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COLUMBUS, Ohio The two-time defending Big Ten tournament champion Ohio State men’s tennis team advanced to the final of the 2008 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Championship for the fifth-consecutive year after beating fourth-seed Michigan, 4-1, for the second time in a week Saturday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center in Iowa City, Iowa. The Buckeyes improve to 31-1 on the season, which sets a program record for wins in a single season.

Ohio State now has won 38-consecutive Big Ten matches and is 89-5 in its last 94 contests, including the postseason. Head coach Ty Tucker improves to 18-5 in the Big Ten championship.

The Buckeyes began the match by claiming the doubles point. At the No. 3 spot No. 33 Matt Allare and Mike O’Connell dispatched George Navas and Chris Madden, 8-3. Justin Kronauge and Drew Eberly, ranked No. 19 in the country, paired up at the No. 2 doubles spot and downed No. 30 Mike Sroczynski and Jason Jung by an 8-5 score to secure the doubles point for the Buckeyes.

The 13th-ranked tandem of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko were tied with Matko Maravic and Andrew Mazlin at the top doubles spot, 5-5.

Alten-Busick, Germany, native, Moneke faced Mazlin at No. 3 singles. Moneke, ranked 33rd, claimed his match by a 6-1, 6-1 score. Moneke has now won 24-consecutive singles matches. Kronauge, who is ranked No. 22, won his match at No. 2 singles. The Buckeye sophomore from Centerville, Ohio, beat Jung 6-3, 6-0.
Freshman Shuhei Uzawa, of Chiba, Japan, was upset at the No. 4 singles spot by Sroczynski 7-6, 6-1. Novak, a freshman from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, claimed a 6-1, 6-3 win over Madden at No. 5 singles to book the Buckeyes’ place in the championship match.

Koniecko, the 2008 Big Ten Athlete of the Year, trailed Maravic at the top singles spot by a 6-1, 6-6 margin. Eberly was losing his match at No. 6 singles to Navas, who led 6-2, 4-3.

Ohio State will face the winner of the Wisconsin/Illinois match at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in the final. The Big Ten Network will air a delayed broadcast of the championship at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 7. Tom Werme and former Northwestern head coach Paul Toricelli will announce the match. Ohio State is a three-time winner of the tournament, claiming the title in 2001, 2006 and 2007.
 
No. 1-seed Ohio State 4, No. 4-seed Michigan 1
April 26, 2008
2008 Big Ten Championship
Iowa City, Iowa
Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center

 
Singles Competition
1. No. 62 Matko Maravic (MICH) led. No. 17 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) 6-1, 6-6
2. No. 22 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Jason Jung (MICH) 6-3, 6-0
3. No. 33 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Andrew Mazlin (MICH) 6-1, 6-1
4. Mike Sroczynski (MICH) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 7-6, 6-1
5. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Chris Madden (MICH) 6-1, 6-3
6. George Navas (MICH) led Drew Eberly (OSU) 6-2, 4-3

Doubles Competition
1. No. 13 Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) vs. Matko Maravic/Andrew Mazlin (MICH) 5-5
2. No. 19 Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 30 Mike Sroczynski/Jason Jung (MICH) 8-4
3. No. 33 Matt Allare/Mike O’Connell (OSU) def. George Navas/Chris Madden (MICH) 8-3

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,4,5)