COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fourth-ranked and top-seeded Ohio State men’s tennis team avenged a 4-3 loss to Illinois in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Championship by defeating the Fighting Illini 4-0 in the semifinals Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Courts in Columbus, Ohio.
With the win, Ohio State will compete in the championship match of the Big Ten Tournament for the eighth- consecutive year. The Scarlet and Gray are seeking to win the conference championship for the ninth time in school history, having won in 1991, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The 2013 final will feature top seed Ohio State vs. either No. 2 seed Minnesota or No. 3 seed Michigan. The match is scheduled to be played at noon Sunday on the Varsity Tennis Courts on Olentangy River Road, but in the case of rain, the match will be moved indoors to The Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center at 880 W. Henderson Road.
In the only other meetings between the programs this season, Ohio State defeated Minnesota by a score of 7-0 April 7 in Columbus, Ohio, to improve to 7-0 in conference play and 23-2 overall. Ohio State also was victorious vs. Michigan, winning 4-0 April 21 to clinch the regular-season Big Ten title in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Against Illinois, the Buckeyes opened up a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point with consecutive wins. First off the court was the No. 14 ranked tandem of Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith. The Ohio State duo dropped only two games against No. 13 Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski, winning 8-2 at first doubles. The second victory for the Scarlet and Gray came from 75th-ranked Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen, who defeated 85th-ranked Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse 8-5 on court No. 2.
With the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play, Ohio State won three consecutive singles matches to shut out the Illini. No. 12 Blaz Rola continued the momentum, dropping a single game to Kopinski en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory on court two. Van Engelen made it 3-0 with a win at the fifth position over Farris Gosea by a 6-3, 6-3 margin. Redshirt freshman Chris Diaz, ranked No. 95 in the ITA singles poll, clinched the match for Ohio State. Playing at sixth singles, Diaz beat Jesse 7-5, 6-1.
Tennis Match Results
Illinois vs. Ohio State
April 27, 2013 at Columbus, Ohio
(Varsity Tennis Center)
#1 Ohio State 4, #4 Illinois 0
1. #9 Peter Kobelt (OSU) vs. #31 Jared Hiltzik (ILLINOIS) 3-6, 6-4, 3-4, unfinished
2. #12 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Tim Kopinski (ILLINOIS) 6-1, 6-0
3. #67 Connor Smith (OSU) vs. Bruno Abdelnour (ILLINOIS) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0, unfinished
4. #88 Devin McCarthy (OSU) vs. Stephen Hoh (ILLINOIS) 7-5, 3-6, 1-0, unfinished
5. Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. Farris Gosea (ILLINOIS) 6-3, 6-3
6. #95 Chris Diaz (OSU) def. Alex Jesse (ILLINOIS) 7-5, 6-1
1. #14 Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OSU) def. #13 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILLINOIS) 8-2
2. #75 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. #85 Jared Hiltzik/Alex Jesse (ILLINOIS) 8-5
3. #46 Blaz Rola/Kevin Metka (OSU) vs. Farris Gosea/Bruno Abdelnour (ILLINOIS) 6-3, unfinished
Illinois 16-10; National ranking #4
Ohio State 30-2; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (2,5,6)
Semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament
*Rankings reflect tournament standings
Official: Vince Solomon T-3:00