COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State was added to the records book Friday night after defeating No. 44 Michigan 6-1 at the Varsity Tennis Center to claim its 184th consecutive home win, which dates back to the 2003 campaign -- a span of 11 years of home dominance. The Buckeyes (18-2, 3-0 B1G) tie the Stanford women’s tennis program, which had a stretch of 184 consecutive home wins from 1999-2011. The streak marks the longest stretch of home wins in a row by any team in any sport at the NCAA level.
“It’s been a nerve-racking experience going through this and every home match has been counted for the last six or seven matches, so it’s nice that the guys get to go down in history,” head coach Ty Tucker said. “Hopefully we have enough magic in us to win one more home match and be alone at the top of the list. The special thing about this accomplishment is that it links so many guys together. It joins 11 years of Buckeyes and that’s something for them that will carry with them for a lifetime.”
The Big Ten win also extends the Buckeyes’ conference win streak to 85 consecutive matches, which dates back to 2005. Ohio State will look to make history in one week, hosting Northwestern on March 28.
The Buckeyes (18-2, 3-0 Big Ten) won the doubles point and five of the six singles matches. Senior Peter Kobelt clinched the match for the Buckeyes and won his seventh consecutive match, improving his season record to 19-5. Kobelt brings his dual match record to 11-1 and is now 11-5 against ranked opponents.
In doubles action, redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz and freshman Herkko Pollanen struck first for Ohio State when they defeated Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu 8-7 (7-2) on court No. 3. The No. 4 duo of Kobelt and redshirt junior Kevin Metka clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 victory against No. 22 Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks on court No. 1. Play was suspended on court No. 2, where redshirt junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Ralf Steinbach trailed Shaun Bernstein and Kevin Wong 6-7.
Up 1-0 heading into singles play, the Buckeyes blitzed the Wolverines in four of the six first sets and dropped the other two in tiebreakers. Diaz was first off the court for Ohio State, defeating Vlad Stefan 6-0, 6-2 on court No. 2. Moments later, No. 88 Callahan, on court No. 5 for the first time this season, downed Buzzi 6-1, 6-1 to give the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead. No. 9 Kobelt defeated No. 112 Petrone on court No. 1 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Steinbach took the first three-set match of the evening, downing Franks 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 on court No. 6. Next to finish was No. 120 Pollanen, who dropped a marathon match to Bernstein 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 on court No. 3. Metka was last to finish, defeating Justin Rossi in a 6-7 (2-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) battle.