COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team beat No. 35 Wisconsin, 6-1, Sunday at Stickney Tennis Center. The Buckeyes improve to 24-1 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten Conference, while Wisconsin drops to 12-8 and 4-2 in the league.
Ohio State now has won 32-consecutive Big Ten matches and is 82-5 in its last 87 contests, including the postseason. Head coach Ty Tucker has guided the Buckeyes to eight 20-win seasons in his nine years as head coach.
In its first match of the season at its outdoor venue, Ohio State began the day by winning the doubles point. Justin Kronauge and Drew Eberly, ranked No. 13 in the country, paired up at No. 2 doubles and downed Michael Dierberger and Luke Rassow-Kantor by an 8-1 score. The 29th-ranked tandem of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko beat Moritz Baumann and Nolan Polley at the top doubles spot, 8-4. At the No. 3 spot Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa completed the sweep by beating Felipe Bellido and Marek Michalicka, 8-3.
In a familiar situation, the Buckeyes headed into singles action with a 1-0 advantage. The Scarlet and Gray proceeded to win five of six contests, including three in straight sets by Koniecko, Moneke and Novak.
Ranked 24th in the nation, Koniecko, a native of Long Island, N.Y., claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 44 Baumann at the top singles spot. An Alten-Busick, Germany, native, Moneke faced Polley at No. 2 singles. The Buckeye junior, who is ranked 27th, dropped Polley 6-3, 6-3. Novak, a freshman from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, handed Bellido a 6-1, 6-1 loss at No. 6 singles.
Kronauge, who is ranked No. 19, won his match for the Scarlet and Gray at No. 3 singles. After shutting out Michalicka in the first set, 6-0, the Badger evened the sets at 1-all when he posted a 6-4 victory over Kronauge. However, the Buckeye sophomore from Centerville, Ohio, answered with a 6-4 victory of his own in the third and deciding set to help give the Buckeyes the team victory.
The match at No. 5 singles between Uzawa and Rassow-Kantor came down to a super tiebreaker. Owning a 6-2 lead after the first set, Uzawa was forced to step up his game after Rassow-Kantor tied the match at 2-sets all when he handed the Buckeye a 7-5 loss. However, the Buckeye freshman from Chiba, Japan, prevailed, winning the deciding set, 1-0.
Eberly was the lone Buckeye to fall on the day. After winning his first set against Dierberger at No. 4 singles, he dropped the next two sets (5-7), including the third-set super tiebreaker, 1-0.
Ohio State travels to Illinois and Purdue for its final road matches of the regular season April 12 and 13, respectively. Both matches begin at noon.
No. 2 Ohio State 6, No. 35 Wisconsin 1
April 6, 2008
Stickney Tennis Center
1. No. 18 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 44 Moritz Baumann (UW), 6-3, 6-3
2. No. 33 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Nolan Polley (UW), 6-3, 6-3
3. No. 17 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 100 Marek Michalicka (UW), 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
4. Michael Dierberger (UW) def. Drew Eberly (OSU), 2-6, 7-5, 1-0
5. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Luke Rassow-Kantor (UW), 6-2, 5-7, 1-0
6. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Felipe Bellido (UW), 6-1, 6-1
1. No. 27 Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Moritz Baumann/ Nolan Polley (UW), 8-4
2. No. 13 Justin Kronauge/Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Michael Dierberger/Luke Rassow-Kantor (UW), 8-1
3. Balazs Novak/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Felipe Bellido/Marek Michalicka (UW), 8-3
Wisconsin 12-8; National ranking No. 35
Ohio State 24-1; National ranking No. 2