The Ohio State men’s tennis team won its first two matches of the NCAA Championship on Friday and Saturday. The Buckeyes, along with 15 other teams, will now advance to round three of the tournament in Stanford, Calif.
OSU shut out Notre Dame and Ball State, winning the first two rounds of the tournament, 4-0.
Playing doubles for the Buckeyes this weekend were senior Matt Allare and redshirt freshman Peter Kobelt, junior Chase Buchanan and senior Shuhei Uzawa, and freshman Blaz Rola and senior Balazs Novak.
“There was so much at stake today,” coach Ty Tucker said after the match against Notre Dame. “We got to be ready to play.”
The Buckeyes played hard against Notre Dame, winning the doubles point after two 8-2 victories from pairs Buchanan and Uzawa, and Rola and Novak.
The last three points for the Buckeyes came from three singles victories by Novak, Rola and Allare.
Novak sped through his match winning, 6-0, 6-2, against Notre Dame’s Blas Moros. Rola finished soon after, beating Casey Watt, 6-2, 6-2.
Scoring the final point for the Buckeyes was Allare, with a score of 6-2, 6-3 against Notre Dame’s Greg Andrews.
“They’re a really tough team,” Kobelt said of Notre Dame. “They’ve got great coaches and great players one through six.”
OSU came out strong against Ball State in the first round of the tournament Friday.
“We have to take what we can get,” Kobelt said of the hot weather. “It’s the kind of stuff we’ll deal with if we go out to California.”
Novak and Rola were the first to finish their match, beating Ball State opponents Shaun Bussert and Austin Sansone, 8-0.
Finishing soon after, fellow teammates Buchanan and Uzawa won their match against Ball State’s Zane Smith and Derek Carpenter, 8-3, clinching the doubles point for the Buckeyes.
Allare and Kobelt finished their match early, 6-4, because the Buckeyes had already won the doubles point after the first two OSU doubles wins.
Competing in singles and earning the team’s last three points were Rola, Buchanan, Allare, redshirt sophomore Devin McCarthy, Novak and Kobelt.
McCarthy finished first, beating Ball State’s Alexandre Brym, 6-1, 6-2. He was followed soon after by Allare, who won his match, 6-3, 6-2, and Buchanan, who won his match, 6-1, 6-0.
“I think I played well,” McCarthy said after his match. “It’s always a little nerve-racking going into the first round of the tournament.”
OSU will now advance to the third round of the NCAA Championship Tournament, and face off against either Texas or Tulsa at 6 p.m. May 19.