COLUMBUS, Ohio – The third-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team (27-2, 10-0 Big Ten) will begin postseason play as the No. 1 seed at the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Friday at 11 a.m. ET at Nielsen Tennis Stadium and Cole Courts in Madison, Wis. The Buckeyes are one of five teams that earned a bye into the quarterfinals and will meet the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 seed Michigan State (17-8, 3-7) and No. 9 seed Northwestern (11-13, 2-8).

Follow Team on Twitter
For up to the minute updates and news, be sure to follow the Ohio State men’s tennis team on Twitter @OhioState_MTEN.

Previewing the 2011 Big Ten Tournament
The Big Ten Conference announced the seedings and pairings for the 2011 Men’s Tennis Tournament April 24, with conference champion Ohio State taking the No. 1 seed. The top-seeded Buckeyes closed the regular season with a 10-0 record in Big Ten play for the sixth-consecutive season and a 27-2 mark overall. The Buckeyes have won eight regular-season titles in school history.

Big Ten Network Coverage
The Big Ten Network will broadcast the tournament final on Saturday May 7 at 6 p.m. on tape delay.

Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament
Under 12th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Scarlet and Gray have claimed more than half of the Big Ten tournament championships that his teams have participated in during his tenure as coach. Tucker’s teams have won six Big Ten tournament titles out of 11 tries, including the previous five (2001, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10) since he took control of the program during the 1999-2000 season.

Previous Five Tournament Finals
In 2010, Ohio State (35-2) def. Illinois, 4-1, in Bloomington, Ind.
In 2009, Ohio State (36-2) def. Illinois, 4-3, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
In 2008, Ohio State (35-2) def. Illinois, 4-3, in Iowa City, Iowa
In 2007, Ohio State (30-2) def. Illinois, 4-1, in West Lafayette, Ind.
In 2006, Ohio State (28-2) def. Illinois, 4-2, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Tournament Pointers

  • The Buckeyes finished the regular-season with 126 consecutive wins at home.
  • The Scarlet and Gray are 59-2 all-time as the third-ranked team in the nation.
  • Ohio State owns a 12-match win streak entering the Big Ten tournament. Additionally, the Buckeyes finished their regular season road schedule winners of 56 of their last 57 road matches (non-tournament).
  • Throughout the months of March and April, the Scarlet and Gray played 12 teams ranked in the ITA Top 75 to conclude the regular season. Ohio State has faced No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 13 Pepperdine, No. 18 Illinois, No. 69 Iowa, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 28 Michigan, No. 50 Michigan State, No. 30 Notre Dame, No. 71 Wisconsin, No. 19 Minnesota, No. 26 Indiana and No. 66 Purdue. Ohio State is 19-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a 12-0 mark in Columbus.  

A Look Back
Ohio State picked up its 27th win of the season by shutting out No. 63 Purdue, 7-0, April 24 on Senior Day at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Freshman Blaz Rola’s 6-0, 6-1 victory over Purdue’s Szymon Tatarczyk at No. 1 clinched the outright regular-season conference title for Ohio State. With the win, Rola finished the regular season with a team-high 33 wins, including a 20-3 mark in dual play and an 8-2 record when competing on court one.

On April 22, Ohio State downed No. 24 Indiana, 5-2, in a battle of the Big Ten’s Top 2 teams in front of 253 fans looking similar to Buckeye head coach Ty Tucker for “Dress Like Coach Tucker Day” at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Both teams entered the match undefeated in the conference and were looking to take sole possession of first place in the league standings.

Freshman Blaz Rola clinched the victory once again for Ohio State. The Ptuj, Slovenia, native downed Indiana’s Santiago Gruter 6-1, 6-4 for his team-high 32nd win.
In doubles, Chase Buchanan and senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa gave the Buckeyes early momentum by beating Josh MacTaggart and Stephen Vogl, 8-2, on court two.  The duo moved to 9-2 on the season when paired together. Overall in doubles, Buchanan improved to 24-8 while Uzawa moved to 18-4.
Let’s Go Streaking
Ohio State has won 12 consecutive matches since dropping a 4-0 decision at No. 5 Texas A&M March 10. Ohio State has 12 victories against Top 25 opponents, including six straight. On its way to its sixth-consecutive regular-season conference title, Ohio State claimed sole possession of first place in the conference with a 9-0 record after defeating then-No. 24 Indiana, 5-2, April 22. Prior to the match, the Hoosiers were tied with the Buckeyes atop the Big Ten standings with an 8-0 mark vs. conference competition.

