tennis-men-d1 flag | February 6, 2014

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Buckeyes face toughest opponents to date

Ohio State is set to compete in two top 20 non-conference matchups this weekend in Columbus. The Buckeyes (7-0) welcome No. 17 Kentucky on Friday before facing No. 8 Texas A&M on Sunday at the Varsity Tennis Center. The matches will mark the Buckeyes’ first meetings versus top-25 programs this season.

The Scarlet and Gray have had a successful campaign so far during the early portion of the season. They enter Friday with a 7-0 record and booked their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Houston, Texas, for Feb. 14 after defeating both Denver and Louisville in late January.

The Wildcats have played Notre Dame in back-to-back matches and lost both by 4-3 scores before heading into their match versus the Buckeyes. Texas A&M travels to Columbus after a contest at Illinois on Friday and is undefeated headed into the weekend.

Ohio State holds a four-match advantage against Kentucky, with the all-time record at 16-12. The squads met once last year with Ohio State winning 6-1 in Lexington, Ky., in a top-10 meeting. The Buckeyes have won 11 consecutive matches versus the Wildcats.

The Buckeyes and Aggies are tied 4-4 in the eight meetings between the two schools. Last season, Ohio State fell at Texas A&M 4-3 in College Station, Texas, but defeated the Aggies 4-0 in the NCAA Round of 16 in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes are 2-0 versus Texas A&M in Columbus, claiming victories in 2009 and '12, respectively.

Lob shots

Baylor enters Friday's doubleheader riding a four-match win streak that includes three wins against ranked opponents. ... Southern California junior Yannick Hanfmann served up two singles upsets of higher-ranked opponents and paired with teammate Ray Sarmiento for two more doubles wins last weekend. ... Texas off to its best start since 2011 after winning the first six matches of the season, including five shutout victories. ... UCLA senior Clay Thompson is ranked first in the nation in singles.

West Florida heads into its first match of the season with five players ranked in singles -- including top-ranked Bruno Savi. ... Barry started the season by taking five of the six singles matches against Florida Tech in consecutive sets. ... Armstrong Atlantic's Pedro Scocuglia is ranked a career-best ninth in singles as the second-ranked Pirates face No. 9 Rollins on Saturday. ...  Concordia (N.Y.) starts its season by facing Division I's Fordham on Saturday. ... Lynn won its opener last weekend despite having only four returning players from last year's Sunshine State Conference title-winning team.

Washington (Mo.) kicks off its hunt for its seventh consecutive trip to the national semifinals with a pair of top-25 opponents: Gustavus Adolphus on Saturday and Wisconsin-Whitewater on Sunday. ... Cal Luthern starts its season on Saturday, and looks to improve on last year's school-record 19 wins. ... Kenyon faces Chicago on Sunday in its first match of the season.

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