Feb. 15, 2018
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The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have accomplished everything that could have hoped for up to this point in the season, winning all eight of their matches to start the season, including three wins over top-15 teams. However, all of these matches were at home at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes will be travelling for the first time this season, going all the way across the country to Seattle, Wash. There, they will partake in one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year: the ITA Team Indoor Championships. The Buckeyes have found immense success at this tourney over the years, including winning a title in 2014. They will look to get another one, and the first step is taking on No. 15-seed Duke in the opening round at Noon ET on Friday.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
- The Buckeyes have started the season 8-0, including six sweeps, and three wins against ranked teams (4-0 over No. 16 Texas, 4-3 over No. 6 Texas A&M, 5-2 win over No. 11 Florida).
- As all eight matches were at home, the Buckeyes also have an 8-0 record at home. This upcoming match vs. Duke will be the first neutral/away match for the Buckeyes this season.
- The Buckeyes are 2nd in the team rankings, below Wake Forest. They are also the 2-seed in the tournament, also below Wake Forest.
- In the USTA College Tennis Top 25 rankings, the Buckeyes were placed on top at No. 1. Wake Forest is No. 3 in this poll.
- The Buckeye’s overall point record took a beating after three straight ranked matches and is no longer flawless, but is still at an impressive 37-5.
- The Buckeyes have not lost a doubles point yet this season.
- The Buckeyes are 29-5 in singles matches, and 16-1 in doubles matches.
- In the singles rankings updated last week for the first time since November, Ohio State has four players ranked in the top 60.
- Ohio State also now has two top-50 doubles teams in the updated rankings.
- The Buckeyes had not yet faced a ranked singles player or doubles team until facing Texas. Since then, they have faced 11 ranked singles players and went 8-3, and four doubles pairings, going 3-0 (one unfinished).
- Senior Mikael Torpegaard is unsurprisingly leading the Buckeyes once again. Ranked No. 5 in singles and No. 25 in doubles with fellow partner Martin Joyce, Torpegaard has a top-10 win and three ranked wins in singles, and two top-5 wins with Joyce in doubles.
ITA Indoor Team Championship history
- The Buckeyes have qualified for the ITA Indoor Team Championship in all 12 years of the tournament’s existence.
- This tournament has been one of the keys to the Buckeyes bread-and-butter each season, as the Buckeyes have advanced to at least the quarterfinals every year since 2007.
- Ohio State has also progressed to the semifinals during this run eight of eleven times, semifinals five times, and has won the title once in 2014 in Houston, Texas, defeating USC 4-1 in the finals.
- This gives the Buckeyes an impressive 25-10 record in this tournament against the top 16 teams in the nation each year during this time.
- Last year the Buckeyes were the runner up as the No. 3 seed. The first two rounds were sweeps against No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State.
- The Buckeyes then grinded out a 4-3 win over then No. 2 Wake Forest, which involved a matchup between the No. 1 (Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest) and No. 2 (Torpegaard) players in the country battling it out in a third set tiebreaker to decide the match. Down in each set 0-3, Torpegaard was able to rally in two of these sets, force the third set tiebreaker, and pull out the win against the No. 1 player in the nation.
- The Buckeyes ended up falling to the No. 1 seed Virginia in the finals last year. However, with Virginia out this year, the door has been left wide open. Standing in the Buckeye’s way will most likely once again be Wake Forest, who is now the No. 1 seed.
- The Blue Devils have started the season 6-2.
- Duke has faced one nationally ranked team this year, a fellow Big Ten team in No. 10 Illinois. The Illini won this one 6-1.
- The Blue Devils did sweep San Diego 4-0, a team that isn’t ranked but received votes to be ranked in the latest poll.
- The Buckeyes have not yet defeated the Blue Devils, losing all four matches ever played between the two teams.
- These two teams also have not faced each other since the 1966-1967 season.
- The Blue Devils are ranked No. 20 in the ITA poll, but are the 15-seed in this tournament thanks to qualifying wins over Louisville and San Diego.
- Duke has not qualified for the ITA Indoor Championship since 2015, but before that had qualified for the tournament for eight straight years.
- Depending on the Buckeyes result against the Blue Devils, they will play the next day either in a consolation match at noon (9 a.m. PT) or in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. (noon PT) against either No. 7 UCLA or No. 10 Illinois.