Big Ten Domination
Ohio State won its sixth-consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season title after beating No. 63 Purdue, 7-0, on Senior Day April 24 at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. For the sixth season in a row, the Buckeyes concluded the regular season with a 10-0 record in league action to garner their eighth regular-season crown in program history.

The Scarlet and Gray finished the regular season 55-5 in singles and 27-3 in doubles in 2011 conference matche. Three Buckeyes had perfect slates in singles action in Chase Buchanan (10-0), Matt Allare (9-0) and Ille Van Engelen (7-0). Blaz Rola and Devin McCarthy each tallied a 9-1 mark in the Big Ten, while Balazs Novak went 7-2 and Nelson Vick was 4-1.

Novak and Rola went 9-0 in Big Ten doubles competition, while Allare and Peter Kobelt finished 8-1. Buchanan and Shuhei Uzawa wrapped up their conference doubles ledger with a 7-2 mark.

Overall in Big Ten doubles, Novak (10-0) and Rola (9-0) finished undefeated. Allare was 9-1 and Buchanan went 8-2.

Previewing the Spartans
Michigan State is 17-8 overall and earned the 8-seed with a 3-7 record in the Big Ten. The Spartans began the season 13-1 with their only loss against Notre Dame. The team then hit a hard stretch, losing six of its next seven. The Spartans’ three conference wins were against Penn State, Iowa and Northwestern. Michigan State is 0-3 when playing ranked teams and has yet to play on a neutral court.

Buckeyes vs. Michigan State
The Scarlet and Gray are 39-35 all-time vs. the Spartans. Under head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have gone a perfect 12-0 vs. Michigan State.

Ohio State shut out the Spartans, 7-0, on April 8 at Stickney Tennis Center to earn its 21st victory on the season. Balazs Novak clinched the match for the Buckeyes by downing Aaron Pfister, 6-1, 6-0.

Wildcat Watch
Northwestern posted an 11-13 record, including a 2-8 Big Ten ledger on its way to becoming the 9-seed in the Big Ten tournament. The Wildcats began the season 8-5 before starting league competition. The team’s two conference wins came against Iowa and Penn State. The Wildcats are 0-5 vs. ranked opponents.

Buckeyes vs. Northwestern
Ohio State is all-square vs. the Wildcats, with each team having won 43 times. Under 12th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes are 13-1 vs. Northwestern.

The Buckeyes travelled to Evanston April 2 to take on the Wildcats and came away with a 7-0 victory. Redshirt-freshman Nelson Vick defeated Chris Jackman 6-1, 6-2 to guarantee the Big Ten triumph.

First to 30
With two victories in singles action vs. Wisconsin and Minnesota, April 15 and 17, respectively, Blaz Rola became the first Buckeye to achieve 30 singles wins on year. Rola boasts a 33-5 overall record, including a 20-3 dual mark and 12-5 ledger vs. ranked opponents. He is 8-2 at No. 1 and 12-1 at the No. 2 position.

Senior co-captain Matt Allare also reached 30 wins in the final week of the regular season. With a 6-1, 6-0 decision vs. Indiana’s Isade Juneau April 22, Allare reached the 30-win milestone for the second time of his career. The Mason, Ohio, native currently is 31-3 overall and has only lost once during the Spring (22-1).

The trio of Chase Buchanan (29), Devin McCarthy (27) and Balazs Novak (26) are also all within striking distance of reaching the 30-win plateau.

The 2011 Senior Class
Senior co-captains Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa were honored after the Indiana match April 24 on Senior Day at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The 2011 senior class has won four Big Ten regular-season titles and three Big Ten tournament titles since joining the team in 2007-08.

The senior trio has never lost a home contest in its four years at Ohio State and has won the second most matches of any class in program history. The 2011 senior class has amassed a 133-8 record, advanced to the NCAA tournament final along with two other quarterfinals appearances and has a 52-0 Big Ten record.

