COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State (27-1) men’s tennis team returns to Big Ten play for a pair of noon matches against Penn State and Michigan, Saturday and Sunday at Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus, weather permitting. Log on to www.ohiostatbuckeyes.com, the official web site of Buckeye athletics, for up-to-date information regarding the location of the matches this weekend.
Should the Buckeyes beat Penn State and Michigan, they will clinch the outright regular-season Big Ten title for the third-consecutive year.
Ohio State beat Wright State, (7-0) Thursday and the Buckeyes collected two wins last week. The Scarlet and Gray beat No. 16 Illinois, 5-2 in Urbana April 12before traveling to Purdue April 13 and blanking the Boilermakers, 7-0 in West Lafayette. The two Big Ten wins extended the Buckeyes’ conference win streak to 34-consecutive matches.
200 AND COUNTING
Head coach Ty Tucker, in his ninth year at the helm, claimed his 200th career victory against Minnesota March 9 in Minneapolis. Tucker also captured his 80th Big Ten Conference win against No. 47 Iowa March 7 in Iowa City. For his career, Tucker owns a 213-46 record and a 93-16 mark in the league.
SUCCESS AGAINST THE BEST
Ohio State is 18-1 against teams ranked in the ITA Top 75 this season. The Buckeyes have collected wins against No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 6 USC, No. 2 Georgia and No. 9 Baylor. Ohio State’s lone loss came at the hands of No. 1 Virginia in the final of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 18 in Seattle, Wash.
A LOOK AT PENN STATE
Penn State is 14-9 on the season and 5-3 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have posted several wins against highly-ranked opposition this season including No. 21 Alabama (4-3), No. 35 Boise State (4-1) and No. 68 Northwestern (7-0).
Penn State is led in singles by No. 63 Michael James. Brendan Lynch and James team up to form the nation’s 23rd-ranked doubles team.
BUCKEYES VS. NITTANY LIONS
Ohio State is 15-5 against Penn State all-time. The Buckeyes claimed the last meeting by a 5-2 margin during the 2007 campaign.
A LOOK AT MICHIGAN
Michigan currently is second in the Big Ten with a 7-1 league mark and are 17-3 overall. The Maize and Blue has defeated some of the nations’ premier teams this season including No. 17 Wake Forest (4-3) and No. 16 Pepperdine (4-3).
The Wolverines are led by senior Matko Maravic. Maravic is ranked 52nd in the nation. Jason Jung and Mike Sroczynski combine to form the nation’s No. 14 doubles team.
BUCKEYES VS. WOLVERINES
Ohio State is 19-73-1 against Michigan all-time. The Buckeyes claimed the last meeting in Ann Arbor, Mich., by a 6-1 score last season.
Justin Kronauge, ranked 17th in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 31 (seven losses). So far, Kronauge is 18-4 in dual action with 4-1 and 7-0 records at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions, respectvely. He is 7-3 at No. 1 singles.
The pair of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko leads the team in doubles wins with 27 (three losses). The Buckeye tandem has a dual match record of 22-1 so far this season.
BUCKEYE INDIVIDUALS RANKED HIGH
Ohio State junior Bryan Koniecko is the top-ranked Buckeye singles player. He is ranked No. 14 in the nation in the latest ITA Poll, released April 15. Sophomore Justin Kronauge comes in at No. 21, while junior Steven Moneke is ranked No. 24.
The Buckeyes also have three ranked doubles teams. Koniecko and Moneke are the nation’s 17th- ranked doubles team, while Eberly and Kronauge come in at No. 23. Freshman Matt Allare and sophomore Mike O’Connell are ranked No. 31.
STREAKING IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes have won 34-consecutive Big Ten matches. Ohio State has recorded 10-0 records in regular-season play the last two years. In addition, the Scarlet and Gray has claimed the last two Big Ten tournament titles.
Several Buckeyes have significant win streaks in singles.
Player Win Streak
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Seven of 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the ITA Top 75.
2. Ohio State
42. Penn State
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 69 matches after winning all three of its matches last weekend. The Buckeyes downed Northwestern (7-0) and Toledo (4-0) April 4. Ohio State then beat No. 35 Wisconsin (6-1) April 6. Ohio State also beat Wright State (7-0) April 17.
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, going 15-0. The Buckeyes are 11-0 at home this season.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. Ohio State has won the tournament in 2001, 2006 and 2007.