COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play with a 6-1 win over Minnesota Sunday at Baseline Tennis Center. The Buckeye win was the 200th of head coach Ty Tucker’s career. OSU improves to 14-1 on the season, while Minnesota drops to 2-10.
The Buckeyes, who now have won 25-consecutive Big Ten matches, opened the competition by sweeping the doubles points, a feat they have accomplished 11 times this season. The tandem of Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge, No. 8 in the nation, beat Raoul Schwark and Tobias Wernet, 8-2, at the top spot. Juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke downed Dino Bilankov and Sebastian Gallego, 8-2, at No. 2 doubles. Freshmen Shuhei Uzawa and Matt Allare completed the sweep at No. 3 doubles when they dispatched Chi Pham and Derek Peterson by an 8-7 score.
In singles action, Ohio State continued its dominance, winning five of the six matches in straight sets. Allare was the first Buckeye to win in singles. He beat Pierre Dumas 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 5 singles spot. No. 34 Moneke put Ohio State up 3-0 when he downed Wernet 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Kronauge, ranked No. 8 nationally, cruised to a win at the top singles spot. The 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year beat No. 77 Raoul Schwark 6-1, 6-1. Kronauge’s win clinched the match for the Buckeyes.
Eberly beat Pham 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. No. 29 Koniecko downed Gallego 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 3 singles spot to put OSU up 6-0.
Shuhei Uzawa was the lone Buckeye to lose. He fell to Bilankov 6-4, 3-6 (10-7).
Tucker was pleased to reach 200 wins, but felt his players deserved the credit.
“This is a good milestone, but it means that I’ve been lucky to coach such great players here,” Tucker said. “I thought our guys played really well today. Minnesota gave us a good fight, but we came ready to play. We only played average against Iowa, so it was nice to see us come out like we did today.”
The Buckeyes remain on the road for their noon match March 19 against No. 44 LSU at the W.T. Robinson Tennis Stadium.
No. 2 Ohio State 6, Minnesota 1
Baseline Tennis Center
March 9, 2008
University of Minnesota
1. No. 7 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Raoul Schwark (MINN) 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 34 Steven Moenke (OSU) def. Tobias Wernet (MINN) 6-4, 6-0
3. No. 29 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 6-1, 6-3
4. Dino Bilankov (MINN) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 4-6, 6-3 (10-7)
5. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Pierre Dumas (MINN) 6-2, 6-2
6. Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Chi Pham (MINN) 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 5, 2, 1, 6, 3, 4
1. No. 8 Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Raoul Schwark/Tobias Wernet (MINN) 8-2
2. Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Dino Bilankov/Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 8-2
3. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Chi Pham/Derek Peterson (MINN) 8-7 (7-1)
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3