The No. 5 Ohio State men's tennis team throttled No. 3 USC 4-1 today at the ITA National Indoor Championships to claim the program's first indoor national title.
Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach clinched the championship for the Buckeyes, defeating USC's Connor Farren 6-5(7-4), 6-4. No. 23 Peter Kobelt defeated No. 7 Ray Sarmiento 6-3,6-4 to put the Buckeyes up 3-1. It was the second-consecutive top-10 win for Kobelt.
“When you beat two teams back-to-back that have been dominating college tennis the last five years, it’s a great accomplishment.”– Coach Ty Tucker
Ohio State captured the doubles point and three of the four completed singles matches to defeat the Trojans, whose last loss was to Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Team Championships last May.
“We were able to set the tone early on and Steinbach and Diaz fought back with five straight points in doubles to get it started,” head coach Ty Tucker said. “We rode Metka and Kobelt hard at No. 1 all weekend and they were able to win all of their matches for us. When you beat two teams back-to-back that have been dominating college tennis the last five years, it’s a great accomplishment. Everyone is playing for the team and the only thing that matters to these guys is that Ohio State wins.”
Kobelt, a senior, said the win was for more than just the current roster. “This trophy we are bringing back is for all the former members that have played at Ohio State. This is a great accomplishment.”
Here's a little celebration video to warm your heart on this cold February day.
Tucker's squad earned a berth in the championship by defeating No. 1 Virginia in the semifinals yesterday, snapping a 36-match winning streak by the Cavaliers. Something tells us there will be a new No. 1 team in the land when the next set of team rankings are released.