Top-ranked Ohio State survives upset scare, beats Penn State
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Top-ranked Ohio State rallied to defeat Penn State 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes (17-0, 2-0 B1G) dropped the doubles point, but bounced back to take five of the six singles matches to hand the Nittany Lions (10-1, 0-1 B1G) their first loss of the season. Ohio State has now won 183-consecutive home matches -- just one win shy of the NCAA Division I record held by the Stanford women’s team.
Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan clinched the contest for the Buckeyes and won his 15th consecutive match, improving his 2014 record to 19-3. He leads the team in both overall and dual match victories for the season. It was the fourth clinch of the season for Callahan, also a team best.
With the conference victory, the Buckeyes also have won 84 consecutive Big Ten regular-season matches, which dates back to 2005.
In doubles action, redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach struck first for Ohio State when they defeated Christian Lutschaunig and David Kohan 8-1. The No. 2 duo of senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt junior Kevin Metka then fell on court No. 1 to Russell Bader and Leonard Stakhovsky 8-6 to tie things up. The point came down to court No. 2, where Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen lost to Chris Young and Michael Reilly 8-7 (7-5).
Down 1-0 heading into singles play, the Buckeyes won the first set on five of the six courts. No. 9 Kobelt tied things up at one apiece with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against No. 50 Stakhovsky. It was the ninth win against a ranked opponent this season for him. Pollanen was next to finish, downing Bader 6-1, 6-1 on court No. 2 to give the Buckeyes the lead. On court No. 5, Metka claimed a 6-3, 6-4 decision against Matt Berry to bring Ohio State’s lead to 3-1. Callahan then clinched the match for the Buckeyes with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Marc Collado Castells on court No. 6. The two remaining singles matches were the only three-setters, and Steinbach claimed his on court No. 4 with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against Roman Trkulja. Diaz was last to finish and fell to Alex Fennerll in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 battle.