COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team returns home after encountering its first road trip of the season, defeating No. 19 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Feb. 15 and advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinals in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 18-20. The Buckeyes will host in-state teams Cleveland State and Wright State in a doubleheader Thursday and No. 12 Louisville Sunday in hopes of extending their current 118-consecutive home match win streak. The team is currently 8-0 at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
The doubleheader begins noon Thursday vs. the Vikings; while the Raiders and Buckeyes will meet on the courts at 5 p.m. Ohio State and No. 12 Louisville will meet at noon Sunday. Admission is free.
The Buckeyes advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the second-consecutive year. Ohio State defeated No. 13 Texas Tech and No. 5 Texas, both by 4-1 scores, in the first round and quarterfinals, respectively, advancing to play No. 1 Virginia.. The Cavaliers beat the Buckeyes, 4-1, in a highly-contested dual.
Scouting the Vikings
Cleveland State enters the doubleheader with an overall mark of 4-3 on the season. Before losing at No. 12 Kentucky, 6-1, the Vikings had reeled off four-consecutive wins. They downed IPFW, 7-0; Niagra, 6-1; St. Bonaventure, 4-3, and Xavier, 5-2. CSU was defeated by two Michgan schools in its first two matches of the year. Western Michigan shut out the Vikings, 7-0, and Michigan State came away with a 6-1 win in East Lansing.
Buckeyes vs. Cleveland State
Ohio State stands at an undefeated 6-0 all-time vs. the Vikings. Under head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes are 5-0 without giving up a single point. Last season Ohio State won 4-0 with No. 26 Justin Kronauge, Steven Williams and Shuhei Uzawa all earning singles points for the team. In doubles action Matt Allare and Uzawa, as well as Kronauge and Mike O’Connell garnered the doubles point with two 8-0 shutouts.
Wright State comes to Columbus with a 6-2 record overall. They are coming off a sweep this past weekend vs. Ohio Dominican and Robert Morris. They have won four contests in a row. Earlier in the year they shut out SIU-Edwardsville, UNOH and Wittenberg. They also handed IPFW a 6-1 setback. Both losses came to teams on the Buckeyes schedule. Michigan State and Toledo were victorious by a 6-1 count vs. the Raiders on their respective home courts.
Buckeyes vs. Wright State
Ohio State is 6-0 all-time vs. Wright State, with wins in each of the past five seasons. All matches have also been played with Ty Tucker as head coach of the Buckeyes. In 2009-10, No. 3 Ohio State shut out the Raiders, 7-0, to move to 10-1 on the year. Dino Marcan paced the Buckeyes with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) win over Nick Camilleri. No. 43 Justin Kronauge also defeated Tore Waldhausen in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 to earn the match-clinching point at No. 2. Current Buckeyes Shuhei Uzawa, Balazs Novak, Devin McCarthy and Steven Williams also all picked up singles victories to claim the shutout. The Raiders have never scored a point against Ohio State.
Ohio State vs. Horizon League
The Buckeyes enter the doubleheader Thursday undefeated vs. Horizon League opponents all-time with a mark of 30-0. Ohio State shut out Butler in the season opener to move to 12-0 vs. the Bulldogs. The Scarlet and Gray stand 6-0 against Detroit and 1-0 vs. Youngstown State in addition to 6-0 and 5-0 marks vs. Cleveland State and Wright State, respectively.
Louisville visits the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center with an overall record of 8-3. They are coming off two losses at the ITA National Indoor Team Championship in Seattle, Wash. No. 6 UCLA defeated the Cardinals in the first round and No. 14 Georgia also dealt Louisville a 4-1 setback. The Cardinals have shut out six opponents on the year. The list includes Old Dominion, NC State, ETSU, Columbia, Murray State and Morehead State. They also have defeated No. 18 Ole Miss, 4-2, and Oklahoma, 4-3. Their lone non-tournament setback came while visiting Tennessee, as the Volunteers handed Louisville a 7-0 loss.
Buckeyes vs. Louisville
Ohio State has an impressive 8-1 record all-time vs. the Cardinals. Head coach Ty Tucker has never lost to Louisville, going 3-0 while leading the Buckeyes. Louisville and Ohio State met last season for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Buckeyes came out on top, 5-2. Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge claimed the match for the Buckeyes with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Simon Childs at No. 2. Current Buckeyes Chase Buchanan, Shuhei Uzawa and Matt Allare all helped earn singles points on the path to victory. Ohio State won, 4-0, in 2000-01 and, 4-1, the following year.
