On March 7, 2014, the then-undefeated Ohio State’s men’s tennis team traveled to Oklahoma and walked away with its first loss of the season.
Now just 364 days later, the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) are set to travel to Columbus on Friday afternoon and the No. 8 Buckeyes (12-3) are looking for revenge.
“It’s always good to beat a No. 1 team, but revenge for me is the main thing,” OSU redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan said. “They beat us pretty bad … so I think we want to get them back a little bit.”
With the players looking for payback against the nation’s top team, coach Ty Tucker said he is just excited for the opportunity to play the Sooners.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for guys in college athletics to get the chance to play the No. 1 team in the country in your home building in any sport,” he said. “These are the things you look forward to.”
The last time the Buckeyes had the opportunity to play a top-ranked team at home was when they took on Illinois on April 5, 2003. The Buckeyes lost that match, but haven’t tasted defeat in Columbus since.
OSU has made Columbus a hostile environment for visiting teams during its 200-match home winning streak, but Tucker said he expects a fight from Oklahoma.
“They’ve got great players all across the board … It would be a huge effort for our guys to come up with a victory, but anything’s possible at home,” he said.
The Sooners have three players ranked inside the top 20 and won the ITA Indoor Championship in February, but Callahan said the Buckeyes know what they need to do.
“You just got to do what you have to do against an Oklahoma,” Callahan said. “In the end, you always have to beat them no matter if they’re No. 70, or if they are No. 1.”
Tucker said the players are “pretty jacked up to play.”
The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Varsity Tennis Center.