COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team returns to the road after an 11-day break for Winter Quarter Finals. The Buckeyes (15-2, 1-0) will head west to Malibu, Calif., Monday to face the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves (13-3, 0-0) at 4 p.m. ET at the Ralph-Straus Tennis Center. The Scarlet and Gray will try to rebound from their 4-0 loss at Texas A&M March 10. It was the team’s first non-tournament road loss since 2006.
The match against the Waves is the third of seven consecutive road contests for Ohio State. The contest also will serve as the second of nine straight ranked opponents in the ITA Top 75 the Buckeyes will face. The others are No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 74 Iowa, No. 9 Illinois, No. 66 Northwestern, No. 14 Kentucky, No. 42 Michigan State, No. 16 Michigan and No. 21 Notre Dame. Ohio State is 9-2 vs. ranked opponents on the season, including a perfect 6-0 mark in Columbus.
The Buckeyes are 23-2 as the No. 4 ranked team in the country.
Fans can follow the action with live updates at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. To access the updates, select the schedule tab from the men’s tennis homepage.
A Look Back
The Buckeyes lost their first non-tournament road match of the season and first since 2006 March 10 at No. 17 Texas A&M by a score of 4-0 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The setback moved Ohio State to 2-1 on the road this season. Entering the match, both teams were knotted up at two each in the all-time series. Both wins by the Buckeyes have come under head coach Ty Tucker.
In a match that featured nine ranked singles players and five doubles tandems, the Buckeyes opened play dropping the doubles point. The Ohio State duo of Blaz Rola and Chase Buchanan, ranked eighth in the country, earned the lone win, beating Junior Ore and Alexey Grigorov, 8-6, at the No. 2 position.
The 12th-ranked pair of Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt lost a close 8-6 decision to No. 3 Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek at No. 1 doubles, while No. 75 Balazs Novak and Devin McCarthy fell, 8-6, to No. 45 Colin Hoover and Alberto Bautista at No. 3.
The Buckeyes were looking to rally from a 1-0 deficit for the third time this season. At the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 18-21, Ohio State rebounded from a doubles point loss on two occasions vs. Texas Tech and Texas. However, no such occurrence would happen as Texas A&M won three consecutive singles matches to clinch the victory.
Krajicek, ranked 38th in the singles polls, downed No. 14 Buchanan 7-6, 6-1 at the top spot. No. 80 Alexis Klegou defeated No. 76 Novak 7-5, 6-3, at No. 2 singles, while Bautista bettered McCarthy 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to lead the Aggies to victory.
Scouting the Waves
Pepperdine enters the contest with a 13-3 overall record. Pepperdine started the season winning 11 of its first 13 contests, with the only loss occurring at No. 14 Duke, 4-3, and No. 2 USC, 5-2. The Waves swept the Blue Gray Invitational in Montgomery, Ala., defeating Alabama, Notre Dame and Auburn all by the score of 4-0. Other wins on the season include UC Irvine, Boise State, Hawaii, Louisville and Wisconsin. Pepperdine avenged their loss to Duke at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event with a 4-3 win vs. the No. 4 Blue Devils March 11 in Malibu.
Buckeyes vs. Pepperdine
Ohio State is 4-1 all-time vs. the Waves, with all four wins happening under head coach Ty Tucker. The Buckeyes have defeated Pepperdine in each of the last three seasons.
Last season No. 3 Ohio State downed No. 12 Pepperdine, 6-1, Feb. 5, in Columbus. No. 103 Chase Buchanan downed No. 90 Bassam Beidas 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) at No. 1. Justin Kronauge beat Alex Llompart 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), while Dino Marcan defeated Mousheq Hovhannisyan 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to claim the victory for the Scarlet and Gray.
Ohio State vs. WCC
Pepperdine is the only team hailing from the West Coast Conference the Buckeyes have played. Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, San Diego and Santa Clara have never met the Scarlet and Gray on the courts.
Big Ten Best
Ohio State currently is on a 67 match win streak in the Big Ten after the 7-0 victory at Penn State March 4. Entering the season, the Buckeyes have amassed 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 67 consecutive match win streak in conference play, the Buckeyes also have been a winner in 119 of its last 124 league contests, including postseason play.
After defeating No. 19 North Carolina earlier this season, 6-1, and Penn State March 4, Ohio State enters the match vs. Pepperdine with 49 wins out of its last 50 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.
