COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team will continue its six-week road swing Wednesday with a stop at No. 11 Baylor in Waco, Texas. Ohio State is coming off an appearance in the final of the 2008 ITA National Indoor Team Championship which took place Feb. 15-18, in Seattle, Wash. The Buckeyes improved their record to 11-1 on the season after advancing to their second-consecutive ITA National Indoor final.
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.
A LOOK AT No. 11 BAYLOR
Baylor is 8-2 on the season and has won 19-consecutive matches at home. The Bears also competed in the 2008 ITA National Indoors. Baylor lost to Oklahoma State (4-2), North Carolina (4-3) before beating Penn State (4-1).
The Bears have several of the nation’s top ranked singles players. Sophomore Denes Lukacs is ranked No. 12. Senior Lars Poerschke is not far behind at No. 17. Junior David Galic comes in at No. 57.
BUCKEYES VS. BEARS
Ohio State and Baylor are split in the all-time series, 1-1. The two teams met last season in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoors. The Buckeyes claimed that meeting by a 4-2 margin. The other meeting was in the quarterfinals of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Baylor claimed the match 4-0.
IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State currently is third in the Big Ten standings with an11-1record. However, the Buckeyes have the best winning percentage (.917) in the Big Ten.
With his 4-0 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 6-0 and 3-0 records, respectively.
In doubles action, Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge lead the conference at the No. 2 doubles spot with a 5-0 record. The tandem of Bryan Koniecko and Moneke is tied for second at No. 2 doubles with a 4-0 record.
AGAINST THE BEST
Sophomore Justin Kronauge is 13-4 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I polls. For the season, Kronauge owns a 18-6 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
Justin Kronauge, ranked 14th in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 18 (six losses). So far, Kronauge is 5-3 in dual action with 1-0 records at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. He is 3-3 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 7-1 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 it 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 at No. 14 in the nation. In addition to Kronauge, juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke are ranked Nos. 15 and 29, respectively. Senior Drew Eberly comes in at No. 80.
The Buckeyes also have three doubles teams ranked in the Top 30 nationally. Eberly and Kronauge come in at No. 5. Moneke and Koniecko are ranked No. 13. Freshman Matt Allare and sophomore Mike O’Connell are ranked No. 27.
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 64 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 UP TO SECOND
After advancing to the final of the 2008 ITA National Indoors, the Buckeyes moved up to No. 2 in the latest ITA rankings which were released Feb. 26. Ohio State held the No. 2 spot for a majority of last season. It garnered the No. 2 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes begin the defense of its two-consecutive Big Ten Conference championships when they travel to Iowa for a 4 p.m. match up March 7 in Iowa City.