The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 24 Indiana, 5-2, Friday night, earning the Buckeyes yet another Big Ten regular-season title.
Both teams entered the competition undefeated in conference action, but the Buckeyes notched their 75th consecutive Big Ten victory.
“We did a good job,” freshman Ille Van Engelen said of OSU’s performance. “There were a couple of tough matches, but we won the Big Ten title, and that’s what matters.”
The afternoon started out with doubles action. The Buckeyes won two of the three matches, earning them the doubles point and their first point of the day.
Doubles pair junior Chase Buchanan and senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa were the first to finish their doubles match, winning, 8-2.
Freshman Blaz Rola and senior co-captain Balazs Novak followed soon thereafter, winning their match, 8-5.
The only doubles loss of the afternoon came on court one from doubles pair, senior co-captain Matt Allare and redshirt freshman Peter Kobelt. The two lost by only one point, putting their final score at 8-9.
In singles action, the Buckeyes won four of six matches, earning them their last four points of the day and giving them the victory against Indiana.
Allare, Buchanan and Rola finished their matches relatively quickly, winning, 6-1, 6-0; 6-2, 6-1; and, 6-1, 6-4, respectively.
Kobelt also won his match after going into an intense second-set battle with Indiana’s Dimitrije Tasic, ultimately winning, 6-2, 7-6.
The only two losses of the night for OSU came from redshirt sophomore Devin McCarthy and Novak.
Novak had the longest and arguably most competitive match of the day.
By the time Novak had finished his first set against Indiana’s Josh MacTaggart, both Allare and Buchanan had already finished their matches entirely.
Novak lost his first set, 6-7, but battled back in the second to win, 6-2. However, the long, drawn-out match ended in victory for Indiana, as MacTaggart was able to win, 10-4, against Novak in the tie-breaker round.
“I always fight for every point, and I tried my best” Novak said after the match. “We did well. Everyone fought hard and everyone tried their best. I’m proud of the guys.”
The Buckeyes will play their final regular-season match at noon Sunday at home against Purdue. If they win this last match, they will win the outright Big Ten title for the season.