COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team beat No. 16 Illinois, 5-2, Saturday at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes improve to 25-1 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten Conference, while Illinois drops to 13-7 and 6-2 in the league.
Ohio State now has won 33-consecutive Big Ten matches and is 83-5 in its last 88 contests, including the postseason.
In a rematch of the 2007 NCAA Quarterfinal in which the Scarlet and Gray lost, 4-2, Ohio State began the day by winning a highly competitive doubles point. Justin Kronauge and Drew Eberly, ranked No. 13 in the country, paired up at No. 2 doubles and downed Ruben Gonzales and Marc Spicijaric by an 8-6 score. At the No. 3 spot Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa were upset by Waylon Chin and Brandon Davis, 8-6.
The 29th-ranked tandem of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko beat No. 29 Billy Heiser and Ryan Rowe at the top doubles spot, 9-8, to seal the doubles point for Ohio State.
In a familiar situation, the Buckeyes headed into singles action with a 1-0 advantage. The Scarlet and Gray proceeded to win four of the next six singles contests.
Kronauge, who is ranked No. 19, won his match for the Scarlet and Gray at No. 2 singles. The Buckeye sophomore from Centerville, Ohio, claimed a 6-4, 6-1, victory over No. 90 Gonzales.
Eberly was upset at No. 4 singles by Heiser, who is ranked No. 94. The Lake Forest, Ill., native was beaten 6-2, 6-4. The Illini then evened the match at 2-2 after Davis beat Uzawa at No. 6 singles. Uzawa, of Chiba, Japan, won the first set 6-2, but lost the next two sets, each by a 6-3 margin.
An Alten-Busick, Germany, native, Moneke faced Spicijaric at No. 2 singles. Moneke, ranked 33rd, lost the first set 6-3. He then rallied to win the second set 6-4. The third set came down to a tie break which Moneke won 7-2.
Ranked 18th in the nation, Koniecko, a native of Long Island, N.Y., upset 12th-ranked Rowe in a hard-fought match at the top singles spot. The Buckeye junior beat Rowe 7-6 in the first set, then dropped the next stanza 6-3. The deciding set came down to a tiebreak which Koniecko won, 7-2.
Novak, a freshman from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, handed Chin a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 loss at No. 5 singles.
Ohio State travels to Purdue for its final road match of the regular season Sunday. The match will begin at noon.
No. 2 Ohio State 5, No. 16 Illinois 2
April 12, 2008
Atkins Tennis Center
1. No. 18 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 12 Ryan Rowe (ILL) 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-6 (7-2)
2. No. 17 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 90 Ruben Gonzales (ILL) 6-4, 6-1
3. No. 33 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
4. No. 94 Billy Heiser (ILL) def. No. 112 Drew Eberly (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Waylon Chin (ILL) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
6. Brandon Davis (ILL) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
1. No. 27 Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 29 Billy Heiser/Ryan Rowe (ILL) 9-8 (7-3)
2. No. 13 Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Ruben Gonzales/Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 8-6
3. Waylon Chin/Brandon Davis (ILL) def. Balazs Novak/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 8-6
Illinois 13-7; National ranking No. 16
Ohio State 25-1; National ranking No. 2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,4,6,3,1,5)