COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the final match of the 2011 ITA Men’s Kick-Off Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, the No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 56 UC Irvine, 7-0, Sunday at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. With the victory, the Buckeyes will be one of 16 teams to compete at the 2011 ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 18-21 in Seattle, Wash. The University of Washington will serve as hosts.

It is the fifth-consecutive year head coach Ty Tucker has led the Buckeyes to a spot at the championship event.
“It feels good to get the win and be one of the 16 teams moving on to Seattle,” Tucker said, “It’s a nice city and the Nordstrom Center is a great venue. We’re looking forward to it.”

Ohio State has now won a school-record 114-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2003 season.

In doubles play, Buckeyes Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola, the sixth-ranked tandem in the nation, jumped out to a quick lead at No. 2, defeating Sam Gould and Steven Henderson of UC Irvine on their way to an 8-0 shutout victory.

The Ohio State team of Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt won a hard-fought match against the Anteaters’ Chris Kearney and Stephen Stege, 9-7, to earn the doubles point for the Buckeyes. The duo moved to 8-1 on the season in doubles competition.

In singles action, senior Balazs Novak and freshman Ille Van Engelen ended almost simultaneously, giving Ohio State the first two singles points. Novak downed Shan Sondhu, 6-2, 6-2, while Van Engelen, a Netherlands native, beat Stege, 6-1, 6-2.

In more singles action wins for the Scarlet and Gray, Rola beat Gould with a 6-2, 6-2, decision. Allare was victorious vs. Fabian Matthews, 6-3, 6-2. Irvine’s Ryan Cheung lost 6-2, 6-4, at the hands of Devin McCarthy. Buchanan picked up the last point for Ohio State with a tough 6-3, 5-7, 10-6, win against Kearney.

Ohio State will return to action at 6 p.m. Sunday vs. in-state opponent Toledo at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Admission is free.

ITA Championship Match
No. 4 Ohio State 7, No. 56 UC Irvine 0
Jan. 30, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio

1. #63 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. #33 Chris Kearney (IRVINE) 6-3, 5-7, 10-6
2. #7 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Sam Gould (IRVINE) 6-2, 6-2
3. Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. Stephen Stege (IRVINE) 6-1, 6-2
4. #34 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Fabian Matthews (IRVINE) 6-3, 6-2
5. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Shan Sondhu (IRVINE) 6-2, 6-2
6. #46 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Ryan Cheung (IRVINE) 6-2, 6-4

1. #34 Peter Kobelt/Matt Allare (OSU) def. Chris Kearney/Stephen Stege (IRVINE) 9-7
2. #6 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Sam Gould/Steven Henderson (IRVINE) 8-0
3. #25 Devin McCarthy/Balazs Novak (OSU) vs. Ryan Cheung/Shan Sondhu (IRVINE) 7-5, unfinished

Match Notes:
UC Irvine 1-3; National ranking No. 56
Ohio State 4-0; National ranking No. 4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,3,2,4,6,1)
ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Championship Match
Official: Vince Solomon T-3:00 A-222