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Ohio State men’s tennis remains unbeaten, grounds Toledo Rockets

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Then-redshirt-junior Kevin Metka hits the ball during a match against Michigan March 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 6-1. Credit: Lantern file photo

Then-redshirt-junior Kevin Metka hits the ball during a match against Michigan March 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 6-1.
Credit: Lantern file photo

Seven up, seven down.

With Sunday night’s 4-0 win against the Toledo Rockets, the Ohio State men’s tennis team is 7-0 on the season. The winning streak means Coach Ty Tucker now holds the new program record of 435 victories.

Tucker said the key ingredients to the Buckeyes’ impressive undefeated home steak — which spans more than a decade — will consist of a lot of praying, practicing hard and hoping that the streak will continue to live on.

The night started off when No. 4 redshirt-senior Kevin Metka and redshirt-sophomore Ralf Steinbach defeated Toledo’s Garrett Cona and Stjepan Sikso, 6-1. Metka and Steinbach now stand at 13-3 in doubles this season.

The rest of the Buckeyes’ doubles teams had similar success. Redshirt-junior Chris Diaz and redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan defeated the Rockets, 6-3.  Sophomore Herkko Pollanen and freshman Mikael Torpegaard picked up a win as well.

OSU won all of its singles competitions, adding to its history of winning against Toledo.  The Buckeyes are now 31-3 all-time against the Rockets.

Steinbach shut out Nicky Wong, allowing him to score only once throughout their entire match.  He eventually picked up another victory and was the first to finish his singles for the night, winning with a near-perfect score of 6-0, 6-1.

Metka shut out his singles opponent, 6-0, 6-0.

While the score might suggest Metka breezed through his perfect game, he said he never broke his focus.

“Even though I was winning through the match, I wanted to continue to stay focused on every point because that’ll help me against later situations against some top ranked teams in the nation,” Metka said.

Diaz picked up a win as well, but it didn’t come as easily as Metka’s as he won in a tie-breaker.

“I fought really hard,” Diaz said.  “I competed hard and luckily my team played really well.”

Torpegaard and Mendez contributed to the Buckeyes’ success with wins as well.

Before taking on Toledo, the Buckeyes topped Tulsa on Sunday as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend, putting them in the NCAA Indoor Championships, set to take place in Chicago beginning Feb. 13.

OSU also emerged victorious against Auburn on Saturday, 4-0.

The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the court on Thursday against Kentucky in Columbus, going for their 199th consecutive home victory. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

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