May 1, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio Peter Kobelt, Blaz Rola and Connor Smith, members of the No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team, were selected to compete in the field of 64 singles players and 32 doubles tandems at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships the NCAA selection committee announced Wednesday. Kobelt was the Big Ten Conference’s automatic singles qualifier, while Rola was an at-large selection. Kobelt and Smith will pair up in the doubles bracket as the league’s automatic qualifier. All three Buckeyes will begin competition May 22, following the NCAA team championship at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex and Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign, Ill., on the University of Illinois campus.

Ohio State will serve as one of 16 hosts of the first and second rounds of the team portion of the NCAA tennis championships starting May 10. Notre Dame and Washington will open the Columbus regional at 10 a.m. before the fifth-seed Buckeyes and Cleveland State play at 1 p.m. The winners of the opening-round matches will meet in the second round at noon May 11. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students with a valid student ID and children. All matches are scheduled to take place at Ohio State’s outdoor facility, the Varsity Tennis Courts located on Olentangy River Road. In the case of inclement weather, matches will be moved indoors at the Varsity Tennis Center on 880 W. Henderson Road.

The No. 8 seed, Kobelt is the 11th Buckeye under head coach Ty Tucker to earn a bid into the NCAA singles championship. A redshirt junior from New Albany, Ohio, Kobelt is making his first appearance in the singles tournament after posting a 31-7 overall record, including a 17-4 record in dual play. In the Big Ten, Kobelt, a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, was 8-1, compiling a 7-1 and 10-3 record at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Kobelt posted an impressive fall season in 2012, winning the USTA/ITA Midwest Region singles title and finishing as the runner-up at the ITA All-American championships.

Rola is making his third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA singles championship, advancing as far as the semifinals a season ago and the quarterfinals as a freshman. A three-time First Team All-Big Ten recipient, Rola has just one loss on the season compared to 23 wins. The junior from Ptuj, Slovenia, is 15-1 at No. 1 singles and 8-0 at the No. 2 position.

Playing majority of the time at No. 1 doubles, Kobelt and Smith, a senior from Tampa, Fla., own a 22-3 overall record, including a 21-2 ledger in the dual play. The duo also posted a 10-1 mark in the Big Ten. Kobelt and Smith carried an 18-2 record on court No. 1, while collecting three wins (3-0) at No. 2 doubles. Under Tucker, Kobelt and Smith are the 11th Buckeye tandem to qualify for the NCAA doubles championship.