COLUMBUS, Ohio – After finishing the 2010 season fifth in the nation, the 100th year of Ohio State men’s tennis will begin with the team ranked No. 4 in the first Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings of 2011.
For the fifth consecutive season in 2010, head coach Ty Tucker guided the Buckeyes to a Big Ten regular season and tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA championships quarterfinals. Ohio State also recorded its third consecutive 35-plus win season and second best single-season winning percentage (.946).
A year ago, Ohio State recorded a combined Big Ten singles record of 58-2 and a total Big Ten doubles record of 18-8. The Buckeyes have won 66-consecutive matches against Big Ten opponents and has been a winner of 118 of its last 123 league contests, including postseason play. Of note also, is during the Scarlet and Gray’s conference championship run, they have amassed a 164-10 (.943) record against Big Ten opponents.
The tennis program started in 1912 and is the second oldest sport at Ohio State other than baseball. After 99 years, the men’s tennis program has an overall record of 988-692-10 for a .585 winning percentage.
Following an impressive fall campaign, freshman Blaz Rola was polled seventh by the ITA in the singles rankings. Rola, who is from Ptuj, Slovenia, debuted for the Buckeyes at the 2010 D’Novo/ITA All-American Championships. He paired with junior Chase Buchanan to advance to the doubles final where they lost a close 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 match to No. 3 Virginia duo Michael Shabaz and Drew Courtney.
Rola continued his notable run at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional championships nearly 10 days later as he captured the singles title. En route to the championship, Rola beat teammate and senior Matt Allare 7-5, 6-4.
To conclude the fall season, Rola won three-consecutive matches before falling to No. 6 Steve Johnson of USC in the semifinals of the National Indoor Intercollegiate championships.
Ohio State will begin the 2011 season Jan. 26 when it hosts Butler and Xavier at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The Buckeyes will play the Bulldogs at noon, before meeting the Musketeers at 6 p.m.