No. 5 Ohio State Downs No. 12 Florida 4-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 5 seed Ohio State men’s tennis team improved to 34-3 on the season after beating No. 12 Florida 4-1 Friday in an NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship Round of 16 match in Athens, Ga. The Buckeyes will face No. 4 UCLA , who downed No. 13 Ole Miss 4-1, at noon Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
After dropping the first set 7-5, junior Connor Smith relinquished just one game in the final two sets to rally for the 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 victory and lift the Scarlet and Gray to their 32nd NCAA championship win under head coach Ty Tucker. Smith, who played at No. 6 singles, improves to 29-7 overall, including a 17-5 mark at the sixth position.
For the 34th time this season, Ohio State won the doubles point to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Redshirt sophomore Peter Kobelt and Smith recorded their 28th win of the season courtesy of an 8-3 triumph vs. Mike Alford and Florent Diep at No. 3 doubles. The No. 1 duo in the nation, senior Chase Buchanan and sophomore Blaz Rola, defeated the Gators’ Tripper Carleton and Nassim Slilam 8-1 at the top spot to record their 31st win of the season and effectively score the first team point for Ohio State.
Moving on to singles action, Rola was the first Buckeye to conclude his match after handing Carleton a 6-4, 6-1 loss at the No. 2 position. With the win, Rola now has a team-leading 33 wins in 2011-12. For the season, Rola is 16-2 at No. 2.
The Gators cut the Ohio State lead in half (2-1) when Diep beat redshirt junior Devin McCarthy 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. However, the Buckeyes extended their lead to two once again (3-1) after Buchanan’s 6-3, 6-3 win vs. Bob van Overbeek at No. 1 singles. The win served as Buchanan’s 14th (14-2) at No. 1.
• Ohio State is 32-12 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
• As the fifth-ranked team nationally, Ohio State has a 12-1 record.
• The Buckeyes have won 34 of 37 doubles points this season.
• Since 2001, Ohio State is 279-39 (.877) when ranked in the ITA Top 25. That percentage improves to 232-16 (.935) since 2005-06.
• The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 199 consecutive matches (beginning March 7, 2006).
• The Scarlet and Gray are 12-3 vs. teams ranked in the ITA Top 25 and 23-3 vs. teams in the Top 75.
•Blaz Rola leads the team with 33 singles wins, while Chase Buchanan leads the squad with 39 doubles wins.
#5 OHIO STATE (34-3) def. #12 FLORIDA (16-10), 4-1 - McWhorter Courts
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (OHIO STATE) and Andy Jackson (FLORIDA)
1. #1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OHIO STATE) def. Tripper Carleton/Nassim Slilam (FLORIDA), 8-1
2. #32 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OHIO STATE) vs. #64 Spencer Newman/Bob van Overbeek (FLORIDA), 5-6, unfinished
3. Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OHIO STATE) def. Mike Alford/Florent Diep (FLORIDA), 8-3
1. #10 Chase Buchanan (OHIO STATE) def. #42 Bob van Overbeek (FLORIDA), 6-3, 6-3
2. #9 Blaz Rola (OHIO STATE) def. #48 Tripper Carleton (FLORIDA), 6-4, 6-1
3. #67 Peter Kobelt (OHIO STATE) vs. #53 Nassim Slilam (FLORIDA), 2-6, 7-5, 0-1, unfinished
4. Ille Van Engelen (OHIO STATE) vs. #66 Spencer Newman (FLORIDA), 4-6, 5-2, unfinished
5. Florent Diep (FLORIDA) def. #85 Devin McCarthy (OHIO STATE), 6-4, 6-2
6. Connor Smith (OHIO STATE) def. Mike Alford (FLORIDA), 5-7, 6-1, 6-0
Order of Finish
Doubles: 3,1 Singles: 2,5,1,6*