COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team (19-2, 4-0 Big Ten) will conclude its current seven-match road schedule at No. 14 Kentucky (20-6, 5-3 SEC) at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky.
Fans can follow the action vs. Kentucky with live updates at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. To access the updates, select the schedule tab from the men’s tennis homepage.
The Buckeyes have won four consecutive matches since suffering their first road loss at Texas A&M March 10 since 2006. Ohio State is 6-1 on the road entering the contest against the Wildcats.
Ohio State is coming off its fourth consecutive win against a Big Ten opponent this season, shutting out Northwestern, 7-0. The Scarlet and Gray will try to earn its 54th road victory in its last 55 attempts vs. the Wildcats. The match Wednesday will serve as the seventh-consecutive road contest for Ohio State, but the Scarlet and Gray will resume home action this weekend vs. Michigan State and Michigan.
Kentucky will be the eighth opponent the Buckeyes have or will face that is ranked in the ITA Top 75 during the month of March and through April 15 (No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 13 Illinois, No. 62 Iowa, No. 53 Michigan State, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Notre Dame). Ohio State is 12-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a perfect 6-0 mark in Columbus.
Additionally, the Scarlet and Gray are 56-2 as the No. 3 ranked team in the country, including a 5-0 mark this season.
A Look Back
Ohio State shut out Northwestern, 7-0, April 2 at the Combe Indoor Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. The victory marked the 70th-consecutive Big Ten win for the visiting Buckeyes, a streak that began in 2004.
Redshirt-freshman Nelson Vick clinched match point for the five-time defending Big Ten champions. He downed Chris Jackson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 to move to 8-1 in duals. Vick’s overall record moved to an impressive 18-4, with a 5-1 tally at the No. 6 position.
With the win, Ohio State evened up the all-time series record, 43-43. Since 1999, under head coach Ty Tucker‘s direction, the Buckeyes have amassed a 14-1 record vs. Northwestern.
The Buckeyes swept all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead into singles competition, moving to 72-22 (.766) in doubles contests on the season.
Scouting the Wildcats
Kentucky enters the contest with a 20-6 overall record and 5-3 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Kentucky began the season winning its first six matches (Toledo, Xavier, Cumberland, Indiana, Boise State and Wake Forest) but fell to Illinois and Virginia in its next two contests. The Wildcats since have gone 14-4, with wins coming against Miami, Cleveland State, Texas Tech, Washington, Murray State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Butler, Alabama, Maryland, Eastern Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina.
Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery, who is in his 29th season, has amassed 598 career victories, which places him eighth on the active collegiate tennis wins list.
Buckeyes vs. Kentucky
The Buckeyes are 10-12 all-time vs. the Wildcats. Since head coach Ty Tucker took control of the Ohio State men’s program in 1999, the Scarlet and Gray are a perfect 7-0 against Kentucky.
Last season No. 3 Ohio State downed No. 9 Kentucky, 5-2, Feb. 21, at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center in Columbus. It was the 96th consecutive home win for the Buckeyes who moved to 9-1 on the season.
Buckeyes vs. SEC
Ohio State is now 41-58-1 vs. schools from the Southeastern Conference and 23-29 against SEC programs on the 2011 schedule after defeating LSU, Ole Miss and Georgia earlier this season. The Buckeyes improved to 7-5 against the Tigers, 3-2 vs. the Rebels and 3-10 vs. the Bulldogs. The Buckeyes also are 5-2 vs. Alabama, 3-0 vs. Arkansas, 1-2 vs. Auburn, 1-3 vs. Florida, 0-1 vs. Mississippi State, 1-4 vs. South Carolina, 3-8 vs. Tennessee and 4-7-1 vs. Vanderbilt. Including the three wins vs. SEC teams this year, head coach Ty Tucker is an impressive 34-13 against SEC competition. Tucker is undefeated vs. Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina. Tucker-led Buckeyes have never played Auburn or Mississippi State.
Big Ten Best
Ohio State has won 70 consecutive matches in the Big Ten after the 7-0 victory at Northwestern, April 2. Entering the season, the Buckeyes have collected five-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. Coach Tucker has also 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 122 of their last 127 league contests, which include postseason play.
Big Ten Rankings
Eight Big Ten Conference teams are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Polls announced March 29.
