating Iowa’s Nikita Zotov 6-1, 6-1 and Illinois’ No. 7 Dennis Nevolo, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
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. 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 20-4.
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 at an impressive 109-18 (.858) 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 96-14 (.872). Senior Balazs Novak paces the squad with 16 victories. Chase Buchanan and Devin McCarthy each have 15, while freshman Blaz Rola has 14. Senior Matt Allare is right behind with 13 dual wins.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 44-14 (.759). Novak and Rola each lead the way with a 13-4 mark, while Allare is 13-5. Peter Kobelt has 12 doubles wins while Buchanan and McCarthy are right behind with 11 doubles victories each.
Seven Ranked in Latest Poll
New Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Tuesday March 29. 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.
Junior Chase Buchanan remains in the Top 20, moving up five positions to No. 14. Buchanan was ranked 19th in the March 15 standings and 63rd in the inaugural poll. Freshman Blaz Rola improved two spots to No. 3. Senior Matt Allare moved to No. 41 after being ranked No. 43 in the previous poll, while redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy dropped to 53rd.
Rounding out the rankings for the Scarlet and Gray are freshman Peter Kobelt, who dropped three spots to 66th, senior co-captain Balazs Novak at No. 98 and freshman Nelson Vick who sits at No. 102.
In the doubles poll, the team of Rola and Buchanan remained at No. 9, while Allare and Kobelt improved one spot to No. 13.
Buckeyes in ITA Rankings (March 29)
3 Blaz Rola
14 Chase Buchanan
41 Matt Allare
53 Devin McCarthy
66 Peter Kobelt
98 Balazs Novak
103 Nelson Vick
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 Wildcats, the overall record currently stands at 1,006-694-10. Head coach Ty Tuckerhas 310 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. Ohio State won the first 11 matches to begin the season at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, six 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 1,006 victories in its long history.
McCarthy, Novak Earn All-ITA Indoor Team Honors
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy and senior Balazs Novak were named to the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship 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.
Buckeye Matt Allare enters the conference contest this weekend on a 10-match win streak. Allare is 22-3 overall with a 13-1 mark in duals. The Mason, Ohio, native is undefeated at 10-0 at the No. 4 position and 7-1 vs. ranked competition. The senior co-captain’s 22 singles wins overall are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola’s team-high 27 victories. Rola has the second longest streak on the team with five wins in a row.
Vick paces all Buckeyes with 13-consecutive wins. He stands at 10-3 in duals with a 17-3 overall mark during his rookie campaign.
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 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 310-53. 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.
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’ 16-2 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 20 victories against three losses, including an 11-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak is 19-3 overall and boasts a 15-1 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 4-4 overall in singles and 10-2 this year in doubles play.
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 11-5 in singles and 3-1 in doubles on the season.
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 head coach Ty Tucker’s guidance, the Buckeyes are a perfect 7-0 against Kentucky, including wins the last two seasons.