Jan. 17, 2001
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COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Ohio State men’s tennis team, currently ranked No. 32 in the nation are ready to begin the spring season. Several OSU players will play in the University of Kentucky Invitational at Lexington, Ky., Jan. 20-21 while the remaining Buckeyes will prepare to play host to their first six matches.
The field was tough and the competition fierce, but OSU found its way to having the most players in the quarterfinals of the main draw and the second most remaining in the Round of 16.
In the Round of 16, No. 6 Illinois was represented by four individuals, the most of any team, but closely followed by OSU with three. Andrew Carlson (Sr., Gambrills, Md./Arudell), Chris Porter (Sr., Canton, Ohio/Jackson) and Phillip Metz (So., Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) represented the Buckeyes.
In the quarterfinals, OSU led the way with two members, Metz and Porter. Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana had one player each.
“I am very pleased with the performance we had at the Big Tens,” Ty Tucker, OSU’s head coach, said. “Illinois had four and they are No. 6 in the nation. We also were the only team to have more than one guy in the quarterfinals.”
Ng Wins Title
The Buckeyes’ Vincent Ng (So., Broadview Heights, Ohio/University School) entered the No. 7-9 singles bracket at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and walked away with the championship. After receiving a first-round bye, Ng won four-consecutive matches on his way to the title where he defeated Northwestern’s Russell Bennett, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Inches Away
During competition at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, OSU players made every match close. Buckeye players were involved in 14 matches, including the main and back draws and the No. 7-9 bracket, that went to tie-breaker games and ended with a score of 7-6. OSU finished with a 7-7 record in those matches.
“We lost some 7-6 tie-breakers,” Tucker said. “If we got an extra point here or there we would have more guys move on in the tournament. I am pleased with how tough we battled.”
Preparing For Spring
The Buckeyes’ spring schedule is appearing over the horizon now. OSU will start team play at 11 a.m and 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, against Butler and Murray State, respectively.
After the season openers, OSU will play host to No. 33 Notre Dame at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27. The Buckeyes will play their first six games at home before traveling to No. 40 Kentucky (2/14/01) and No. 59 Virginia Tech (2/17/01)
From The Baseline
Adrian Bohane (Fr., West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Lakes): The newest member for the team, Bohane competed in his first Big Ten matches of his young OSU career. After falling in the first round, 7-6 (3), 7-5, Bohane won two and lost one in the back draw of the tournament.
Andrew Carlson: Carlson finished the Big Ten tournament with a 2-1 record. He was defeated by the eventual champion, Jason Marshall of Purdue, 6-2, 6-2. Carlson was one of only three Buckeyes to reach the Round of 16 in the main draw.
Brenton Contini (Fr., Dover, Ohio/Dover): The talented freshman compiled a 2-1 record in the No. 7-9 singles draw. After winning in the first round by default, he won his first played match, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Derek DeFalco (Sr., Maumee, Ohio/Maumee): DeFalco did not compete at the Big Ten Championships due to his participation in the Milwaukee Classic. He and teammate Bob Wellstein (Sr., Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) advanced to the finals of the doubles draw and fell, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, to the team of Currie/Borandane of Butler.
Martin Johannson (Jr., Malmo, Sweden/Physical Education): Johannson went 1-2 at the Big Ten tournament. After winning his opening match, 6-2, 6-4, Johannson fell in the second round, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3, to Illinois’ Philip Stolt.
Ben Kirksey: (Fr., Canton, Ohio/McKinley): Kirksey, also in his first Big Ten action, went 2-1 with his lone loss coming at the hands of the second place finisher. He won his first ever conference match in convincing fashion, 6-3, 6-0. Kirksey was one of the players involved in a 7-6 match and lost, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-3.
Phillip Metz: Metz was the tournament’s No. 5 seed and was one of two Buckeyes to reach the quarterfinals. Metz’s record was 3-1 with the loss also coming to eventual champion Marshall, 6-0, 6-3. Metz earned a berth in the quarterfinals with a grueling, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), victory over Illinois’ Brian Wilson.
B.J. Munroe (Sr., Freeport, Bahamas/Freeport): Munroe participated in the Milwaukee Classic in both the doubles and singles division. In singles, Munroe lost in the second round to No. 2 seed Alex Bose of Duke, 6-3, 6-1. Munroe teamed with Western Michigan’s Fernando Garcia but lost in the opening round to the eventual champions, Currie/Borendane, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.
Vincent Ng: Ng swept through the No. 7-9 singles bracket to capture the Big Ten title over Bennett, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Ng went 4-0 at Ann Arbor, Mich. to secure the championship.
Chris Porter: Porter joined Metz as the second Buckeye in the quarterfinals before bowing out to the No. 1 seed and No. 53 player in the nation, Harsh Mankad, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Porter finished 3-1 as the No. 6 seed in the tournament.
Jonathon Scale (So., Acworth, Ga./Harrison): Scale finished 0-2 in the tournament but did not go quietly. After falling to the No. 9 seed Michael Calkins of Illinois, 6-4, 7-5, in the first round, Scale fell to Josh Axler of Northwestern, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), in the back draw.
Bob Wellstein: Wellstein captured second place at the Milwaukee Classic in doubles with teammate DeFalco and also took home the consolation championship in singles. After a first round loss to No. 1 seed Mark Parsons of Tennessee, Wellstein won five-consecutive matches to claim the championship. In the finals, Wellstein survived a battle with Ryan Tomlinson of Western Michigan, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.
Eleven of OSU’s 23 opponents this season are currently ranked in the Top 75 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Among the non-conference opponents in the rankings are No. 30 Indiana State, No. 31 Clemson, No. 33 Notre Dame, No. 40 Kentucky and No. 59 Virginia Tech. Of those five opponents, OSU will play host to only one team, Notre Dame.
In the Big Ten, Illinois is No. 6 and is followed by No. 18 Minnesota, No. 27 Indiana, No. 29 Michigan, No. 39 Purdue and No. 51 Northwestern. OSU will play host to Illinois and Northwestern in the final week of action and will visit the other ranked teams.
Last Time Out
The Buckeye’s compiled a team record of 8-6 in the main draw and an overall mark of 17-11. The eight wins in the main draw were the third most behind Illinois’ 10 and Minnesota’s nine.
OSU’s trio of DeFalco, Wellstein and Munroe compiled a 7-3 record in the singles division of the Milwaukee open and combined to go 4-2 in doubles.
For the weekend, the Buckeyes brought home two championships and a runner-up trophy: Ng’s Big Ten Championship in the No. 7-9 singles, Wellstein’s singles championship in the back draw of the Milwaukee Classic and the second place finish by Wellstein and DeFalco in the doubles division at Milwaukee.
The Buckeyes will return to the courts to open the team season next week. OSU’s quest for its second-consecutive and second-ever NCAA appearance begins when the Buckeyes play host to the Butler Bulldogs and Murray State Racers at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, Jan. 25.
OSU will continue its six-match home stand two days later when it plays host to No. 33 Notre Dame in a 1 p.m. tilt, Jan. 27. All matches will be played at the Jesse Owens West Recreational Center on Carmack Road.