With a winter storm approaching fast, the men’s tennis team made quick work of two opponents Tuesday at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
The Buckeyes did not surrender a set in either match during their doubleheader against in-state foes Youngstown State and Wright State. They were wins No. 6 and 7 on the year for the undefeated, No. 5 Buckeyes.
“We don’t usually take a week off in February,” coach Ty Tucker said after the Buckeyes took down Wright State, 4-0. “It was nice to play some matches and get a couple wins.”
In OSU’s first match of the day against the Penguins, the No. 2 doubles team of redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach and redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz were the first to record a point for the Buckeyes, defeating Youngstown State seniors Rodrigo Campos and Zeeshan Ismail, 6-0.
OSU redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Marko Goles-Babic followed with a 6-2 win over junior Dawoud Kabli and senior Sebastian Hagn on court one.
Callahan continued to cruise in singles play, beating YSU freshman Sharvil Nawghare 6-1, 6-0 on court six. Within minutes of each other, Steinbach defeated Kabli (6-2, 6-1) and redshirt-junior Kevin Metka beat Ismail (6-0, 6-2) to capture the match.
“It’s good to shake the rust off … to get back on the court,” Callahan said. “We play practice sets, but when you go out in a match, it’s a little different. It’s good just to get back on the court.”
The meeting with Wright State followed the same script, as OSU took care of the Raiders. Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen played first in this match, taking down Wright State senior Michal Lyzwa and junior Lauri Makikalli, 6-0, on court two.
After holding serve the first five games, Metka and Goles-Babic went on to clinch the doubles point on court one with a 6-2 victory against Wright State senior Hayden Joblin and junior Ricardo Pineda.
“It was good, last week, to let our bodies recover a little bit,” Metka said. “It’s good to get back to the matches, though. That’s what we look forward to.”
The bottom half of the singles lineup iced the match for the Buckeyes. Callahan continued his strong outing by dropping a double bagel (6-0, 6-0) on court six, this time against Raider junior Aaron Madaris. Metka was right behind with a 6-1, 6-3 win on court four against Pineda. Goles-Babic didn’t show any lack of inexperience as he clinched it with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph on court five against Lyzwa.
The matches with the Raiders and Penguins were the final tune-ups before the heavy part of OSU’s schedule takes place. The Buckeyes are slated to play No. 13 Kentucky Friday and No. 9 Texas A&M Sunday in Columbus.
“Two huge matches coming to town,” Tucker said. “We’ve got to get rested and a couple guys have to get better, but I’m confident we’ll be ready to play.”
Friday’s match against Kentucky is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.