Feb. 20, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The third-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team remained unbeaten on the season (12-0) after downing No. 2 Virginia (7-1) 4-1 in the semifinals of the 2012 National Team Indoor Championship. The Buckeyes now will face No. 1 USC at noon Monday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. The match between Ohio State and USC will be a rematch from the 2009 NCAA Championship final that took place in College Station, Texas. 

“There were a lot of tiebreakers played out there tonight. We were fortunate enough to win a couple of them. If you play this game long enough, you get lucky and win some matches like this,” Ty Tucker, head coach, said. “We are an energetic team usually, no matter where we play. We knew this match would be three or four hours and we would have to compete hard for that long. We have had a lot of matches against USC. They are the best team in the country, but again, if you play this game long enough, you can come up with a few wins against teams like USC or Virginia.”

It will be the first time Ohio State has advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship final since the 2007-08 season and the Buckeyes fell to the Cavaliers that year 4-1.

Blaz Rola rebounded after a tough outing Saturday with a big 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win at No. 2. The Ptuj, Slovenia, native’s win was the fourth point for the Buckeyes as they earned their first win over the Cavaliers in four tries. The last win vs. Virginia was in the second round of the 2003-04 NCAA tournament.

Ohio State moves to 3-5 all-time vs. the Cavaliers. Tucker has had trouble with Virginia, going 1-5 vs. the Cavaliers in his career before the win Sunday. Virginia has won the National Indoor Championship the previous five seasons, defeating Ohio State during the last two tournaments.

Ohio State continued its streak of winning the doubles point after three highly competitive doubles contests with the Cavaliers. Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen gave the Buckeyes an early advantage after an 8-6 win on court two against Alex Domijan and Steven Rooda.

The Buckeyes’ top-ranked duo of Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola fell 9-8 after losing a 7-2 tiebreaker to 12th-ranked Drew Courtney and Jarmere Jenkins.

However, Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith returned the favor with a 9-8 win of their own on court three after claiming a 7-5 tiebreaker win over Mitchell Frank and Julen Uriguen.

McCarthy gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead after defeating No. 37 Justin Shane 7-6, 6-0 on court five. Virginia cut the lead in half after Courtney picked up a tough 7-6, 7-5 over Van Engelen at No. 4.

In the upset of the tournament, Kobelt defeated Frank, the nation’s top-ranked singles player 7-5, 7-6 in a back and forth match. It was the first loss of the freshmen’s collegiate career. The win gave Ohio State a 3-1 lead vs. the No. 2 Cavaliers.

As the third-ranked team nationally, Ohio State is an outstanding 74-2.

With the win, the Buckeyes are 15-10 all-time in the tournament. This season is Ohio State’s 12th-consecutive participating in the event. Ohio State was the runner-up in 2007 and 2008 and advanced to the semifinals the previous two seasons. In 2009, the Scarlet and Gray played its way into the quarterfinals. 

Break Points:

  • The Buckeyes move to 3-5 all-time vs. Virginia.
  • As the No. 3 ranked team nationally, Ohio State is 74-2.
  • Ohio State has won 59 of its last 60 regular-season (non-tournament) road contests dating back to 2006.
  • The Buckeyes have been victorious in 29 of their previous 30 matches (the only loss occurred in the 2011 NCAA semifinals vs. No. 1 Virginia).
  • Since 2001, Ohio State is 257-36 when ranked in the ITA Top 25. That mark improves to 210-13 from the 2005-06 season onward.
  • The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 174 consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006).
  • Ohio State has won 80 consecutive Big Ten Conference matches.


ITA National Team Indoor Championship – Semifinals
No. 3 Ohio State (12-0), 4 vs. No. 2 Virginia (7-1), 1
Feb. 19, 2012 
Boar’s Head Sports Club
Charlottesville, Va.

1. No. 12 Drew Courtney/Jarmere Jenkins (VA) def. No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OSU) 9-8
2. No. 27 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. No. 42 Alex Domijan/Steven Rooda (VA) 8-6
3. Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OSU) def. Mitchell Frank/Julen Uriguen (VA) 9-8
Order of Finish: 2,1,3

1. No. 16 Chase Buchanan (OSU) vs. No. 10 Jarmere Jenkins (VA) 7-5, 5-7, 1-2, unf.
2. No. 12 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Alex Domijan (VA) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
3. Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. No. 1 Mitchell Frank (VA) 7-5, 7-6
4. Drew Courtney (VA) def.  No. 99 Ille Van Engelen (OSU) 7-6, 7-5
5. No. 65 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. No. 37 Justin Shane (VA) 7-6, 6-0
6. No. 107 Connor Smith (OSU) vs. Julen Uriguen 6-7, 6-4, 2-3, unf.
Order of Finish: 5,4,3,2