Success in Duals
Ohio State has been dominant so far throughout the 2011 schedule in dual action. In singles, the Buckeyes are a combined 81-11 (.880). Senior Balazs Novak paces the squad with 14 victories. Chase Buchanan and Devin McCarthy each have 12, while freshman Blaz Rola has 11. Senior Matt Allare and freshman Ille Van Engelen each have 10 wins each as well.
In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 36-13 (.735). McCarthy leads the way with an 11-4 mark, while Novak, Allare and Rola are right behind with 10 doubles wins each.
Last season, Ohio State finished with a combined dual record of 160-32 (.833) in singles and was 85-20 (.810) in doubles.
Seven Ranked in Latest Poll
New Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released Tuesday March 15. Ohio State leads the nation with seven players ranked in the singles poll. No. 2 Virginia is second with six players ranked in the Top 125.
Junior Chase Buchanan remains in the Top 20, falling five spots to No. 19. Buchanan was ranked 21st in the Feb. 14 standings and 63rd in the inaugural standings. Freshman Blaz Rola dropped one spot to No. 5. Senior Matt Allare fell four spots to No. 43, while redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy remains ranked 46th.
Rounding out the rankings for the Scarlet and Gray are freshman Peter Kobelt, who remains 63rd, freshman Nelson Vick at No. 98 and senior co-captain Balazs Novak who sits at No. 116.
In the doubles poll, the team of Rola and Buchanan fell one place to No. 9, while Allare and Kobelt are now ranked No. 14. The duo of Novak and McCarthy fell out of the doubles rankings after being the No. 76th team in the March 1 release.
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 Waves, the overall record currently stands at 1,003-694-10. Head coach Ty Tucker has 306 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. They 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 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. Including the 2011 season, Ohio State currently has 1,003 victories in its long history.
McCarthy, Novak Earn All-ITA Indoor Team Honors
Redshirt-sophomore Devin McCarthy and senior Balazs Novak were each named to the 2011 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships 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.
Virginia players were selected for the No. 1 through No. 4 positions.
Vick and Allare Continue Streaks
Buckeyes Matt Allare and Nelson Vick enter the match at Pepperdine with win streaks of at least seven matches.
Vick paces all Buckeyes with 13-consecutive wins. He stands at 10-3 in duals with a 17-3 overall mark during his rookie campaign. Allare has a seven-match win streak for a 10-1 dual record. The senior co-captain’s 19 overall singles wins are second on the team, only behind Blaz Rola’s team-high 24 victories.
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 (17-5) 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 307-53. 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 26.5 wins in 11 seasons and his current .855 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’ 15-2 record so far in 2011. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, paces the group with 19 victories against three losses, including a 10-1 mark in dual competition. Meanwhile, Novak, who hails from Budapest, Hungary, had a 14-match win streak snapped at Texas A&M. Novak is 18-3 overall and boasts a 14-1 mark in dual play. Uzawa, who grew up in Chiba, Japan, is 4-4 overall, but has only seen action in two dual meets so far as the rest of his victories came during fall tournament play.
Prior to this season, the three seniors won a combined 244 singles matches. In 2010, each player claimed at least 20 wins. Allare was 25-5 overall in singles and 23-13 in doubles last season.
When paired with Uzawa in doubles last year, the duo went 22-13 overall, which was tied for the team lead.
Novak picked up where he left off the previous two seasons in 2008 and 2009, going 37-7 in singles and 37-3 in doubles, both team highs in 2010. During the season, Novak was an important contributor in the singles lineup with a combined 31-4 record at the Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions.
Uzawa put together a good 2010 season. He was 20-16 in singles and 25-13 overall in doubles. In singles, Uzawa was perfect at No. 3 with a 4-0 mark and was 22-13 in doubles play when paired with Allare.
The trio also has been successful in the Big Ten, earning a 41-4 combined career Big Ten singles record.
Rola Rolls to 20 Wins
Freshman Blaz Rola, the fifth-ranked singles player nationally, was the first Buckeye to achieve 20 victories on the season. His record stands at 24-3 overall with an impressive 11-1 mark in dual action. He is 4-1 while playing at No. 1 and 7-0 at No. 2. On the year, he has faced a ranked opponent 13 times, winning 10.
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 10-4 in singles and 3-1 in doubles on the season.
The Buckeyes will pick back up with Big Ten play when they travel to Iowa March 25 to take on the No. 74 Hawkeyes. Ohio State holds a 31-21 advantage all-time vs. the Black and Yellow, winning the last 11 meetings.