COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four members of the Ohio State men’s tennis team will begin their 2010 season at the Boilermaker Invitational Saturday at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind. Senior co-captain Mike O’Connell, junior Balazs Novak, sophomore Steven Williams and freshman Dino Marcan will face members of the Northern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan and Purdue squads.
The invite will run through Sunday with play beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
O’Connell, a native of Holland, Ohio, begins his final season as a Buckeye this weekend. O’Connell, who was named co-captain this year, along with classmate Justin Kronauge, is a doubles specialist with a 30-14 overall career record. Partnering with Novak last season, the duo owned a 4-2 overall record with a 1-1 mark at No. 3 doubles as the 24th-ranked pair in the nation.
Novak, a native of Budapest, Hungary, returns to action after having an impressive sophomore year. Novak won 36 singles and 25 doubles matches last season. He never lost two-consecutive matches the entire season and ranked as high as No. 38 in the ITA polls.
Williams, a native of Manlius, N.Y., compiled a 5-2 overall record in singles through the course of his first year. Williams had a successful fall and finished with a 6-3 record, going 1-1 vs. nationally ranked opponents.
Marcan, a native of Rijeka, Croatia, will make his Buckeye debut at the invitational this weekend. Marcan, who took up the game at the age of 4, peaked as high as 24th in the world in the combined junior rankings at the beginning of last year.
Ohio State begins the 2010 dual season, hosting Butler and Xavier in a doubleheader home opener at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.