Breaking Down the 2011 Class*

  • Four regular-season and three Big Ten tournament titles
  • 133-8 Ohio State career record
  • Has not lost more than two matches in any season
  • Has not lost back-to-back matches in any season
  • Part of the program’s only NCAA final appearance and two NCAA quarterfinals
  • One team indoor championship final appearance; two semifinals appearances
  • 71-0 at home
  • 39-1 on the road (non-tournament)
  • 52-0 in Big Ten competition
  • 9-0 in Big Ten tournament
  • 11-3 in NCAA tournament
  • 104-1 in regular-season (non-tournament) matches
  • Part of program’s only No. 1 ranking (Jan. 21 – Feb. 15, 2009)
  • Has compiled 70 career shutouts
  • Six Ohio State Scholar Athletes Awards
  • Six Academic All-Big Ten Awards
    *All records and accolades are not final with 2011 postseason records and awards still yet to be rewarded

Buckeyes in the Record Books
Senior Balazs Novak

  • 124 career singles wins: 6th
  • 99 career doubles wins: 8th
  • 223 total career wins: 4th

Senior Matt Allare

  • 111 career singles wins: 9th
  • 102 career doubles wins: 6th
  • 213 total career wins: 5th

Senior Shuhei Uzawa

  • 71 career singles wins: 26th
  • 91 career doubles wins: 9th
  • 162 total career wins: 15th

Ohio State vs. Top 25
The Buckeyes own a 12-2 record vs. competition ranked in the ITA Top 25 this season. Since 1999, Ohio State is 77-40 against Top 25 opponents, but that number improves to 71-11 since the 2005-06 campaign.

Ohio State vs. Top 25 Opponents
No. 18 Mississippi             W 6-1
No. 11 Georgia                 W 6-1
at No. 24 North Carolina    W 6-1
No. 14 Texas Tech*          W 4-1
No. 5 Texas*                   W 4-1
No. 1 Virginia*                  L 1-4
No. 15 Louisville               W 6-1
at No. 17 Texas A&M         L 0-4
at No. 11 Pepperdine        W 6-1
at No. 10 Illinois               W 7-0
at No. 12 Kentucky            W 4-3
No. 23 Michigan                W 6-1
No. 24 Minnesota              W 7-0
No. 24 Indiana                 W 7-0
*ITA National Team Indoor Championships

Ohio State in Top 25
Since 2001, the Scarlet and Gray are 238-35 when ranked in the ITA Top 25. That mark improves to 191-12 from the 2005-06 season onward.

Shutout Kings
More than half of Ohio State’s victories have been shutouts. The Buckeyes have shut out their opponents 14 times this season, with half vs. Big Ten competition. The Scarlet and Gray have blanked Butler, Xavier, William & Mary, UC Irvine, Toledo, LSU, Cleveland State, Penn State, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue.

Big Ten Best
Ohio State has won 76 consecutive matches in the Big Ten after the 5-2 triumph vs. Indiana and 7-0 shutout against Purdue April 22 and 24, respectively. The Scarlet and Gray are currently 55-5 in singles and 27-3 in doubles during 2011 conference matches.

Entering the season, the Buckeyes collected five-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. Head coach Ty Tucker also has nabbed Big Ten Coach of the Year every year during the span as well. Last season, Ohio State recorded a combined Big Ten singles mark of 58-2 and a total Big Ten doubles record of 18-8. In addition to the conference win streak, the Buckeyes also have won 128 of their last 133 league contests, including postseason play.

In the Rankings
Nine of the 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Polls announced April 26.

Rank    School
    3       Ohio State
  18     Illinois
  19     Minnesota
  26     Indiana
  28     Michigan
  50     Michigan State
  66     Purdue
  69     Iowa 
  71     Wisconsin

Eight Ranked in Latest Poll
The Campbell/ITA College individual rankings were released April 26. Ohio State leads the nation with eight players ranked in the Top 125 of the singles poll.

Buckeyes in ITA Rankings (April 26)
  3      Blaz Rola
10     Chase Buchanan
47     Matt Allare
74     Devin McCarthy
75     Peter Kobelt
98     Balazs Novak
105    Ille Van Engelen
122    Nelson Vick
10   Rola/Buchanan
18   Allare/Kobelt
82   Buchanan/Uzawa

No Double Trouble
The Buckeyes won the doubles point against Purdue for the 24th time this season (April 24) and has a perfect record when winning that first point. Ohio State is 3-2 after losing the doubles point. The Scarlet and Gray have won seven straight matches since losing the doubles point at Kentucky April 6. The Buckeyes went on to win the match vs. the Wildcats, 4-3.

