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Jan. 22, 2016

RELATED INFO

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Ohio State will host the ITA Kickoff Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Buckeyes welcome Wichita State, South Carolina and Denver to the Varsity Tennis Center with the eventual champion moving on the ITA National Indoor Team Championship next month.
  • The first two matches will take place on Saturday with the consolation and qualifying match taking place on Sunday.
  • Ohio State will then welcome in-state rival Toledo to town for a 5:30 p.m. match Sunday evening.
  • The match against Toledo is Kids Day at the VTC with free pizza for all kids 10 and under

ABOUT THE KICK-OFF

  • Sixty teams will be competing across the country in an attempt to qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, to be hosted by Virginia Feb. 11-14 in Charlottesville.
  • The 15 universities hosting ITA Kick-Off Weekend events, including Ohio State, were designated as host sites in order of their year-end 2015 ITA team rankings.
  • Three visiting schools will travel to each host site for a four-team tournament with the host school facing the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed playing the No. 3 seed.
  • The winners will come back the following day to play for a berth at the 2015 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

ITA KICK-OFF SCHEDULE

Sat. Jan. 23

10 a.m. — No. 1 Ohio State vs. No.  4 Wichita State

2 p.m. — No. 2 South Carolina vs. No. 3 Denver

Sun. Jan. 24

10 a.m. — Consolation match

1 p.m. — Qualifying match

Buckeyes In A Nutshell

  • The Buckeyes opened the 2016 season with three 4-0 sweeps of Dayton, Butler and Xavier last Wednesday.
  • Ohio State is ranked 9th in the latest ITA Poll and four players are ranked in the top-25 of the singles rankings.
  • Mikael Torpegaard is ranked No. 7 and Hugo Di Feo is ranked No. 10, making Ohio State the only program in the country with two players in the top-10.
  • Chris Diaz is ranked No. 19 and Herkko Pollanen checks in at No. 25.
  • The Buckeyes also have a pair of doubles teams ranked in the top-25 as Steinbach/Joyce are No. 22 and Torpegaard and Pollanen are No. 24.
  • Individually, the Buckeyes had a solid fall. Four Buckeyes earned their way to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.
  • Hugo Di Feo advanced to the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships and Mikael Torpegaard went on to win the consolation draw at the same event.
  • Herkko Pollanen defeated teammate Chris Diaz in the finals of the Midwest Regional Championships, giving the Buckeyes a singles winner at the event in each of the last four years.

Wichita State Snapshot

  • Wichita State rolls to Columbus with a 3-0 mark.
  • The Shockers downed Seminole State, Cowley and McPherson in the fall.
  • This weekend will be the Shockers’ first team matches in 2016.
  • The doubles team of Miroslav Herzan and Haru Inoue picked up a pair of wins over ranked opponents and won the Midland Invitational in the fall. The duo is ranked No. 34 in the first doubles rankings and holds an 11-2 record on the year.
  • Eddie Stoica and Inoue both won six singles matches in the fall to top the team.

South Carolina Snapshot

  • South Carolina opened the year with a pair of victories over Presbyterian and Winthrop last Saturday.
  • The Gamecocks enter the weekend ranked No. 50 in the ITA Team poll
  • Sophomore Harrison O’Keefe is the top-ranked Gamecock at No. 65. He holds a record of 15-4 on the season.
  • Alex Fennell advanced to the round of 16 at the ITA Regional and is 13-3 on the year. He is ranked No 106.
  • Gabriel Friedrich and O’Keefe have the best doubles record of 5-2 on the year.
  • South Carolina had a record of 15-15 last season.

Denver Snapshot

  • Denver will be playing its first matches of 2016 this weekend.
  • Diogo Rocha is the only ranked Pioneer in the singles rankings at No. 45.
  • Henry Craig and Alex Gasson opened the preseason ranked No. 16 in the doubles rankings and are up to No. 11 to start the spring.
  • Both Rocha and the team of Craig and Gasson won title at the ITA Regional Championship.
  • In addition, Jesse Ruder-Hook fell in the consolation finals of the ITA Regional Champ.
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