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Ohio State men’s tennis continues winning streak, sweeps Butler, Xavier

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Redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan hits the ball during a match against Xavier on Jan. 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 7-0. Credit: Judy Won / Lantern reporter

Redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan hits the ball during a match against Xavier on Jan. 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 7-0. Credit: Judy Won / Lantern reporter

The Ohio State’s men’s tennis team continued its season-opening run by shutting out both Butler and Xavier.

The four-match win streak is a continuation of the Buckeyes’ 195 consecutive home wins.

The Buckeyes kicked off the double-header against the Bulldogs on the doubles court. Redshirt-senior Kevin Metka and redshirt-sophomore Ralf Steinbach picked up a win against sophomore Brandon Woods and junior Pulok Bhattacharya of Butler, 6-3. Sophomore Herkko Pollanen and freshman Mikael Torpegaard followed suit with a 6-3 victory of their own against junior pair Sam O’Neill and Billy Weldon.

It was against redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan and redshirt-junior Chris Diaz that Butler got its first edge. Junior Austin Woldmoe and freshman Alex Woldmoe bested the Buckeye pair, 4-3.

The singles competition was all OSU, however.

Diaz defeated Woods in two swift sets 6-2, 6-1. Callahan came back with a win of his own, 6-1, 6-0.

Metka, Torpegaard and Pollanen also contributed wins, coming out on top in two sets. Steinbach was pushed to a tiebreaker in his first set but came out on top of junior Tommy Marx, 7-6, (7-3), 6-1.

Rolling into the next match against Xavier, OSU’s doubles came in confidently. Metka and Steinbach took their second win of the afternoon, 6-1, against redshirt-sophomore Matt Bishop and junior Zach Mueck. Callahan and Diaz righted the ship after a disappointing loss earlier in the day with a 6-2 victory. Torpegaard and Pollanen pulled in a final 5-3 to wrap up doubles play.

The Buckeye’s singles game continued to be on point against the Musketeers with a perfect 6-0, 6-0 win for Callahan. Torpegaard and Steinbach also tallied wins in two sets. Redshirt-freshman Matt Mendez made his first appearance of the afternoon with a 6-1, 6-3 win against Xavier’s Freddy Abunku.

Metka and Diaz wrapped up the singles matches both with hard-fought wins. Metka came out on top of two 6-4 wins and Diaz went in to a tiebreaker for his second set, 7-5, 7-6 (10-8).

Coach Ty Tucker said he was not surprised by the closeness of Diaz’s match and said Mueck was “a good matchup” for Diaz.

OSU is not taking these matches lightly, Diaz said.

“All the teams are good no matter who you are playing so we just try to treat every match the same,” he said.

Although the Buckeyes remain perfect this season, Tucker said the team is still shaking off the rust.

“We haven’t played a lot of matches,” he said. “Just trying to get some guys some chances in the lineup.”

The Buckeyes are set for two days off before returning to the courts for the ITA kickoff weekend, starting with Auburn on Saturday and Tulsa and Purdue on Sunday in Columbus.

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