Second-ranked Ohio State gets by Illinois to extend home, Big Ten runs
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State continued its home dominance with a 5-2 win against No. 10 Illinois on Sunday afternoon at the Varsity Tennis Center. With the conference win, the Buckeyes (21-2, 6-0 B1G) won their 186th consecutive home match, an NCAA all-time record. Ohio State takes sole ownership of the conference standings and have won 88 consecutive Big Ten regular-season matches, dating back to 2005. The Buckeyes took the doubles point and four singles matches to defeat the Fighting Illini (14-6, 4-1 B1G).
Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan, ranked No. 97 in the nation, clinched the match for the Buckeyes, improving his season record to 22-6. With the win, Callahan brings his dual match record to 18-3 for the season.
Different doubles lineups were used for the match and Callahan and redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz struck first and defeated Blake Bazarnik and Alex Jesse 8-4 on court No. 3. Redshirt junior Kevin Metka and freshman Marko Goles-Babic clinched the doubles point with an 8-7 (7-2) victory against Jared Hiltzik and Farris Gosea on court No. 2. On court No. 1, senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach held set points against No. 3 Ross Guigon and Tim Kopinski, but were tied 3-3 in their tiebreaker when play was suspended.
With Ohio State leading 1-0 heading into singles play, the Illini fought back by taking four first sets. Illinois tied the match at 1-1 when No. 42 Kopinski defeated Diaz 6-3, 6-1 on court No. 3. Steinbach battled down 3-5 and set point before defeating Julian Childers 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) on court No. 6 to give the Buckeyes the lead. No. 9 Kobelt dropped a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 decision to No. 23 Gosea on court No. 1 to tie things up again. No. 109 Metka was down a break and won four consecutive games to take a 6-3, 6-4 win on court No. 5. Callahan battled from a set down to clinch the match for Ohio State, downing Bazarnik 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. In the final match of the afternoon, Pollanen upset No. 9 Hiltzik 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to give the Buckeyes a 5-2 win.