Ohio St. gets outright Big Ten lead
Rola clinches Buckeye win for third time in a row, gets 32nd win
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fourth-ranked Ohio State (26-2, 9-0) defeated No. 24 Indiana (21-6, 8-1), 5-2, in a battle of the Big Ten’s top-two teams. Both teams entered the match undefeated in the conference and were looking to take sole possession of first place in the league standings.
Blaz Rola clinched the victory for the third-consecutive time. The Ptuj, Slovenia, native downed Indiana’s Santiago Gruter 6-1, 6-4 for his team-high 32nd win. Rola is now 19-5 in dual singles and 12-1 at the No. 2 spot.
In doubles, Chase Buchanan and co-captain Shuhei Uzawa gave the Buckeyes early momentum by beating Josh MacTaggart and Stephen Vogl, 8-2, on court two. The duo moves to 9-2 on the season. Overall in doubles, Buchanan is 24-8 while Uzawa is 18-4.
Balazs Novak and Rola claimed the doubles point for the Scarlet and Gray by downing the Hoosiers’ Isade Juneau and Will Kendall, 8-5, on court three. The win was the fifth in a row for the Buckeye pair, who are now 10-1 overall and 8-0 at the No. 3 position.
In the final doubles contest, Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt, the nation’s 13th-ranked team, lost a hard fought match to Gruter and Jeremy Langer at No. 1. Both teams held serve the entire match, leading to a tiebreaker, which the Buckeyes lost 6-4 for the 9-8 defeat.
Allare won his 18th-consecutive match, giving the Buckeyes a 2-0 advantage by beating Juneau 6-1, 6-0 on court four. The senior co-captain picked up his 30th singles win on the year and moved to 21-1 in dual action, including marks of 8-0 in the Big Ten and 15-0 at No. 4.
Buchanan improved to 28-5 overall and 14-1 at the No. 1 spot by defeating Langer in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. The victory was the 11th in a row for the New Albany, Ohio, native.
Competing in his first-career conference singles match, Kobelt won against Dimitrije Tasic 6-2, 7-6 at No. 6. The redshirt-freshman moved to 3-0 in dual singles and 13-3 overall.
Ohio State dropped its first point of the match when Indiana’s Vogl defeated Devin McCarthy 7-5, 5-7, 10-3 on court five. McCarthy fell to 26-5 overall while suffering his first conference loss.
Novak and MacTaggart finished the match in an extremely long and hard fought bout. MacTaggart edged Novak 7-6, 2-6, 10-4 to give the Hoosiers their second win of the evening.
The match was played in front of 253 fans looking similar to Buckeye head coach Ty Tucker for “Dress Like Coach Tucker Day.”