3 Ohio State
53 Michigan State
After defeating Northwestern,7-0, No. 10 Illinois,7-0, No. 66 Iowa, 5-2, No. 11 Pepperdine, 6-1, Penn State, 7-0, and No. 19 North Carolina, 6-1, earlier this season, Ohio State enters the match at Kentucky with 53 wins out of its last 54 regular-season (non-tournament) road contests. The loss at Texas A&M March 10 was the first road loss for the Buckeyes since falling at Notre Dame, 5-2, during the 2005-06 season.
Rola Captures First-Career Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honor
Freshman Blaz Rola earned his first Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor March 22 after leading the fourth-ranked Buckeyes to a 6-1 victory against the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves March 21. The fifth-ranked singles player in the country, Rola picked up a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) win over 17th-ranked Sebastian Fanselow at No. 2 singles to improve to 25-3 in singles play this season. Teaming with senior co-caption Balazs Novak, the duo defeated Hugh Clarke and Alfredo Moreno at No. 3 doubles, helping Ohio State clinch the doubles point with an 8-4 victory.
It is the third time this season a Buckeye has captured the Big Ten Player of the Week award. Buchanan has the other two, earning the recognition Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, respectively.
Allare Reaches Milestone
Senior co-captain 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.Matt Allare
His career record is now 103-18, while his season mark stands at 23-3 and 14-1 in duals. Allare is a perfect 11-0 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 Buckeyes for a total of 80 singles wins entering his final year as a Buckeye.
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 21-5 in 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 21-3 in singles. Co-captain Balazs Novak needed only one win to join the pair in the 20-win category and it came against Stephen Hoh, who Novak defeated 6-2, 6-2. The Budapest, Hungary, native’s record currently stands at 20-4.
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 Buckeyes are an impressive 113-18 (.863) on the year.
Success in Duals
Ohio State has been dominant so far throughout the 2011 dual schedule. In singles, the Buckeyes are a combined 102-14 (.876). Balazs Novak, Chase Buchanan and Devin McCarthy pace the squad with 16 victories apiece. Freshman Blaz Rola has 15, while senior Matt Allare is right behind with 14 dual wins.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 47-14 (.761). Novak and Rola each lead the way with a 14-4 mark, while Allare is 14-5. Redshirt-freshman Peter Kobelt has 13 doubles wins, Buchanan has 12 and McCarthy is right behind with 11 doubles victories.
Seven Ranked in Latest Poll
New Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Tuesday March 29. Ohio State leads the nation with seven players ranked in the singles poll. No. 1 Virginia is second with six players ranked in the Top 125.
Junior Chase Buchanan remains in the Top 20, moving up five positions to No. 14. Buchanan was ranked 19th in the March 15 standings and 63rd in the inaugural poll. Freshman Blaz Rola improved two spots to No. 3. Senior Matt Allare moved to No. 41 after being ranked No. 43 in the previous poll, while redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy dropped to 53rd.
Rounding out the rankings for the Scarlet and Gray are freshman Peter Kobelt, who dropped three spots to 66th, senior co-captain Balazs Novak at No. 98 and freshman Nelson Vick who sits at No. 102.
In the doubles poll, the team of Rola and Buchanan remained at No. 9, while Allare and Kobeltimproved one spot to No. 13.
Buckeyes in ITA Rankings (March 29)
3 Blaz Rola
14 Chase Buchanan
41 Matt Allare
53 Devin McCarthy
66 Peter Kobelt
98 Balazs Novak
103 Nelson Vick
1,000 Program Victories
With a 7-0 shutout of Cleveland State Feb. 24, Ohio State captured the program’s 1,000th victory. Entering play vs. the Wildcats, the overall record currently stands at 1,007-694-10. Head coach Ty Tucker has 311 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 121 consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. Ohio State won the first 11 matches to begin the season at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, six coming against ranked teams. 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 21 home matches last season, marking the seventh-consecutive year the team achieved perfection in Columbus. 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 collected a 988-692-10 record 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 1,007 victories in its long history.
McCarthy, Novak Earn All-ITA Indoor Team Honors
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy and senior Balazs Novak were named to the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship All-Tournament Team. McCarthy was selected at No. 5 and Novak at No. 6 for their outstanding play.
