COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team (22-2, 6-0 Big Ten) will welcome No. 28 Notre Dame to Columbus at 4 p.m. Wednesday for its final non-conference match of the season. The Buckeyes are coming off two Big Ten victories this past weekend against No. 23 Michigan and No. 60 Michigan State.
Fans can follow the action against the Fighting Irish with live updates at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Since their first road setback since 2006 at Texas A&M March 10, the Buckeyes enter the match vs. Notre Dame Wednesday having won seven matches in a row.
After sweeping both conference schools from Michigan this past weekend in their first outdoor matches in 2011, the Scarlet and Gray will attempt to earn its 124th-consecutive home victory vs. the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame will be the eighth of 11 opponents the Buckeyes have or will face ranked in the ITA Top 75 during the months of March and April (No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Pepperdine, No. 15 Illinois, No. 57 Iowa, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 23 Michigan, No. 60 Michigan State, No. 20 Minnesota, No. 64 Purdue and No. 27 Indiana). Ohio State is 15-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a perfect 8-0 mark in Columbus.
Additionally, the Scarlet and Gray are 59-2 as the No. 3 ranked team in the country, including an 8-0 mark this season.
A Look Back
Ohio State picked up its 22nd win of the season by defeating No. 60 Michigan State (20-7, 5-3 Big Ten), 7-0, and No. 23 Michigan, 6-1, Friday and Sunday, respectively, at Stickney Tennis Center.
The win vs. Michigan State extended the five-time defending Big Ten champion’s conference win streak to 71, which began in 2004.
Senior co-captain Balazs Novak clinched the victory for the Buckeyes in their first outdoor contest of the year, beating Aaron Pfister 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles for his 22nd win on the season. Novak also moved to 4-0 at No. 4.
In doubles competition, senior co-captain Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt, the nation’s 13th-ranked duo, rebounded from their loss at Kentucky April 6, by defeating Jason Norville and John Stratton, 8-2. The Buckeye tandem picked up their 10th victory at the No. 1 position and moved to 12-5 overall.
Competing for the first time as a team, Buckeyes Novak and Ille Van Engelen scored the doubles point for the home team, beating Denis Bogatov and Drew Lied, 8-1, at No. 3. Van Engelen moved to 4-1 in doubles, while Novak improved to 15-5.
Singles action began with redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy defeating Stratton in straight-sets 6-3, 6-1. McCarthy, the 53rd ranked player nationally, moved to 8-1 at No. 5 and 22-4 overall.
Buchanan put the Buckeyes up 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Bogatov at No. 1. Buchanan, a New Albany, Ohio, native, picked up his 10th win at No. 1 while improving to 18-2 in dual singles.
Ohio State won its seventh consecutive match while extending its home win streak to 123 with a 6-1 victory over No. 23 Michigan (10-8, 3-3 Big Ten) in front of 345 fans Sunday at Stickney Tennis Center. The contest also served as the 72nd Big Ten win in a row for the Scarlet and Gray, dating back to 2004.
Buckeye Devin McCarthy clinched the victory for the five-time defending Big Ten champions by defeating Chris Madden 6-2, 6-4. The redshirt-sophomore improved to 23-4 overall and 7-0 at the No. 6 position.
Doubles action started with the Buckeyes winning the first two matches, 8-2, to claim the point. Blaz Rola and Balazs Novak downed Madden and Chris Cha at No. 3 while Chase Buchanan and Shuhei Uzawa handed Shaun Bernstein and Barrett Franks the loss at No. 2 to give the Scarlet and Gray a 1-0 advantage heading into singles.
In a battle of Top 20 teams, senior co-captain Matt Allare and redshirt-freshman Peter Kobelt finished off the doubles sweep at No. 1 with another 8-2 decision against Jason Jung and Evan King, the nation’s 19th-ranked duo. Allare and Kobelt, the 13th ranked tandem in the country, moved to 11-3 at the No. 1 position and 20-6 overall, including a 7-6 mark vs. ranked opponents.
Eyeing the Irish
Notre Dame enters the match vs. the Buckeyes with a 15-8 overall record. The Irish began the season winning their opener vs. William & Mary, 6-1, before falling to No. 1 Virginia. At the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifier, the Irish downed Oklahoma, 4-1, before losing to Illinois by the same score. Notre Dame is 5-2 vs. Big Ten opponents including wins against Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. The Irish are 4-3 on the road and 2-7 against teams that are nationally ranked.
Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame
The Scarlet and Gray hold a 25-26 all-time mark vs. the Irish. Since head coach Ty Tucker took control of the Ohio State men’s program in 1999, the Scarlet and Gray are 7-4 against Notre Dame, including wins in the previous four meetings.
