COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team (20-2, 4-0 Big Ten) picked up its 20th win of the season by defeating No. 12 Kentucky (20-7, 5-3 SEC), 4-3, in one of its closest matches of the year. The Buckeyes move to 11-12 vs. the Wildcats following the five-hour affair Wednesday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Junior Chase Buchanan clinched match point at No. 2 singles when he downed No. 51 Alex Musialek 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a classic comeback victory. The 2010 Big Ten Athlete of the Year trailed in all three sets, but the determined leader pushed through for the win. Buchanan moves to 8-1 at No. 2, 17-2 in dual singles play and 12-5 vs. ranked competition.
With the win, the Buckeyes have now won five consecutive matches and collected 54 wins in their last 55 road contests. The Scarlet and Gray improved to 7-1 on the road this season and are 57-2 as the No. 3 ranked team in the nation.
Head coach Ty Tucker now has earned at least 20 wins in 12 consecutive seasons, which is an Ohio State record. Tucker is 8-0 against the Wildcats.
Doubles action began slowly for the visiting Buckeyes. Kentucky’s Eric Quigley and Brad Cox, the nation’s 64th ranked duo, quickly downed Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt, the 13th-best team in the country, 8-4, to give the Wildcats the advantage.
After trailing, 3-2, Buckeyes Buchanan and Shuhei Uzawa took the next six points from Alberto Gonzalez and Tom Jomby, the 51st ranked tandem in the nation, to win by a score of 8-3 to even up the doubles count at one win apiece. Buchanan and Uzawa improve to 4-1 when paired together on the year.
However, the Buckeyes dropped the doubles point as Blaz Rola and Balazs Novak let a 7-5 lead slip away before falling to Anthony Rossi and Musialek in a super-competitive bout, 9-8 (5). It was the Ohio State duo’s first loss since being teamed up for the last six contests.
Uzawa, a senior co-captain, ended Kentucky’s momentum by capturing the first singles point of the afternoon for the Buckeyes at No. 6 as he defeated Jomby 6-4, 6-1. It was only the third time this season Uzawa has competed in singles competition in 2011. The native of Chiba, Japan, has come away with victories in two of the matches.
Allare gave Ohio State a 2-1 advantage, winning in straight sets. Although both sets went into tie-breakers, Allare was able to edge Cox 7-6(3), 7-6(10-8) for his 24th singles win on the year and 12th in a row, all at the No. 4 position.
Novak would put the Scarlet and Gray up by two after coming back to win the last two sets of his match vs. Rossi 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. With the win, Novak moves to 10-0 at the No. 4 position and 17-2 during dual singles.
The Buckeyes would drop the next two points as the Wildcats evened the score at 3-all. Rola lost a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 decision to No. 7 Quigley at No. 1 in a rare loss for the third-ranked player in the country. Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy also was dealt a rare singles loss, losing to Gonzalez 7-6, 6-3.
Up next, the Buckeyes will resume conference play in Columbus when they welcome No. 53 Michigan State Friday and Michigan Sunday. The matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and noon, respectively. The Big Ten showdowns will be Ohio State’s first home matches since Feb. 27 vs. Louisville.
Check back to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for updated information on the location of the Buckeyes’ weekend matches. Ohio State will play its home matches at either the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center (880 W. Henderson Rd) or Stickney Tennis Center, which is located just north of the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility on Olentangy River Rd.
Tennis Final Match Results
No. 3 Ohio State 4, No. 12 Kentucky 3
April 6, 2011 at Lexington, Ky.
Boone Tennis Complex
1. No. 7 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 3 Blaz Rola (OSU) 6-4, 6-7, 6-4
2. No. 14 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. No. 51 Alex Musialek 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. No. 41 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Brad Cox (UK) 7-6, 7-6(10-8)
4. No. 98 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. No. 104 Anthony Rossi (UK) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
5. No. 100 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. No. 53 Devin McCarthy (OSU) 7-6, 6-3
6. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Tom Jomby (UK) 6-4, 6-1
1. No. 64 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) def. No. 13 Matt Allare/Peter Kobelt (OSU) 8-4
2. Chase Buchanan/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. No. 51 Alberto Gonzalez/Tom Jomby (UK) 8-3
3. Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) def. Blaz Rola/Balazs Novak (OSU) 9-8(5)
Kentucky 20-7; 5-3 SEC; National ranking No. 12
Ohio State 20-2; 4-0 Big Ten; National ranking No. 3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,3,4,5,1,2)