McCarthy reeled off wins in two of the first three rounds of the tournament. He defeated No. 14 Texas Tech’s Gabriel Wanderley 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and upset No. 23 Drew Courtney of No. 1 Virginia 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals, earning the only Buckeye point vs. the Cavaliers. The match vs. No. 93 Vasko Mladenov of No. 5 Texas went unfinished in the quarterfinals.
At No. 6, Novak earned wins in his first two matches of the tournament. The senior co-captain handed Texas Tech’s Raphael Pfister a 6-2, 6-0 setback, while also downing Daniel Whitehead of Texas 6-4, 6-3. Novak’s match vs. Justin Shane of Virginia was unfinished.
Buckeye Matt Allare enters the non-conference contest Wednesday on an 11-match win streak. Allare is 23-3 overall with a 14-1 mark in duals. The Mason, Ohio, native is undefeated at 11-0 at the No. 4 position and 7-1 vs. ranked competition. The senior co-captain’s 23 singles wins overall are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola’s team-high 28 victories. Rola has the second longest streak on the team with six wins in a row.
Devin McCarthy and Chase Buchanan both travel to Lexington having won their previous four singles contests.
Nabs Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honors
For the second time this season, junior was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week the conference announced Feb. 21. Buchanan won four matches during the span, including wins against No. 24 North Carolina and No. 5 Texas. Chase BuchananChase Buchanan
The Gahanna, Ohio, native first paired with freshman Blaz Rola to form the sixth-ranked team in the nation and defeated No. 44 Stefan Hardy and Zach Hunter of North Carolina, 8-5, Feb. 15 in Chapel Hill. Buchanan, who jumped 42 places to No. 21 in the ITA polls Feb. 18, then downed No. 30 Jose Hernandez 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to fuel the Buckeyes’ 6-1 win over the Tar Heels.
Buchanan added to his wins total at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 18-20 in Seattle, Wash. Paired with Rola, the tandem beat Texas’ No. 2 Ed Corrie and Jean Anderson, 8-5. Buchanan then followed with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Anderson to help the Scarlet and Gray prevail, 4-1, vs. the Longhorns.
It is the eighth such honor of Buchanan’s career. He also won the award Feb. 8 after leading the Buckeyes to wins against No. 18 Mississippi and No. 11 Georgia Feb. 4 and 6, respectively.
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 310-53. Tucker is 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 active winning percentage is the highest in Ohio State history.
Since his inaugural season in 1999-00, Tucker has guided Ohio State to five regular-season Big Ten Conference titles and six league tournament championships, including five-consecutive from 2006-10. Tucker’s teams have never finished below fourth in the conference regular-season standings. In fact, after tying for fourth in 2000, Tucker and the Buckeyes finished second from 2001-2005 before winning the conference the last five seasons. Since that 2000 campaign, the Scarlet and Gray have won at least 20 matches each season and at least 30 the past three campaigns.
In NCAA action, Tucker and the Buckeyes have compiled a 25-11 record, advancing to the program’s first NCAA championship final in 2009 in College Station, Texas. Tucker led Ohio State as far as the quarterfinals last season and also in 2004, ’06, ’07 and ’08. Tucker also has coached eight different singles players and seven doubles tandems in 10 NCAA championships.
Allare, Novak, Uzawa Named 2011 Team Captains
Seniors Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa were named 2011 team captains head coach Ty Tucker announced.
The trio has been instrumental in the Buckeyes’ 16-2 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 20 victories against three losses, including an 11-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak is 19-3 overall and boasts a 15-1 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 4-4 overall in singles and 10-2 this year in doubles play.
Freshman Ille Van Engelen recorded his first collegiate singles victory against Chris Herron from Butler 6-2, 6-3 Jan. 26. Van Engelen, a native of the Netherlands, also collected his first doubles win as a Buckeye. Partnering with fellow freshman Blaz Rola, the duo defeated the Bulldog team of Brandon Bayliss and Lenz Theodor, 8-4. Van Engelen is 12-5 in singles and 3-1 in doubles on the season.
Follow the Buckeyes on Twitter
For up to the minute updates and news, be sure to follow the official Ohio State men’s tennis team on Twitter: @OhioState_MTEN.
The Buckeyes will resume conference play at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center this weekend when they welcome No. 53 Michigan State Friday and Michigan Sunday. The matches are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and noon, respectively. The Big Ten showdowns will be Ohio State’s first time playing at home since Feb. 27 vs. Louisville.