Freshmen Finest
True-freshmen Blaz Rola and Ille Van Engelen, along with redshirt-freshmen Peter Kobelt and Nelson Vick have been a critical part of the 2010-11 men’s tennis team. Rola and Van Engelen have been fixtures in the Top 3 of the singles lineups throughout much of the season. Rola has accumulated a 33-5 singles record while Van Engelen has gone 16-6. Vick also holds an impressive 20-4 singles mark and Kobelt boasts a 13-3 singles ledger.

Combined, the four freshman are 82-18 (.820) in singles competition. In doubles, the freshmen foursome’s record is 58-17.

Allare and Buchanan Streaking
Buckeye Matt Allare is on a 19-match win streak entering postseason play. Allare is 31-3 overall with a 22-1 mark in duals. The Mason, Ohio, native is 16-0 at the No. 4 position and 7-1 vs. ranked competition. The senior co-captain’s 31 singles wins overall are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola’s team-high 33 victories.

Chase Buchanan enters postseason play boasting a 12-match win streak. The New Albany, Ohio, native is 24-2. The eight-time Big Ten Athlete of the Week is 14-1 at the No. 1 position and 10-1 when playing at the No. 2 spot. The junior is also 13-5 vs. ranked opponents on the 2010-11 campaign.

Allare Reaches Milestone
Senior co-captain Matt Allare reached the century-mark, winning his 100th career singles match March 21 at Pepperdine. Allare, ranked 43rd nationally, picked up the win by defeating Pepperdine’s Alfredo Moreno 6-3, 6-4.His career record is now 111-18, while his season mark stands at 31-3 and 22-1 in duals. Allare is 16-0 when playing the No. 4 position.

Allare, a Mason, Ohio, native was 25-5 last year, 31-5 his sophomore campaign and 24-5 during the 2007-08 season, his first as a Buckeye, for a total of 80 singles wins entering his final year.

20 is the Magic Number
Three Buckeyes claimed their 20th singles win on the season vs. Iowa and Illinois March 25 and 27, respectively. Chase Buchanan picked up his 20th victory after defeating Iowa’s Nikita Zotov 6-1, 6-1 and Illinois’ No. 7 Dennis Nevolo 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Buchanan is now 29-5 on his junior campaign.

Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy downed Hawkeye Jonas Dierckx 6-0, 6-3 and Bruno Abdelnour 6-4, 6-4 of Illinois to improve to 20-3. McCarthy currently is 27-5 in singles.

Co-captain Balazs Novak needed only one win to join the pair in the 20-win column and it came against Stephen Hoh, who Novak defeated 6-2, 6-2. The Budapest, Hungary, native’s record currently stands at 26-6. This year is the fourth-consecutive the senior has boasted at least 20 singles wins.

The trio joined teammates Blaz Rola and Matt Allare as Buckeyes to amass 20 victories in singles play so far on the season. Combined, the five are an impressive 146-24 (.859) on the year.

Success in Duals
Ohio State was dominant throughout the 2011 dual schedule. In singles, the Buckeyes were a combined 143-21 (.872). Chase Buchanan led the squad with 24 dual victories. Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Devin McCarthy had 22 apiece, while freshman Blaz Rola was right behind with 20 dual wins.

In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray were a combined 66-19 (.776).  Novak led the way with 21 doubles victories. Rola earned 20 dual wins, while Buchanan and Allare each had 19 apiece. Redshirt-freshman Peter Kobelt was the next closest with 17.

Big Ten Athletes of the Week
Two Buckeyes in Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola have been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week a total of five times this season. Buchanan has earned the distinction four times including this past week on April 26 as well as April 12, Feb. 8 and 22. Rola was honored March 22.

1,000 Program Victories
With a 7-0 shutout of Cleveland State Feb. 24, Ohio State captured the program’s 1,000th victory. The Buckeyes’ overall record currently stands at 1,015-694-10. Head coach Ty Tucker has 319 wins in his 12 years leading the Buckeyes and his predecessor John Daly earned 427 in his 28 years.

