April 10, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team concludes its non-conference home schedule against No. 41 Tulsa at 6 p.m. Friday at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes (23-3, 8-0 Big Ten) will then travel to play No. 36 Purdue at Noon ET Sunday in West Lafayette, Ind.

• The Buckeyes remain at No. 1 in the latest ITA rankings released Tuesday.   
• The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 264-consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006)
• Since 1999, Ohio State is 407-51 (.890) when ranked in the ITA Top 25.
• Ohio State won its first national team indoor title Feb. 17 with a 4-1 win over USC in Houston, Texas.
• The Scarlet and Gray have won 186-consecutive home matches – the longest home win streak in NCAA history.
• Ohio State also has been victorious in 90-consecutive regular-season Big Ten matches, dating back to 2005.
• For the eighth-consecutive season, Ohio State was crowned the Big Ten regular-season champions and won the conference tournament title seven of the last eight seasons in 2013.
• With a 23-3 overall record, the Buckeyes own a 372-48 (.886) record as a Top 25 team since 2001.
• Redshirt junior Kevin Metka and classmate Hunter Callahan lead the Buckeyes with 25 singles wins each.  Senior Peter Kobeltfollows with 22 overall wins.
• In dual matches, Metka is 21-2, while Callahan is 21-3 followed by redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach, who is 20-3.
• Kobelt has the top dual record at No. 1 singles (15-4).
• In doubles, Kobelt and Metka are 27-6 overall with a 9-3 mark vs. nationally-ranked pairs.

Ohio State dropped its third match of the season last time out at No. 14 Kentucky, losing 4-1 to the Wildcats. The Buckeyes battled in a three and a half hour match and dropped a close doubles point that included two tiebreakers. The Wildcats (17-7) then held the momentum, claiming three singles matches to earn the victory at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan, ranked No. 109 in the nation, was the lone Buckeye to claim a point for Ohio State. Callahan won his 25th match of the season and 21st dual match, both tied to lead the team. 

The Golden Hurricane has posted an 8-11 record against ranked opponents as the last 15 matches the team has played has been against ranked opponents. Tulsa has two singles players ranked with No. 67 Japie De Klerk and No. 87 Clifford Marsland and two doubles teams ranked of No. 24 Marsland and Dylan McCloskey and No. 59 De Klerk and Alejandro Espejo. De Klerk has posted a 9-8 record in dual matches this season, Marsland and McCloskey have posted a 12-9 overall record this season, including a 10-8 record in dual matches at the No. 1 doubles position.

Ohio State is 2-0 all-time against the Golden Hurricane with the last meeting in 2011. Last time out, the Buckeyes tallied a 4-0 shutout in the NCAA Round of 16 vs. Tulsa in Stanford, Calif. Senior Peter Kobelt was a part of the NCAA win, pairing up with former Buckeye Matt Allare at No. 1 doubles. In the first meeting, Ohio State posted a 7-0 shutout win during the ITA Kickoff Qualifier Championship in Columbus during the 2010 campaign.

At 12-3 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten, Purdue currently sits in third place in the conference standings. In doubles, senior Szymon Tatarczyk and freshman Ricky Medinilla are 7-0 this year and are ranked No. 74 in the ITA rankings. The singles lineup boasts four individuals that have 10 or more wins, led by Mateus Silva with 13.  Purdue’s production at Nos. 3-6 has resulted in a combined record of 44-12.

The Buckeyes are 58-16 (.777) all-time vs. the Boilermakers, including a 15-0 record under head coach Ty Tucker. Last time out, the Scarlet and Gray tallied a 4-0 shutout win in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Columbus last season.

Ohio State sits in first place in the conference standings with an 8-0 mark with two weeks left in the regular season. The Nittany Lions follow in second with a 6-1 ledger, while Purdue stands in third place with a 5-1 mark. Following the Boilermakers are: Illinois (5-2), Northwestern (3-4), Michigan (3-4), Minnesota (3-4), Michigan State (2-5), Nebraska (2-4), Indiana (2-5), Iowa (1-5) and Wisconsin (1-6).

