Courtesy Ohio State Athletic Communications
The Ohio State men’s tennis team shut out three consecutive conference opponents en route to winning its seventh Big Ten Tournament in eight years.
The No. 4 Buckeyes (31-2), who played host to the annual tournament for the first time since 2002, held up the No. 1 overall tournament seed throughout the weekend, securing victories over No. 9-seeded Purdue, No. 4-seeded Illinois and No. 3-seeded Michigan, respectively.
OSU did not relent a point over the three-game stretch, winning each match 4-0 and remaining undefeated in Big Ten play in 2013.
The Saturday semifinal win over the No. 4-seeded Illini avenged the last season’s 4-3 loss in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Ill.
The championship victory over the Wolverines on Sunday gave the Buckeyes their eighth Big Ten Tournament victory (2001, 2006-11, 2013) and 11th finals appearance under coach Ty Tucker. Before Tucker took over in 1999, OSU also won the tournament in 1991.
Against Michigan, the Scarlet and Gray dominated their archrivals from the North by securing the team doubles point for the 31st time in 2013. The No. 46-ranked tandem of junior Blaz Rola and redshirt sophomore Kevin Metka won their match, 8-5, and maintained their perfect record on the season at 20-0. The No. 14-ranked duo of redshirt junior Peter Kobelt and senior Connor Smith followed suit and clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory.
In singles play, OSU rallied to three consecutive wins to put away the Wolverines. The Buckeyes garnered wins from redshirt freshman Chris Diaz and freshman Constantin Christ, winning 6-2, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-2, respectively. Finally,
Smith, winning his match 6-3, 6-3, earned the match-winning point to solidify the Buckeyes as 2013 Big Ten Tournament Champions and earn them an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The men’s tennis selection show is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, with singles and doubles selections scheduled to occur at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.