No. 5 Ohio State Outlasts No. 17 Kentucky

Feb. 7, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes got wins in the doubles point on two tiebreakers to claim the 1-0 lead, and then got singles wins on courts one, four, five and six to defeat No. 17 Kentucky at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.

In the doubles point, Kentucky got off to a good start, collecting a win from freshman Nils Ellefsen and junior Ryuji Hirooka on court three, 6-4 to take the early advantage. Hirooka and Ellefsen have developed into a good pair for UK in the early part of 2014, as they now sit 10-0 on the season, and 7-0 in dual matches in their career together.

On courts one and two, Kentucky found itself again in tiebreaker situations for a chance to claim the point and take the early lead in the match. On court two, Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez exchanged holds of serve for the match up until the tiebreak, and fell on court two 6-5. On court one, in the deciding match of the doubles point, Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai were down 0-3 to start the match, and rallied to come back and force a tiebreak at five-all. UK wound up losing the tiebreak, and eventually losing the point. 

In singles, Ohio State collected three wins on courts one, four, five and six. The first match to finish and give the No. 5 Buckeyes the 2-0 lead was court five, as No. 97 Kevin Lai fell in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. The Buckeyes would quickly escalate their lead to 3-0 in the match, as Kevin Metka outlasted Jerry Lopez on court four in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

Ohio State would clinch the match on court one, as No. 68 Tom Jomby suffered his first loss of the season in a three-setter to No. 31 Peter Kobelt, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Jomby, who is now 7-1 on the season, had won his first seven matches of the year before Friday night’s three-set loss in Columbus.

Alejandro Gomez dropped the first set, 6-4 before forcing a third set on court two, where the match was on serve at 3-2 in the deciding frame at the time of clinch.

Beck Pennington also was in a third set at the time of the clinch. The Bowling Green, Ky., native was the only UK player to capture an opening-set win, before dropping the second set, 6-2. As with Gomez on court two, his match was on serve at 3-2 at the time of the clinch.

Grant Roberts returned to the UK singles lineup on Friday for the first time in two weeks, after suffering from a slight illness vs. Notre Dame. Roberts exchanged 6-4, 4-6 frames in the second set, before the match was stopped at three all in the final set. 

So, for Kentucky, there were three final sets going on at the time of the clinch, with UK leading or on serve in all three of those matches.

The Wildcats are back in action on Sunday, Feb. 7, as Kentucky returns home for a match with Michigan State at 1 p.m. ET.


No. 5 Ohio State 4, No. 17 Kentucky 0

Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center – Columbus, Ohio

Friday, Feb. 7 2014

Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 2, 1*

1- No. 7 Peter Kobelt/Kevin Metka (OSU) def. Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 6-5 (6)

2- Hunter Callahan/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-5 (5)

3- Nils Ellefsen/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) def. Chris Diaz/Raif Steinbach (OSU) 6-4 

Singles (Order of finish: 5, 4, 1*)

1- No. 31 Peter Kobelt (OSU) def. No. 68 Tom Jomby (UK) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1

2- Kerkko Pollanen (OSU) vs. Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-4,3-6, 3-2 DNF

3- Chris Diaz (OSU) vs. Beck Pennington (UK) 4-6, 6-2, 3-2 DNF

4- Kevin Metka (OSU) def. Jerry Lopez (UK) 6-1, 6-3

5- Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. No. 97 Kevin Lai (UK) 6-1, 6-2

6- Hunter Callahan (OSU) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 6-4, 4-6, 3-3 DNF

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