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Dual-threat doubles duo leads Buckeyes with 76 consecutive conference victories

Lindsey Fox / Lantern photographer

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Standing 6-foot-7, both Ohio State senior co-captain Matt Allare and sophomore Peter Kobelt make formidable opponents on the tennis court. And together, they make up the No. 13 doubles pair in the nation.

The pair had an overall record this season of 22-8, but fell, 9-8, in their last regular-season match together on Friday against Indiana’s Santiago Gruter and Jeremy Langer.

Both Allare and Kobelt attribute their success this season to the skills of their partner.

“(Allare) has the best serve on the team,” Kobelt said.

And Allare thinks the same of Kobelt.

“The guy’s serve is huge,” he said.

Aside from skill, Allare and Kobelt seem to have good chemistry and good communication, which is another key to their success.

“We just get along really well,” Kobelt said. “We understand each other and we have good chemistry and communication on the court.”

The pair has been playing together since earlier this season when coach Ty Tucker put them together for the first time.

“The coach put us together in practice and we went on to win at regionals,” Allare said.

Kobelt, who redshirted last year, said he wanted the chance to work with Allare, and ever since Tucker put the two together they have “built a nice ranking for themselves.”

“They’re a unique team, and both have huge serves,” Tucker said. “They just do their thing.”

Allare and Kobelt started playing tennis at an early age.

“I started when I was 3 years old,” Kobelt said. “My dad is a professional in New Albany and my whole family is in tennis, so it ran in the family.”

Allare’s tennis career started much the same way.

“My parents play, and actually my mom knows Peter’s dad so we’ve always known each other,” Allare said.

Once the two got older, they said OSU seemed like the best choice for the next step in their careers.

“It’s close to home and it’s a great program,” Allare said. “There’s a great coach and it felt like the best fit for me.”

Kobelt agreed.

“I grew up as a fan of Ohio State,” he said. “Ty has a great program here, and when he offered me the opportunity to play, I couldn’t say no. It’s a top-notch team. I had to take to it.”

Although winning their doubles matches is important to the pair, both are equally concerned about the fate of the team as a whole.

“I’m more concerned for the whole team,” Allare said. “We have a couple of tough matches to go. Hopefully we keep helping the team by winning in doubles.”

Kobelt said they believe they can go all the way and bring home OSU’s first-ever national title in tennis.

Although they are one of the highest ranked doubles teams in the nation, they seem to keep it all in perspective.

“We’re just two normal college guys,” Kobelt said.

And while the roster may list them both at 6-foot-7, there seems to be some debate between the two about who really is the tallest.

“I think I’m taller, but if you ask him, he thinks he is,” Allare said.

Both Allare and Kobelt, along with the rest of the OSU team, are moving on to the Big Ten Tournament this weekend, beginning on Thursday.

Following what the team hopes will be another Big Ten victory, in two weeks the Buckeyes will go on to the NCAA Tournament.

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