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COLUMBUS, Ohio Breaking from Big Ten Conference action during the university’s spring break, the second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 26 LSU, 4-2, Sunday at the W.T. Robinson Tennis Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. The Buckeyes improve to 15-1 overall (2-0 Big Ten), while the Tigers fall to 8-4 (2-2 SEC).

For the 12th time this season, Ohio State swept the doubles point, beginning with the first-time pair of sophomore Justin Kronauge and freshman Shuhei Uzawa. The two Buckeyes beat Sebastian Carlsson and Kevin Dessauer, 8-2.

Winners of nine of its last 10, the tandem of juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke downed Colt Gaston and Jan Zelezny, 8-4, to clinch the doubles point for Ohio State. The duo now is on a four-match win streak and remains perfect at No. 2 doubles with a 6-0 record. Overall, Koniecko and Moneke are 16-3 and 11-1 in dual competition.

LSU jumped out to a 2-1 lead after winning consecutive singles matches at the Nos. 5 and 2 spots. After Dessauer beat Uzawa 6-0, 6-2, Kronauge, ranked seventh in the nation dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision to Zelezny.

However, the 34th-ranked Moneke dispatched of No. 86 Michael Venus in straight sets 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to tie the team score at 2-all. Moneke has now won his last eight matches and improves to 2-0 at the top spot. Owning an overall ledger of 15-6, including a 12-1 dual record, Moneke has marks of 5-1and 5-0 at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. 

Koniecko, No. 29 in the nation, lifted the Buckeyes back ahead, 3-2, when he defeated Julien Gauthier 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.

Freshman Matt Allare clinched the win for the Scarlet and Gray at the fourth spot, dropping James Cluskey. Down a set, Allare rallied for the three-set victory (2-6, 6-3, 6-4). A winner of seven straight, Allare moves to 19-3 overall and has 14 dual wins with just one loss. Compiling a 2-1 mark at No. 4 singles, Allare remains perfect at Nos. 5 (8-0) and 6 singles (4-0).

The Buckeyes will continue their spring break in Myrtle Beach, S.C., when they face Coastal Carolina and The Citadel in doubleheader action beginning at 9:30 a.m. March 19. 

No. 2 Ohio State 4, No. 26 Louisiana State 2
March 16, 2008
Baton Rouge, La.
W.T. Robinson Tennis Stadium

Singles competition
1. No. 34 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. No. 86 Michael Venus (LSU) 7-5, 6-0
2. Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. No. 7 Justin Kronauge (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
3. No. 29 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Julien Gauthier (LSU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Matt Allare (OSU) def. James Cluskey (LSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Kevin Dessauer (LSU) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Sebastian Carlsson (LSU) vs. Balazs Novak (OSU) 4-6, 5-5, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Michael Venus/James Cluskey (LSU) vs. No. 23 Matt Allare/Mike O’Connell (OSU) 2-7, unfinished
2. Bryan Koniecko/Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Colt Gaston/Jan Zelezny (LSU) 8-4
3. Justin Kronauge/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Sebastian Carlsson/Kevin Dessauer (LSU) 8-2

Match Notes:
Ohio State 15-1, 2-0 Big Ten; National ranking No. 2
Louisiana State 8-4; 2-2 SEC; National ranking No. 26
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,2,1,3,4)