COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 5 Ohio State men’s tennis team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA championships for the ninth time in program history following a 4-0 win vs. No. 12 Texas A&M in the round of 16 Thursday evening at the Khan Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes will face four-time defending champion USC next at 5 p.m. ET Saturday. The fourth-seed Trojans handed No. 13 Baylor a 4-1 loss Thursday.
The match between Ohio State
and USC will serve as the third meeting between the two teams in the last five NCAA championships. The Trojans have a 2-0 advantage, winning, 4-1, in the final in 2009 and posting a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals the following season in 2010.
“A&M is very good,” Ty Tucker, head coach, said. “They do a great job developing their talent. With those two freshmen at No. 3 and No. 4, they’ve jumped up a level since we played them in February. Connor Smith was very, very good. He owned the doubles court at No. 1 doubles and came through.
"In the match vs. the Aggies, Ohio State won the doubles point for the 34th time in 2013. The Buckeye duo of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen dropped to 26-3 on the season after suffering an 8-5 setback vs. No. 29 Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant on court No. 2. However, Ohio State rallied to win the next two doubles matches and the team point. First No. 12 Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith posted an 8-4 victory over eighth-ranked Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow at the No. 1 position. Then the doubles point was decided on court No. 3 when Blaz Rola and Hunter Callahan defeated Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo 8-6.
Moving on to singles play, the Buckeyes won three consecutive matches to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals and avenge one of two losses they suffered during the regular season. (Ohio State dropped its first match of the 2013 campaign, 4-3, Feb. 10 at College Station.) First off the courts for the Scarlet and Gray was Chris Diaz. The redshirt freshman improved to 32-4 on the season with a 6-1, 7-5 win on court No. 6 over Withrow. Kobelt, ranked eighth in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls, lifted Ohio State to a 3-0 advantage with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win vs. Ore at second singles. Clinching the match for the Buckeyes, for the ninth time this season, Smith improved to a team best 35-6 with a three-set victory against Adams 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
“As soon as we saw the draw, we saw we might have another chance at A&M,” Smith said. “We were all just hungry for that. All down the line, A&M fights hard. Steve Denton does a great job getting his players ready in singles and doubles. There were no easy matches, but that’s the NCAAs. You don’t get here because every match is easy."
Tennis Match Results
Texas A&M vs. Ohio State
May 16, 2013 at Urbana, Ill.
(Khan Tennis Complex)
#5 Ohio State 4, #11 Texas A&M 0
1. #12 Blaz Rola (OSU) vs. #18 Jeremy Efferding (TEXASA&M) 3-6, 7-5, 1-0, unfinished
2. #8 Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. #100 Junior Ore (TEXASA&M) 6-4, 7-6
3. #71 Connor Smith (OSU) def. #103 Harrison Adams (TEXASA&M) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
4. #73 Devin McCarthy (OSU) vs. #76 Shane Vinsant (TEXASA&M) 7-6, 6-5, unfinished
5. #104 Chris Diaz (OSU) def. Jackson Withrow (TEXASA&M) 6-1, 7-5
6. Hunter Callahan (OSU) vs. Jordan Szabo (TEXASA&M) 3-6, 6-4, 1-3, unfinished
1. #12 Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OSU) def. #8 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TEXASA&M) 8-4
2. #29 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TEXASA&M) def. #90 Ille Van Engelen/Devin McCarthy (OSU) 8-5
3. Blaz Rola/Hunter Callahan (OSU) def. Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TEXASA&M) 8-6
Texas A&M 19-13; National ranking #11
Ohio State 34-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (5, 2, 3)
2013 NCAA Division I Championships Round of 16