COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team opens Big Ten play against No. 47 Iowa and Minnesota, Friday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at noon, respectively. The two-time defending Big Ten conference champion Buckeyes are in the midst of a six-week road swing. Ohio State is coming off a 4-2 win at No. 9 Baylor. The win snapped the Bears 19-match home-win streak at the Baylor Tennis Center.
BIG TEN PREVIEW
The Buckeyes have won 23-consecutive Big Ten matches. Ohio State has gone 10-0 in regular-season play the last two years. In addition, the Scarlet and Gray has claimed the last two Big Ten tournament titles.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Nine of eleven teams in the Big Ten are ranked in the ITA Top 75.
2 Ohio State
64 Penn State
66 Michigan State
A LOOK AT No. 47 IOWA
Iowa is 6-2 on the season and is 1-0 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes beat Indiana Feb. 2, in Iowa City. Iowa will host the 2008 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament from April 24-27, at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and the Klotz Outdoor Courts
Bart van Monjou is the lone Hawkeye ranked in singles. The senior comes in at No. 109 in the latest polls, released March 4.
BUCKEYES VS. HAWKEYES
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Iowa, 27-21. Ohio State has won the last eight meetings, all of which have come under current head coach Ty Tucker.
A LOOK AT No. 67 MINNESOTA
Minnesota is 2-9 on the season and 1-4 at home. When the Gophers take on the Buckeyes, Minnesota will have had a seven-day layoff since their last match. Minnesota downed William and Mary, 4-3, March 2 in Boise, Idaho.
Raoul Schwark is the only ranked Gopher, holding down the No. 46 spot.
BUCKEYES VS. GOPHERS
Minnesota leads the all-time series against Ohio State, 38-22. However, the Buckeyes have claimed the last six meetings and Ty Tucker is 9-3 against the Gophers.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 2 Ohio State downed No. 9 Baylor, 4-2, Feb. 27 in Waco, Texas. The win snapped the Bears’ 19-match home-win streak.
IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State currently is sixth in the Big Ten standings with a 12-1 record. However, the Buckeyes have the best winning percentage (.923) in the league. Only Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota have not played a conference match.
With his 5-0 record, junior Steven Moneke is No. 1 in the league in singles wins at the No. 3 spot. Freshman Matt Allare owns the top spot at Nos. 5 and 6 singles with 7-0 and 3-0 records, respectively.
In doubles action, Bryan Koniecko and Moneke are tied for first at No. 2 doubles with a 4-0 record.
2008 ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOORS RECAP
Ohio State advanced to the final as the No. 3 seed. The Buckeyes beat No. 35 Boise State (4-0) in the first round, No. 6 USC (4-1) in the quarterfinals, 2007 champion and No. 2 Georgia (4-1) in the semifinals, before falling to No. 1 Virginia (4-1) in the final. It was the second-consecutive year Ohio State advanced to the final of the national tournament.
Three Buckeyes were named to the All-Tournament singles team. Junior Steven Moneke was named to the No.2 singles spot, while freshman Matt Allare and senior Drew Eberly were named at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Eberly and sophomore Justin Kronauge were named to the All-Tournament doubles team at the No. 2 spot.
AGAINST THE BEST
Sophomore Justin Kronauge is 14-4 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I polls. For the season, Kronauge owns a 19-6 record.
Justin Kronauge Wins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2007-08
No. 109 Dylan Arnould (Duke), 6-3, 6-1
No. 72 Milan Mihailovic (Texas), 6-0, 6-1
No. 58 Nate Schnugg (Georgia), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 42 Billy Mertz (Alabama), 7-5, 6-2
No. 38 Clancy Shields (Boise State), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
No. 41 Raoul Schwark (Minnesota), 6-2, 6-3
No. 67 Ricardo Soriano (Tulsa), 6-3, 6-4
No. 30 Sheeva Parbhu (Notre Dame), 6-4, 6-4
No. 51 Thomas Richter (Indiana), 7-5, 6-3
No. 6 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State), 7-6, 6-3
No. 98 David Rosenfeld (Miami, Fla.) 6-4, 6-2
No. 66 Omar Altmann (Pepperdine) 6-1, 6-0
No. 64 Cory Parr (Wake Forest) 7-5, 6-3
No. 17 Lars Poershcke (Baylor) 1-6, 5-5 (retired)
Justin Kronauge, ranked 7th in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 19 (six losses). So far, Kronauge is 6-3 in dual action with 1-0 records at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. He is 4-3 at No. 1 singles.
The pair of Drew Eberly and Kronauge, ranked fifth in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in doubles wins with 14 after posting a 7-2 record in dual action and 7-3 tournament mark.
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
Drew Eberly was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week Feb. 20. Eberly was the third-consecutive Buckeye to win the weekly award. Sophomore Justin Kronauge won Feb. 13 and freshman Matt Allare claimed the award Feb. 6.
Head coach Ty Tucker has the led the Buckeyes to 20 or more wins in seven of eight complete seasons at Ohio State. Last year marked a record-breaking year for the Buckeyes as they compiled a 30-2 record for the first time in school history.
BUCKEYE INDIVIDUALS RANKED HIGH
Ohio State sophomore Justin Kronauge, the 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is the top-ranked Buckeye singles player in the nation at No. 7. In addition to Kronauge, juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke are ranked Nos. 29 and 34, respectively. Senior Drew Eberly comes in at No. 120.
The Buckeyes also have two doubles teams ranked in the national Top 30. Eberly and Kronauge come in at No. 8. Freshman Matt Allare and sophomore Mike O’Connell are ranked No. 23.
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 64 matches after winning its match against No. 11 Wake Forest Feb. 8 (5-1), and No. 15 North Carolina Feb. 10 (4-2).
The winning streak dates back to the 2003 season beginning with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6. In 2007, for the fourth-consecutive season, Ohio State went undefeated at its home courts. Last season, the Buckeyes went 15-0.
BUCKEYES REMAIN SECOND
After its 4-2 win at No. 9 Baylor, Ohio State remained No. 2 in the latest ITA rankings, which were released March 4. Ohio State held the No. 2 spot for a majority of last season and garnered the No. 2 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes continue their six week road trip with stops at noon March 16 against No. 18 LSU in Baton Rouge, La. Ohio State then plays a double header March 19 against The Citadel and Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The match times have yet to be determined.