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COLUMBUS, Ohio – As the fourth-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team currently faces No. 19 North Carolina, the team found out its first-round opponent for the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship will be No. 13 Texas Tech. The Scarlet and Gray and Red Raiders will play at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, Wash. The entire tournament will run through Feb. 21 with the championship match slated to begin at noon.

First, Ohio State will not only seek to improve to 9-0 on the season as it faces the Tar Heels Tuesday, but it also will look to extend its road win streak to 48-consecutive matches. For live results, click HERE.

Historical Context
The Buckeyes’ appearance in the 2011 edition of the championships is their fifth-consecutive. Ohio State was the runner-up in 2007 and 2008 and advanced to the semifinals a year ago. In 2009, the Scarlet and Gray played its way into the quarterfinals. 

The ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship is the ITA’s longest running national championship, which dates back to 1973. Stanford has won the most titles with 12 and is followed by UCLA with seven. From 1990-2002, Stanford and UCLA claimed every ITA National Team Indoor title. The team that has reached the final has gone on to win the NCAA crown 15 times since 1973.

How Did They Get There?
As one of 16 host teams during the ITA Men’s Kick-Off Weekend, Ohio State defeated William & Mary (7-0) and UC Irvine (7-0) Jan. 29-30 at the Varsity Tennis Center. During the weekend, the Buckeyes were perfect in the singles lineup, going 12-0, while in doubles play, the Scarlet and Gray was 5-1. For complete stories on each match, click HERE.  

Tournament Central
The University of Washington is serving as hosts of the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. Live scores, as well as updated brackets and times, can be found by clicking HERE.

First-Round Matches (All times are pacific)
9 a.m.
No. 11 Louisville vs. No. 6 UCLA
No. 14 Georgia vs. No. 3 Tennessee

Noon
No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Stanford
No. 15 Duke vs. No. 2 USC

3:30 p.m.
No. 5 Texas vs No. 12 Kentucky
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 13 Texas Tech

6:30 p.m.
No. 8 Illinois vs. Texas A&M
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Washington

For a complete report on each team, click HERE.

Did You Know?
Five of the teams that qualified for the team indoor championship are on the 2011 Buckeye schedule. Ohio State already has faced Georgia and won, 6-1. The Scarlet and Gray will face Louisville Feb. 27 before traveling to Texas A&M March 10. Big Ten rival Illinois will host Ohio State March 27, while Kentucky will welcome the Buckeyes April 6.

Stat Tracker
Under head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State is 37-27 vs. teams competing in the 2011 edition of the indoor championships. The Buckeyes have met Illinois the most, compiling an 11-9 ledger under Tucker.

Ty Tucker’s record vs. teams in the 2011 Team Indoor Championship
No. 1 Virginia – 1-3
No. 2 USC – 1-2
No. 3 Tennessee – 3-3
No. 5 Texas – 0-3
No. 6 UCLA – 3-1
No. 7 Stanford – Never Met
No. 8 Illinois – 11-9
No. 9 Texas A&M – 3-0
No. 10 Florida – Never Met
No. 11 Louisville – 4-0
No. 12 Kentucky -7-0
No. 13 Texas Tech – Never Met
No. 14 Georgia – 2-5
No. 15 Duke – Never Met
No. 16 Washington – 2-1

Nice to Meet You
Ohio State and Texas Tech have never met under the Ty Tucker era. The only previous meeting between the two teams was during the 1988-89 season. The John Daly led Buckeyes defeated the Red Raiders, 5-4.

Reviewing the Red Raiders
Texas Tech is 6-1 overall with its lone loss coming at the hands of No. 8 Stanford (5-2). The Red Raiders, currently ranked 14th in the ITA national standings, have posted victories over Top 50 squads No. 19 California (4-1), No. 32 Fresno State (6-1), No. 45 LSU (4-0) and No. 50 San Diego State (7-0).

Pacing Texas Tech in singles action is a pair of Red Raiders in Gonzalo Escobar and Vitor Manzini. Both have 16 wins on the season.  With seven singles losses, Escobar is 4-2 at No. 1 singles, while Manzini, a loser of eight matches, is 3-2 at No. 4 singles. Raony Carvalho, who owns an 11-2 record, is currently on a 10-match win streak and owns a 7-0 mark at No. 2 singles.

In doubles, Escobar and Manzini have five wins on the season (four losses) and are 4-3 in dual play. The tandem’s four wins are from the No. 2 position.  

New Rankings
For the first time since Jan. 4 new Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Monday. Ohio State has played eight matches since the last release and the Scarlet and Gray’s hard work certainly were 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.