No. 5 Ohio State men’s tennis looks to stay undefeated this weekend as it travels to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend, opening Saturday against Arizona State.
With a win against the Sun Devils, the Buckeyes would face either No. 17 North Carolina or Northwestern in the tournament championship Sunday.
The Buckeyes come into the tournament up one spot from the previous rankings, rising into the top five after their road win against then-No. 23 Illinois Saturday. Ohio State looks to add on to the momentum built this season, as it moves towards a match against No. 1 Tennessee next week.
Ohio State’s No. 5 graduate Matej Vocel is riding high into the tournament as the Big Ten Player of the Week for the first week of the season, where he won all three of his matches in straight sets.
Arizona State comes into the matchup 1-2 on the season and looks to bounce back after two straight losses against ranked teams to start the year. The Sun Devils are not ranked, but received votes in the latest ITA coaches poll.
The Tar Heels, who are hosting the tournament, come into the weekend 1-0 after they scored a 7-0 win against Bucknell to open their year. Northwestern enters the tournament at 4-1, picking up wins in its last two matches over Louisville and IUPUI Sunday..
Ohio State is historically successful at ITA Kickoff Weekend, entering this round 25-1 all time in the tournament. The Buckeyes hold a three-game win streak over Arizona State, looking to extend it to four en route to another successful outing.
North Carolina holds a two-game win streak over Ohio State, including a 4-0 win in 2020, so the Buckeyes cannot overlook their opponent should the two meet on Sunday.
The Buckeyes and Sun Devils are set to play Saturday, with the start time still to be determined.