April 15, 2012
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Courts)
Score: Ohio State 5, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (13-8, 6-3), OSU (27-2, 9-0)
Next NU Event: Friday, April 20 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 1 p.m. CT
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 46 Northwestern went into Columbus and stole the doubles point from Ohio State Sunday afternoon, but the 2nd-ranked Buckeyes bounced back to claim a 5-2 victory over the visiting Wildcats.
For the 14th time this season, Northwestern won the coveted doubles point, but what made this accomplishment an even more impressive feat was the fact that it marked only the second time all season (28 matches) that the Buckeyes lost the first team point. The two points the Wildcats scored against the Buckeyes was their highest total since 2004.
Ohio State started out with a doubles win at No. 3 after Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith quickly knocked off NU's Sidarth Balaji and Tobias Reitz, 8-1. Things became interesting, however, with the dual at No. 2. Raleigh Smith and Alex Pasareanu jumped out to an early 3-2 lead on the 23rd-ranked Buckeye duo of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen, and never fully relinquished the lead. McCarthy and Van Engelen managed to tie things up at 5-5, but Smith and Pasareanu won the final three games to take an 8-5 decision. The win was the pair's team-best 13th of the season and put the Wildcats in position to claim the first point.
In the meantime on court No. 1, Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf fought for their 11th win of the season against the nation's most formidable tandem in top-ranked Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola. In a doubles match that consisted of four ties, Graves and Wolf went back and forth with Buchanan and Rola, eventually taking a 6-5 lead. The Wildcat pair found the will to take three of the final four games on their way to an 8-6 win, handing the Buckeye pair just their third loss on the season. The win dealt OSU its second doubles point loss on the year.
Heading into singles play, Ohio State settled down and fought off Northwestern's momentum. At No. 1, Rola, ranked seventh in the nation, quelled Graves' attack, fending off the Wildcat in two sets, 6-0, 6-2. On the opposite end, No. 118 Connor Smith fought off Chris Jackman
on court No. 6. Jackman made things interesting in both sets, but Smith came away with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
At No. 2, 13th-ranked Chase Buchanan stopped No. 107 Spencer Wolf's upset bid in two sets, 6-0, 6-3. Shortly after, Ohio State's No. 5, 79th-ranked Devin McCarthy - brother of former Wildcat Andrew McCarthy - downed freshman Alex Pasareanu in two hard-fought sets, 6-4, 6-1. McCarthy's win was OSU's fourth, guaranteeing the victory for the Buckeyes.
A battle at No. 4 ensued with NU's Sidarth Balaji and OSU's Ille Van Engelen. The two went back-and-forth the entire match, but Van Engelen eventually stopped Balaji in two sets, 6-4, 6-4, for Ohio State's fifth win.
Raleigh Smith found the win column for a team-best 15th time this spring with a great upset over No. 58 Peter Kobelt. Kobelt took the first set, 6-4, but Smith came back to claim the second by the same margin. Because the match had already been decided, Smith and Kobelt clashed in a tiebreak set. Smith fended off Kobelt in the set, 11-9, giving NU its second point of the day against the nation's second best team.
Up next, the Wildcats remain on the road and will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., Friday to square off with No. 74 Purdue, before returning home to face No. 31 Indiana in its regular season finale on April 22. Northwestern is set to host the men's Big Ten Tennis Tournament beginning Thursday, April 26.
1: No. 7 Blaz Rola (OSU) def. Josh Graves (NU) - 6-0, 6-2
2: No. 13 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. No. 107 Spencer Wolf (NU) - 6-0, 6-3
3: Raleigh Smith (NU) def. No. 58 Peter Kobelt - 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9)
4: Ille Van Engelen (OSU) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) - 6-4, 6-4
5: No. 79 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Alex Pasareanu (NU) - 6-4, 6-1
6: No. 118 Connor Smith (OSU) def. Chris Jackman (NU) - 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 6, 2, 5*, 4, 3
1: Josh Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) def. No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (OSU) - 8-6
2: Raleigh Smith/Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. No. 23 Devin McCarthy/Ille Van Engelen (OSU) - 8-5
3: No. 82 Peter Kobelt/Connor Smith (OSU) def. Sidarth Balaji/Tobias Reitz (NU) - 8-1
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1*
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