Mark Batke / Lantern reporter
The Ohio State men’s tennis team shut out in-state foes Youngstown State, 7-0, and Cleveland State, 4-0, Thursday in their second home doubleheader of the 2013 season.
The No. 4 Buckeyes improved to 3-0 on the year, upheld their 152-game home win streak, and maintained their undefeated all-time record against both the Penguins and Vikings. Conversely, YSU and CSU remain winless this season.
And even with OSU hosting to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend tournament Saturday and Sunday, coaches and players said their focus was kept on the doubleheader.
“They needed the matches to get in shape for the weekend and the rest of the season,” assistant coach Justin Kronauge said. “So it’s good to get a couple matches under their belt and do it the right way-with some focus.”
Redshirt freshman Chris Diaz said locking into the task at hand wasn’t a concern for him or his teammates.
“Our main goal today was just to stay focused, and just act like it was any other match, and just go out there and play our hardest,” Diaz said.
By the end of the day, the scoreboard showed little indication of a distracted Buckeye squad.
Against YSU, OSU swept in both doubles and singles play. Contributors for the Buckeyes in the doubles games were the tandems of Diaz and senior Connor Smith, redshirt senior Devin McCarthy and junior Ille Van Engelen, and redshirt sophomores Kevin Metka and Hunter Callahan. The doubles teams won their matches 8-0, 8-2, and 8-3, respectively.
In singles play, OSU swept in dominating fashion with individual victories from Callahan, (6-0, 6-0), Diaz (6-2, 6-0), Van Engelen (6-0, 6-0), McCarthy (6-1, 6-0) freshman Constantin Christ (6-1, 6-0) and Smith, (6-0, 6-3) which rounded off the 7-0 rout of the Penguins.
Later in the day, the Buckeyes continued their dominant play against Cleveland State.
Like they did against YSU earlier in the day, OSU swept in both doubles and singles play. The Buckeyes were so quick to early victories that many of the later matches did not need to finish.
In the doubles games, tandems of McCarthy and Van Engelen won, 8-4, following an 8-1 victory by Smith and Diaz to claim the overall team point.
Adding the remaining three points in singles play were Christ (6-0, 6-0) Callahan (6-2, 6-2) and Smith (6-1, 6-2).
Following the doubleheader, Diaz came away with some positive improvements in his singles play.
“I’ve always been sort of a defender, so I’m trying to stay more aggressive. My serve has been a liability, so I’ve been working on that, and I’m excited to see how (my play) goes,” he said.
Kronauge said he was pleased with the level of intensity demonstrated by his team throughout the day.
“The guys came out with a lot of energy, and they knew they had to play two matches today and focus on themselves. They came out with good energy and did a good job staying focused the whole match,” he said.
In the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, OSU hosts East Tennessee State University Louisiana-Lafayette, Miami (Fla.), and Toledo at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
“(The team) is looking for some good play and teamwork,” Callahan said.