COLUMBUS, Ohio – From 2003 to 2015, Ohio State men’s tennis put together the most impressive home win streak in NCAA history, winning 200 consecutive matches. When the streak was ultimately stopped, the Buckeyes were unfazed. They picked right back up and started again.
Since March 7, 2015, Ohio State is undefeated at home, winning 92 consecutive matches over the last five years. No other team in any NCAA sport has enjoyed this much success and dominance at home, ever. The Buckeyes are a remarkable 292-1 since April of 2003.
Below are some of the notable numbers and moments over the past five years.
It’s All About The People
You win with people and this five-year run has been filled with great players and coaches. A total of 25 players contributed to the 92 wins including All-Americans Kevin Metka, Ralf Steinbach, Mikael Torpegaard, Herkko Pollanen, Hugo Di Feo, Martin Joyce and JJ Wolf. The coaching staff of Ty Tucker, Justin Kronauge and David Schilling has guided the team for each and every victory. Below is a full list of players:
|Justin Boulais||2020||John McNally||2018-20||Charles Shewalter||2015-17|
|Hunter Callahan||2015||Matt Mendez||2015-18||Ralf Steinbach||2015-16|
|Robert Cash||2020||JJ Mercer||2020||Joseph Thomas||2017-18|
|Chris Diaz||2015-16||Kevin Metka||2015||Mikael Torpegaard||2015-18|
|Hugo Di Feo||2015-17||Herkko Pollanen||2015-17||James Trotter||2019-20|
|Martin Joyce||2016-19||Riley Reist||2015-18||Hunter Tubert||2016-19|
|Cannon Kingsley||2020||Kyle Seelig||2016-20||Jacob Wareti||2017-20|
|Alex Kobelt||2015-19||Tim Seibert||2018-20||JJ Wolf||2017-19|
Big Ten Dominance
The Buckeyes have won the last 14 Big Ten regular season titles which includes five during this current five-year stretch. Ohio State has won 29 matches against Big Ten teams during the streak and has outscored its conference opponents by a 160-10 margin. The Buckeyes have only surrendered more than one point in a Big Ten match since the streak started and that was two points to Michigan State in the first match of the 92-match streak back in 2015.
Included in the Big Ten matches are two title clinching matches against Illinois in 2016 and Indiana in 2019. Against the Illini in 2016, the Buckeyes capped yet another 11-0 season with a 4-0 sweep. After winning the doubles point, Mikael Torpegaard rolled in straight sets over No. 13 Jared Hiltzik on court one and then junior Herkko Pollanen and senior Ralf Steinbach fittingly provided the clinching points.
Last year’s win over Indiana was another dominating 7-0 victory, clinching a fourth consecutive 11-0 Big Ten season. The Buckeyes dropped just five games in the three doubles matches and then rolled to five straight-set wins in singles to make the score 6-0. The final point came from another senior in Martin Joyce. After losing the first set, Joyce rallied to take the second 6-3 and then won the super-breaker in convincing 10-3 fashion.
Stingy With the Points
The Buckeyes obviously don’t give up wins at home very easily and that’s because they rarely even surrender any points. During the 92-match streak, Ohio State has outscored its opponents by a remarkable 447-30 margin.
Another impressive stat is that they have had 70 sweeps in the 92 wins.
Beating the Best
Ty Tucker and the Buckeyes don’t dodge any opponents and typically play one of the toughest schedules in the country each year. During the current 92-match streak, Ohio State has beaten some of the best teams in the country.
The Buckeyes have 37 wins over ranked opponents including 10 over top-10 teams and a pair of wins over No. 1 ranked teams.
Notable Numbers During the Streak
2 Wins over No. 1 ranked teams
10 Wins over top-10 ranked teams
10 ITA Kickoff Weekend victories
11 NCAA Tournament wins
29 Wins over Big Ten Teams
70 Sweeps of opponents
417 Point differential (447-30)
Notable Wins During the Streak
Defeating back-to-back No. 1 Teams
It would be hard to not start with beating a pair of No. 1 teams in an eight day span in February of 2020. The Buckeyes topped No. 1 Texas 4-1 on Feb. 1 and then bested No. 1 Southern Cal 4-2 on Feb. 9. The Trojans then go on to win the ITA Indoor Team National Championship a week later. Any win over No. 1 ranked teams are good but these two were big because it was the first time a No. 1 team came to Columbus since Oklahoma in 2015, which ended the previous 200 win streak.
Getting Revenge on Oklahoma
The Sooners came to Columbus in 2015 and walked away with a narrow 4-3 victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Varsity Tennis Center on March 6. That has been the lone loss for the Buckeyes at home in the last 293 matches.
Oklahoma returned to Columbus nearly two years later on March 5, 2017, and this time, it was the Buckeyes as the No. 1 ranked team. Ohio State got its revenge with a 4-0 sweep of the No. 4 Sooners, buoyed by singles wins from Mikael Torpegaard, Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce.
5-0 Blanking of No. 5 Southern Cal
Southern Cal made its first trip to Columbus on Feb. 12, 2019 and the Buckeyes welcomed them with a dominating 5-0 sweep. After winning the doubles point, Hunter Tubert and Alex Kobelt pushed the Buckeyes ahead 3-0 with wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. The clinching point came from John McNally, who rolled Jack Jaede 6-1, 6-3 on court three. That was quickly followed by another impressive performance from JJ Wolf with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 56 Brandon Holt.
Following the Tuesday night victory, the Buckeyes headed to Chicago the next morning for the ITA Indoor Team National Championship. The win over the Trojans helped propel Ohio State to its second indoor title the following weekend.
Taking Down TTUN in a Top-10 Showdown
Any win over Michigan is sweet but the 6-1 win over then No. 8 Michigan on March 25, 2018 was just a little sweeter as this was the highest ranked the Wolverines had been in a number of years. The Buckeyes raced to a dominating 5-0 lead in route to the 6-1 victory. The top showdown on court one was between No. 4 Mikael Torpegaard and No. 5 Alex Knight. Torpegaard had little resistance in his 6-2, 6-0 victory.
That win was one of now 28 consecutive wins for Ohio State over its rivals from up north.
4-1 Win Over Columbia in First Super Regional
The NCAA adjusted its championship format in 2019 and for the first time, a Super Regional Round would be hosted on campus sites. That gave the top-seeded Buckeyes another home match against No. 16 seed Columbia in the round of 16. Ohio State got wins at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles and then singles wins from Hunter Tubert, JJ Wolf and John McNally to send the Buckeyes to the Elite Eight in Orlando. That was also the final match for long time Columbia head coach and the 2019 National Coach of the Year, Bid Goswami