Senior Peter Kobelt was named a 2014 Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist on Thursday. The native of New Albany, Ohio, Kobelt was the 2014 National Indoor Most Outstanding Player, leading Ohio State men’s tennis to its first national title in program history. A two-time All-American, five-time regional champion, Kobelt has guided the Buckeyes to three-consecutive Big Ten regular-season titles, two B1G tournament wins and two NCAA Final Four appearances. A five-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Kobelt is in the Top 10 on the OSU career singles and doubles wins list, collecting more than 240 combined wins at Ohio State. 

Senior Peter Kobelt currently is in the Top 10 in multiple OSU career wins lists. Kobelt, the 2014 National Indoor Most Outstanding Player, is second on the OSU all-time doubles wins list with 129 victories and recently passed former Buckeye Bryan Koniecko, who collected 125 career wins from 2006-09. He is four wins shy of tying former Buckeye Justin Kronauge (2007-10) for first on the OSU doubles wins list. In singles, Kobelt has notched 114 career wins and passed former Buckeye Mike Massie (1983-86) for ninth overall. He needs two victories to tie former Buckeyes Devin Mullings (2003-07) and Matt Allare (2008-11) for seventh on the singles list. On the combined career wins list, Kobelt sits at 243 victories, which is currently fourth-best all-time.

The Ohio State men’s tennis program had a big weekend March 28-30 when the squad broke the NCAA home winning streak record in Columbus. The Buckeyes won their 185th-consecutive home match with a 4-3 win over No. 28 Northwestern March 28, passing the Stanford women’s program, who held the record for 12 years with 184-consecutive home wins. Currently, the Scarlet and Gray have won 186-consecutive home matches, dating back to 2003 season. 

The pairings of Hunter Callahan and Ralf Steinbach and No. 6 Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka claimed doubles wins. In singles play, Metka, Steinbach and Kobelt clinched straight-set victories to seal the record for the Buckeyes. On March 30, Ohio State battled No. 10 Illinois in a Top 10 clash to claim sole ownership of the Big Ten standings. Using new doubles pairings, Callahan and redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz and Metka and freshman Marko Goles Babic (Zagreb, Croatia) claimed the doubles points for the Buckeyes. In singles, Steinbach and Metka earned straight-set wins and Callahan provided the clinch in a three-set affair and extend the streak to 186-consecutive home wins. Freshman Herkko Pollanen ended the day with the biggest win of his young collegiate career, winning a three-set battle over No. 9 Jared Hiltzik. 

Peter Kobelt
, the ninth-ranked player in singles and half of the second-ranked doubles duo, was awarded the B1G Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week for the fourth time this season and the fifth time in his career on March 25. He earned the honor for knocking off No. 112 Alex Petrone of Michigan (6-3, 3-6, 6-2) and Drew Lied of Michigan State (6-3, 6-1) in the No. 1 singles position. He added doubles wins against No. 22 Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks of Michigan (8-6) and Lied and John Patrick Mullane of Michigan State (8-7 (7-3)) with partner Kevin Metka.

Guided by director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes defeated four Top 25 teams, including two Top 5 programs en route to the national title to put Ohio State at its best start to a season in program history. The Buckeyes downed No. 12 Florida in the first round, 4-1, Feb. 14 with Hunter Callahan clinching and No. 13 Texas, 4-2, Feb. 15 in the quarterfinals. Redshirt junior Kevin Metka clinched the match to send the Buckeyes to a semifinal against No. 1 Virginia.

The semifinal proved to be a 4-3 classic with Metka pulling off the upset with a 6-5 (7-5), 5-6 (5-7), 6-5 (12-10) victory, saving two match points Feb. 16. No. 3 USC was next, with Ohio State earning the doubles points and claimed the title with a 4-1 win over the Trojans Feb. 17. Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach clinched the championship for Ohio State with a 6-5 (7-4), 6-4 win over Connor Farren on court No. 4.

Peter Kobelt was named was named Most Outstanding Player at the ITA Indoor Team Championships Feb. 21. Kobelt is the first Buckeye to receive the honor, which he achieved after winning seven of his eight matches in leading Ohio State to its first national indoor title. The senior went 3-1 at first singles during the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship. In doubles, paired with Kevin Metka, the duo went 4-0 over the weekend.

Joining Kobelt were three additional Buckeyes, including Ralf Steinbach, Kevin Metka and Hunter Callahan at singles No. 4-6, respectively. Kobelt and Metka were named to the doubles all-tournament team at No. 1.

Ohio State will conclude the 2014 home schedule, hosting Iowa April 18 and Nebraska April 20 in Columbus.