The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 36 Notre Dame, 7-0, April 7, 2010 in Notre Dame, Ind. It was the Buckeyes’ 13th consecutive win on the 2009-10 campaign, including 10 victories against Top 75 opponents.
Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge won the Buckeyes’ 21st match of the season after defeating No. 91 Daniel Stahl 6-0, 6-4, at No. 3 singles. Kronauge, polled 36th in the country, earned his team-high 24th win and 13th in a row.
Ohio State vs. Top 25
The Buckeyes enter the match vs. Notre Dame with a 10-2 record when playing teams ranked in the ITA Top 25. Since 1999, Ohio State is 75-40 against Top 25 opponents, but that number improves to 69-11 since the 2005-06 campaign.
Ohio State’s 2010-11 Top 25 Results (through April 11)
No. 18 Mississippi W 6-1
No. 11 Georgia W 6-1
at No. 24 No. 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
*ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Ohio State in Top 25
Since 2001, the Scarlet and Gray are 233-35 when ranked in the ITA Top 25 poll. That mark improves to 186-12 from the 2005-06 season onward.
Big Ten Best
Ohio State has won 72 consecutive matches in the Big Ten after the 6-1 triumph vs. Michigan, April 10. Entering the season, the Buckeyes have amassed 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 124 of their last 129 league contests, including postseason play.
Big Ten Rankings
Eight of the 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Polls announced April 5.
3 Ohio State
60 Michigan State
Buckeye Matt Allare enters the contest with Notre Dame on a 14-match win streak. Allare is 26-3 overall with a 17-1 mark in duals. The Mason, Ohio, native is undefeated at 12-0 at the No. 4 position and 7-1 vs. ranked competition. The senior co-captain’s 26 singles wins overall are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola’s team-high 28 victories.
Chase Buchanan also enters the match vs. Notre Dame having won his previous seven singles contests.
After defeating No. 12 Kentucky, 4-3, 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 has won 54 out of its last 55 regular-season (non-tournament) road contests.
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.
A Ptuj, Slovenia, native, Rola leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 28 and has 15 dual doubles wins. Rola entered the season as the No. 2 rated freshman by the ITA and has been a constant in the Top 5 of the singles rankings this season. He, alongside junior Chase Buchanan form the ninth-ranked tandem in the nation. 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 Matt Allare reached the century-mark, winning his 100th career singles match March 21 at Pepperdine. Allare, ranked 41st nationally, picked up the win by defeating Pepperdine’s Alfredo Moreno 6-3, 6-4.His career record is now 106-18, while his season mark stands at 26-3 and 17-1 in duals. Allare is a perfect 12-0 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 24-5 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 23-4 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 23-4.
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 stand at an impressive 124-21 (.855) 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 117-17 (.879). Chase Buchanan and Balazs Novak lead the squad with 19 victories apiece. Devin McCarthy has 18 singles wins while Matt Allare has 17. Freshman Blaz Rola is right behind with 15 dual wins.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 54-16 (.768). Novak and Allare each lead the way with 16 doubles victories, while Rola, Buchanan and redshirt-freshman Peter Koblet each have earned 15 dual wins.
Seven Ranked in Latest Poll
New Campbell/ITA College Individual Tennis Rankings were released 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 Kobelt improved 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
102 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 314 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 123 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. They have since won two straight contests at Stickney Tennis Center to move to 8-0 vs. ranked 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 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 has 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 1,010 victories in its long history.
Tucker Against the State up North
Under head coach Ty Tucker’s direction the Buckeyes are a combined 28-2 vs. Michigan State and Michigan, going a perfect 12-0 against Michigan State and 16-2 vs. Michigan. The team hasn’t lost to either program since the 2000-01 season, when Michigan upended the Buckeyes, 4-3, in Coach Tucker’s second year. Ohio State was 11-71-1 vs. Michigan and 27-35 against the Spartans before Tucker took command over the program.
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.
Chase Buchanan Nabs Big Ten Athlete of the Week Honors
For the second time this season, junior Chase Buchanan 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.
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 314-53. 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 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 Shuhei Uzawa, Balazs Novak and Matt Allare were named 2011 team captains head coach Ty Tucker announced. The trio has been instrumental in the Buckeyes’ 22-2 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 26 victories against three losses, including an 17-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak is 23-4 overall and boasts a 19-2 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 5-4 overall in singles and 15-3 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 14-5 in singles and 4-1 in doubles on the season.
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.
The Buckeyes will return to conference play when they hit the road to travel to Madison, Wis., Friday for a 3 p.m. ET match with Wisconsin. Ohio State will also face No. 20 Minnesota at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The Scarlet and Gray are 39-32 all-time vs. the Badgers and 25-38 against the Golden Gophers. Head coach Ty Tucker is an undefeated 20-0 when facing Wisconsin and 12-3 vs. Minnesota.