Ohio State vs. Big East
Ohio State enters the contest today with an overall record of 92-45 against teams hailing from the Big East conference. The Buckeyes have faced Notre Dame the most of any of the nine Big East teams that they have met on the courts. The Fighting Irish hold a 25-26 advantage over Ohio State. But the Buckeyes have winning marks against the remaining eight teams. They are 29-10 vs. Cincinnati; 5-0 vs. DePaul; 8-1 vs. Louisville; 1-0 vs. Marquette; 10-1 vs. Pittsburgh; 1-2 vs. South Florida and 13-5 vs. West Virginia.
One Shy of 1,000
With a victory Thursday, Ohio State will capture its 1,000th victory in program history. Entering the doubleheader they currently stand at 999-693-1. Head coach Ty Tucker has 303 wins in his 12 years tutoring the Buckeyes and his predecessor John Daly earned 427 in his 28 years as mentor.
Dominant in Columbus
The Buckeyes have won a school-record 118-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. They have won the first eight matches to begin the season at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center; four 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 years, 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. With 999 wins so far, Ohio State is one wins from reaching 1,000 victories in its long history.
Chase Buchanan Nabs Second Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honor of the Year
For the second time this season, junior Chase Buchanan was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week the conference announced Tuesday. Buchanan (15-4) won four matches last week in 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. 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 303-52. 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. 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
Senior 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’ 11-1 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 16 victories against three losses, including a 7-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak, who hails from Budapest, Hungary, is currently on an 11-match win streak. Novak is 15-2 overall and boasts an 11-0 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 4-3 overall, but has only seen action in one dual meet 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 40-4 combined career Big Ten singles record.
Rola Rolls to 20 Wins
Freshman Blaz Rola, the fifth-ranked singles player nationally, was the first Buckeye to achieve 20 victories on the season. His record stands at 22-3 overall with an impressive 9-1 mark in dual action. He is 4-1 while playing at No. 1 and 5-0 at No. 2. On the year, he has faced a ranked opponent 12 times, winning nine.
Four Buckeyes are entering the contest Thursday boasting at least four-match win streaks. Senior Balazs Novak leads all Buckeyes with a current 11-match win streak on the season for an overall mark of 15-2. Novak won two matches Feb. 18 and 19 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, downing Raphael Pfister of No. 14 Texas Tech 6-2, 6-0 and besting No. 5 Texas’ Daniel Whitehead 6-4, 6-3. Novak is 7-0 when playing at the No. 5 position.
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy carries a win streak of nine into the match, while redshirt-freshman Nelson Vick enters the doubleheader with 20 wins. McCarthy 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 to keep his streak alive and move to 14-2 overall and 9-0 in dual single action. Vick’s mark of 10-straight wins pushes his season record to 14-3.
Freshman Blaz Rola owned a win in nine straight contests before falling to No. 15 Michael Shabaz of No. 1 Virginia Feb. 20. Rola is 22-3 overall.
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 7-3 in singles and 1-1 in doubles on the season.
Buckeyes Ranked in the Polls
New Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Feb. 14. Ohio State has played eight matches since the initial Jan. 4 release and the Scarlet and Gray’s hard work certainly was rewarded as seven different Buckeyes are ranked.
Junior Chase Buchanan, who was ranked 63rd in the inaugural standings, jumped 42 places to No. 21. Freshman Blaz Rola moved two spots to No. 5 after he was initially ranked seventh Jan. 4. Classmate Ille Van Engelen entered the rankings at No. 103 after joining the team just a month ago. Rounding out the rest of the rankings are senior Matt Allare (45), redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy (55) and redshirt-freshmen Peter Kobelt (86) and Nelson Vick (111).
In the doubles poll, Rola and Buchanan remain No. 6 in the nation. Allare and Kobelt moved up nine places to No. 10, while Balazs Novak and McCarthy pair up to form the No. 66 team in the country.
The Buckeyes will kick-off their Big Ten season at 1:30 p.m. March 4th as they travel to State College, Pa., to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.