COLUMBUS, Ohio Bryan Koniecko, a junior on the second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team, became the sixth Buckeye this season to earn Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors Wednesday. It is the second such honor of Koniecko’s career.
The six weekly laurels captured by the Buckeyes so far this season set a Big Ten Conference record. The previous high of five was set three times. Ohio State garnered five weekly honors in 2006 and 2007, while Illinois won five in 2006.
This is the second-consecutive week a Buckeye has earned the honor as Steven Moneke claimed the accolade last week (March 26). Sophomore Justin Kronauge has won the weekly laurel twice this season (Feb. 13 and March 12) and senior Drew Eberly earned the honor Feb. 20. Before Eberly and Kronauge garnered the accolades, freshman Matt Allare captured the honor Feb. 6, marking three-consecutive weeks a Buckeyes garnered the weekly award.
Currently on an eight-match win streak in singles action, Koniecko is tied for second on the team in wins with 22 (seven losses). In doubles competition, Koniecko and Moneke boast a 21-3 overall record, including a 10-0 ledger at No. 2 doubles, which is first (tied) in the Big Ten. The duo also is on a nine-match win streak.
Koniecko, ranked 18th in the nation, won four matches on the road last weekend against No. 27 Notre Dame and conference opponent Michigan State. Both the Long Island, N.Y., native’s singles victories came at the No. 1 position, while his doubles wins were at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots.
Against the Fighting Irish, Koniecko downed No. 43 Brett Helgeson in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. He also teamed with classmate Moneke and beat Santiago Montoya and Andrew Roth, 8-4.
Returning to league action against the Spartans after a five-match nonconference schedule, Koniecko helped the Scarlet and Gray extend its Big Ten win streak to 29 contests after topping Nick Rinks 6-2, 6-2 in singles competition. Koniecko and Moneke returned in paired action to defeat Alex Forger and Billy Gardner, 8-2.
Koniecko and the Buckeyes began their stretch of four matches in five days Wednesday when they traveled to Bloomington, Ind., to face No. 39 Indiana at 1:30 p.m. Ohio State then will host a doubleheader against Northwestern and Toledo at noon and 6 p.m., Friday before welcoming No. 35 Wisconsin for a noon match Sunday. All three matches will be played at Ohio State’s outdoor facility, Stickney Tennis Center.
Bryan Koniecko’s Results vs. No. 27 Notre Dame and Michigan State
1. No. 24 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 43 Brett Helgeson (UND) 6-4, 6-2
1. No. 24 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 96 Nick Rinks (MSU) 6-2, 6-2
2. No. 29 Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Santiago Montoya/Andrew Roth (UND) 8-4
1. No. 29 Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 52 Alex Forger/Billy Gardner (MSU) 8-2