Dominant in Columbus
The Buckeyes have won a school-record 126 consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. Ohio State won all 13 matches at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, eight coming against ranked teams. They also have won three contests at Stickney Tennis Center. At home the Scarlet and Gray are 13-0 vs. ITA Top 75 opponents. In the Big Ten, no other team in any sport has won as many consecutive contests at home than the Buckeyes.

Ohio State was victorious in all 16 home matches this season, marking the eighth-consecutive year the team achieved perfection in Columbus. It has been nearly 3,000 days since the Buckeyes last lost a home match. The home win streak began April 6, 2003 with a 5-2 triumph over Purdue.

100th Anniversary of Tennis
The opener against Butler and Xavier marked the 100th year of men’s tennis at Ohio State. The tennis program started in 1912 and after 99 complete seasons, the men’s tennis program had an overall record of 988-692-10 for a .585 winning percentage. Head coach Ty Tucker is the 11th coach in Ohio State men’s tennis history and with his winning percentage hovering around .850, he is the winningest coach in Buckeye tennis history. Ohio State currently has 1,015 victories in its long history.

Tucker Gets 300th Victory
The win against LSU Feb. 12 served as head coach Ty Tucker’s 300th career victory. His overall career mark as the Buckeye leader now stands at 319-53. Tucker is now the second coach in Buckeye men’s tennis history to amass 300 wins. Tucker’s predecessor, John Daly, was 427-333 in 28 seasons from 1972-1999. Tucker has averaged 27 wins in 11 seasons and his current .856 winning percentage is the highest in Ohio State history.

Noting the Ty Tucker Era (as of April 29)
Ty Tucker Accomplishments…

  • Named 2009 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year; the first in program history
  • has 41 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and a two-time Academic All-American (Vincent Ng in 2002 and ’03)
  • has 23 All-Big Ten selections
  • has coached four Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athletes of the Year (Ng, 2003, Bryan Koniecko 2008 and ’09, Chase Buchanan, ’10), three Big Ten Freshmen of the Year (Joey Atas, 2004, Koniecko 2006 and Justin Kronauge, 2007) and owns six Big Ten Coach of the Year honors(2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010)
  • has had the No. 1 ranked singles player three times — Jeremy Wurtzman in 2004, Steven Moneke in 2007, Bryan Koniecko 2009
  • has won 319 matches against 53 defeats (.858)
  • has an average record of 27-5 per season (2000-present)
  • has the best single regular-season win percentage (2009) in school history (.947/36-2)
  • has had three players set school career singles wins record (147, Justin Kronauge, 2007-10; 146, Steven Moneke from 2006-09; 132, Vincent Ng from 2000-03)
  • has had four players set the program’s career doubles wins record (Bryan Koniecko with 125 from 2006-2009; Drew Eberly with 118 from 2005-08; Ross Wilson with 118 from 2003-06; Scott Green with 117 from 2003-06)
  • has had three players set the school record for career combined singles and doubles wins (280, Justin Kronauge from 2007-10; 254, Bryan Koniecko from 2006-2009; 208, Ross Wilson from 2003-06)

 Ohio State Accomplishments Under Tucker…

  • Advanced to the program’s first NCAA Championships Final (2009)
  • finished 2009 ranked No. 2 nationally as a team with a 36-2 record (13-0 in the Big Ten)
  • has been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 154-consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006)
  • attained program’s best ranking (No. 1) Jan. 6 – Feb. 19, 2009
  • has won 126 consecutive home matches (April 6, 2003 to present)
  • has won 41 consecutive Big Ten home matches
  • has won 76 consecutive Big Ten dual matches dating back to 2005
  • has gone 109-11 (.908) in Big Ten regular-season matches
  • has earned 10 regular-season Big Ten Conference dual match victories six times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011)
  • has won 56 of 57 away matches beginning with Feb. 26, 2006 win (4-2) at No. 21 VCU
  • has 11 consecutive 20-win seasons (a school record) with Tucker as the head coach
  • has 16 20-win seasons all-time, more than half with Tucker as head coach
  • has been to 11-consecutive NCAA team tournaments, second in the Big Ten only to Illinois’ 15
  • won the 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Big Ten Tournaments
  • won outright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular season Big Ten Championships
  • has led Ohio State to the best six-year combined Big Ten record from 2006-2011 (60-0)
  • has led Ohio State to the best six-year combined regular season record from 2006-2011 (174-11)