Ohio State extends Big Ten title run
Buckeyes won 17th consecutive league tournament match
MADISON, Wis. -- Third-ranked and No. 1-seeded Ohio State won its sixth consecutive Big Ten tournament title with a 4-0 victory against No. 3-seed Minnesota on the final Sunday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Scarlet and Gray (30-2, 13-0 Big Ten) earn the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA championships.
The Buckeyes did not give up a point in their three tournament matches as they picked up three consecutive 4-0 wins en route to the crown. Minnesota fell to 19-5 (10-3 Big Ten) with the loss.
The men's tennis team joins the Buckeye football (2006-10), women's basketball (2006-10) and men's golf (1982-87) teams as Ohio State programs that have amassed six consecutive Big Ten titles. The Buckeyes have now claimed eight Big Ten tournament titles in program history. Ohio State won its first Big Ten tournament in 1991 when head coach Ty Tucker (1989-91) was a junior at Ohio State.
"It was a great win for the Buckeyes," Tucker said. "We played outside in tough tennis conditions, but we fought hard. I am proud of the Buckeyes."
Blaz Rola clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Rok Bonin. The win was the sixth in seven matches the Ptuj, Slovenia, native won the fourth point. Rola now has 35 wins overall, including an 11-1 mark vs. Big Ten opponents and a 15-1 ledger playing at the No. 2 position.
The Buckeyes did not give up a point in their three tournament matches, while extending their Big Ten tournament win streak to 17 matches. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan State and Illinois 4-0 to reach the final.
The Buckeye duo of Rola and Balazs Novak gave Ohio State an early advantage in doubles by defeating Tobias Wernet and Juan Pablo Ramirez 8-4 on court three. The pair improved to 12-1 overall and 10-0 in conference doubles competition..
Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt, the 18th-ranked duo, moved to 25-8 overall and 11-1 vs. Big Ten opponents after defeating Phillip Arndt and Sebastian Gallego 8-5 at the No. 1 spot to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead heading into singles action. The pair extends their record to 15-5 at the No. 1 position.
Freshman Ille Van Engelen put the Scarlet and Gray within a point of the title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory vs. Gallego on court three. Van Engelen improves to 8-0 vs. Big Ten competition and boasts a 17-6 overall record.
Two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year Chase Buchanan secured a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Wernet at the No. 1 position. The win was Buchanan's 14th consecutive singles triumph and he carries a 31-5 overall record, including a 26-2 dual record (16-1 on court one and 10-1 at No. 2) into NCAA competition.