COLUMBUS, Ohio – A two-hour rain delay pushed the start of the match between the No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team vs. No. 11 Pepperdine to a 6 p.m. ET start, but the Buckeyes maintained focus and downed the Waves, 6-1, at the Ralph-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif. The match was the third of seven consecutive road contests for the Buckeyes in addition to being the first match back for the team after they enjoyed an 11-day break for following Winter Quarter Finals.
The match vs. Pepperdine, who entered the contest on a three-match win streak, was one of the tightest of the year. There were three third-set tiebreakers and four singles matches that took three sets to complete.
Junior Chase Buchanan defeated Finn Tearney at No. 1 7-5, 6-4 for his 60th career win to clinch the victory for the Buckeyes. Buchanan is 18-5 on the year, including marks of 13-2 in duals and 8-0 at the No. 1 position.
Ohio State (16-2, 1-0) moves to 3-1 on the road this season.
The victory improves the Scarlet and Gray’s record to 5-1 vs. Pepperdine (13-4, 0-0). Head coach Ty Tucker is an undefeated 5-0 vs. the Waves in his career. The win was the fourth-consecutive season the reigning five-time Big Ten champions have defeated the WCC powerhouse.
As the No. 4 ranked team, the Buckeyes improve to 24-4 all-time. Against ITA Top 75 teams this season, Ohio State now stands at an impressive 10-2. They are 6-2 vs. Top 25 teams, with their only two losses vs. No. 2 Virginia and No. 7 Texas A&M. The Scarlet and Gray is 6-1 vs. the No. 11 ranked team in the nation.
In doubles play, Buckeyes senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa and Buchanan paired up for the first time this season and quickly gave the Buckeyes an early doubles advantage by shutting out Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner, 8-0, at No. 2.
Ohio State headed into singles action up 1-0 after freshman Blaz Rola and senior co-captain Balazs Novak clinched the doubles point after marching to an 8-4 triumph at No. 3 vs. Hugh Clarke and Alfredo Moreno. Novak and Rola are 2-0 this season as a tandem.
In a competitive match, senior co-captain Matt Allare and freshman Peter Kobelt, the nation’s 14th-ranked duo, finished doubles action by downing Tearney and Alex Llompart, 8-6. Allare and Kobelt move to 8-4 at No. 1 and 15-5 overall.
The Buckeyes are 64-21 in doubles competition on the season.
In singles action, Allare built the Buckeye lead to 2-0 with a straight set 6-3, 6-4 win vs. Moreno at No. 4. With the victory, Allare, ranked 43rd nationally, picked up his 100th career singles win. His career record is now 100-18, while his season mark stands at 20-3 and 11-1 in duals. Allare is 8-0 when playing the No. 4 position.
Novak came back to down Pepperdine’s Mousheg Hovhannisyan 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 to move to 19-3 on the year. Novak is 8-0 at the No. 5 position.
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy moved to 36-5 in his Buckeye career and 5-0 at the No. 6 spot on the season after handing David Sofaer a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 setback. McCarthy, ranked 46th in the nation, improves to 18-3 overall and 13-1 in dual action on the 2010-11 campaign.
In other singles play, freshman Ille Van Engelen lost a tight contest 1-6, 7-5, 6-7 to No. 66 Llompart. Rola, the fifth-ranked singles player in the country, finished the night with a hard-fought win vs. Fanselow, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Ohio State will continue its current series of road contests in Big Ten play at No. 74 Iowa at 3 p.m. ET March 25. The Buckeyes hold a 31-21 all-time advantage in the series, including wins in the last 11 meetings.
Tennis Match Results
No. 4 Ohio State 6, No. 11 Pepperdine 1
Mar 21, 2011 at Malibu, Calif.
(Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)
1. #19 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. #49 Finn Tearney (PEP) 7-5, 6-4
2. #4 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. #17 Sebastian Fanselow (PEP) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2)
3. #66 Alex Llompart (PEP) def. Ille Van Engelen (OSU) 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4)
4. #43 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Alfredo Moreno (PEP) 6-3, 6-4, 3-3
5. #116 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEP) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. #46 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. David Sofaer (PEP) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
1. #14 Matt Allare/Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. Finn Tearney/Alex Llompart (PEP) 8-6
2. Chase Buchanan/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Sebastian Fanselow/Jenson Turner (PEP) 8-0
3. Balazs Novak/Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Hugh Clarke/Alfredo Moreno (PEP) 8-4
Ohio State 16-2; National ranking #4
Pepperdine 14-4; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,5,1,6,3,2)