#2 Ohio State Bests #10 Illinois 5-2 in Columbus
March 30, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio. - On Sunday, the Illinois men's tennis team (14-6, 4-1) looked to finally put an end to Ohio State's home winning streak, but the Buckeyes (21-2, 6-0) prevailed 5-2 in Columbus, earning their 186th consecutive victory at home. Tim Kopinski and Farris Gosea picked up the Ilini's two points via singles play.
"We had a tremendous amount of momentum at a certain point in this dual, but we did not capitalize," said Illinois head coach Brad Dancer. "Credit to Ohio State for staying very tough when we had them on the ropes."
Illinois started singles play with a 1-0 deficit, dropping the doubles point for the first time in seven matches. Doubles was very close to going the Illini's way as Gosea/Hiltzik lost in a tiebreak, 8-7(2), and Guignon/Kopinski's match went unfinished in a heated tiebreak as well, 7-7(3-3).
No. 42 Tim Kopinski got the Orange and Blue on the board, securing the first singles victory on the day. Kopinski quickly retired Chris Diaz in No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-1.
After Ohio State obtained the lead via court six, the Illini rallied once more to tie it at two as No. 23 Farris Gosea upset No. 8 Peter Kobelt, 7-6(4), 6-2. It marked Kobelt's first loss since Feb. 15 and just his second overall loss this spring.
With the Buckeyes up 3-2 and on the brink of victory after a win on court four, all eyes turned to courts two and five where both matches waged into a third and decisive set. Both Blake Bazarnik and Jared Hiltzik had dictated their respective first sets but came up short down the stretch as Ohio State finished it out to a 5-2 final score.
Up next, the Illini will compete in three matches in five days, including two at home against Big Ten opponents. The Orange and Blue travel to Lexington on April 2 to battle No. 13 Kentucky before returning home to Urbana to challenge Michigan State on April 4 and Michigan on April 6.
"No question we can do a better job of preparing our team," concluded Dancer. "We will get them ready for our next match."
No. 1 -- #3 Guignon / Kopinski (ILL) vs. Kobelt / Steinbach (OSU), 7-7 (3-3), unfinished
No. 2 -- Metka / Goles-Babic (OSU) def. Gosea / Hiltzik (ILL), 8-7(2)
No. 3 -- Callahan / Diaz (OSU) def. Bazarnik / Jesse (ILL), 8-4
No. 1 -- #23 Farris Gosea (ILL) def. #8 Peter Kobelt (OSU), 7-6(4), 6-2
No. 2 -- Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. #9 Jared Hiltzik (ILL), 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
No. 3 -- #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Chris Diaz (OSU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 -- #109 Kevin Metka (OSU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL), 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 -- #97 Hunter Callahan (OSU) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 -- Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Julian Childers (ILL), 6-1, 7-6(3)