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Jan. 20, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 11 Ohio State men’s tennis team is back on the courts in 2005 competition Friday through Sunday at the Rice Invite in Houston, Texas. Six Buckeyes will represent the team, including junior Dennis Mertens, sophomores Joey Atas, Chris Klingemann and Devin Mullings and freshmen Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne. Mullings and Atas are positioned as the Nos. 4 and 7 seeds of the singles bracket, while the tandem of Atas and Klingemann are slated as the No. 2 seed in doubles.

TOURNEY BREAKDOWN
The Rice Invite will commence with singles beginning Friday and at 8:30 a.m., with doubles scheduled for approximately 6 p.m. Sunday’s final competition is slated for 9 a.m.

TEAM RANKED No. 11
The Ohio State squad is ranked No. 11 in the ITA Division I team polls released Jan. 11. This is the highest preseason ranking for the Buckeyes and ties the team’s top national ranking. The Buckeyes moved into the No. 11 spot last season in the March 16 polls.

DOUBLES No. 1
The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I doubles polls released Jan. 13. This is the highest ranking for a Buckeye doubles pair in program history. The duo received the No. 1 spot after a stellar fall season. Green and Wilson captured back-to-back national doubles titles at the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 10 and the ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 7.

Other Buckeye doubles teams were ranked including, Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly at No. 24 and sophomores Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann at No. 28.

SOPHOMORE SENSATIONS
Sophomores Devin Mullings, Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann are ranked in the ITA Division I singles poll Jan. 13. Mullings holds the No. 40 spot, Atas is No. 67 and Klingemann is positioned at 124.

RSVP PLEASE
Ohio State received an invitation to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 17-20 in Chicago, Ill. That marked the first bid to the team championships for the Buckeyes in program history. The 16-team field includes defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia (one more team from the Mountain Region will be added in three weeks).

YOUNG BUCK
Ty Schaub, a native of Lexington, Ohio, joined the Buckeyes in January. He will take a redshirt during the 2005 campaign and will have four years of eligibility remaining at the start of the 2005-06 season.

BACK-TO-BACK
Junior duo Scott Green and Ross Wilson captured back-to-back national doubles titles at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships Nov. 7 and the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 10. At the National Indoors Green and Wilson, the No. 1 seed of the tournament, defeated the No. 2 seed Stanford’s KC Corkery and Sam Warburg, 8-5, in the championship match. The win marked the second-consecutive national doubles title for Green and Wilson. They became the first doubles team to capture both the ITA All-American title and the National Indoors title in the same season since 1992-93, and are the third team to do so in NCAA history. Green and Wilson went undefeated in fall tournament action with a 9-0 record.

A FINAL TASTE
Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Ross Wilson advanced to the doubles title match Oct. 26 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship. The OSU tandem suffered an 8-5 loss to the No. 1 seed, Illinois’ Ryler DeHeart and G.D. Jones. Eberly and Wilson, 5-1 in tournament play, advanced to the final round after they defeated teammates Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann, 8-1, in semifinal action.

MULLINGS ADVANCES AT REGIONALS
Sophomore Devin Mullings advanced to the semifinal round after four-consecutive wins in the singles main draw Oct. 25 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. Mullings, the No. 13 seed, fell to the No. 2 seed Illinois’ Ryler DeHeart, 7-5, 7-5.

DOUBLES PERFECT UP NORTH
The men’s tennis squad competed Oct. 14-17 at the Hidden Duals in Ann Arbor, Mich. The three-day event consisted of a “hidden dual” match format where teams squared off against each other but the outcome of the match was not scored as a team effort. However, each match counted toward the individual players’ records and rankings. The Ohio State team combined for a perfect 5-0 record in doubles and split singles competition with an overall mark of 12-6.

FRESH FACE
Freshman Drew Eberly, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., kicked off his career as a Buckeye Oct. 1 at the ITA All-American Championships. He went 1-1 in tournament play falling in the pre-qualifying round. Eberly led Lake Forest High School to the 2003 state title and was named first team all-state. He is ranked in the national Top 75 in the under 18 division and was ranked as high as No. 5 in the Midwest. Eberly made a Round of 16 appearance at the 2002 National Clay Court Championship and saw action in the Round of 32 at the boy’s Under-16 national hard court championships.

KEY RETURNEES
Returning for Ohio State this season are juniors Scott Green, Dennis Mertens and Ross Wilson, sophomores Joey Atas, Chris Klingemann and Devin Mullings. Coming off a redshirt season during his freshman campaign is Dominic Ozanne.

Green started 29-of-31 matches in doubles and was 18-11 in duals competition. He had 12 wins at the No. 2 position with partner Wilson. The pair was ranked as high as No. 19 in the ITA doubles polls Jan. 24 and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the Midwest Region IV rankings.

Mertens compiled his best season yet with a 32-9 overall singles record and had a 23-6 singles mark in duals action at the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 positions. He tied at the No. 11 spot in program history for season singles wins with 32 and went 9-2 against conference opponents in singles.

Atas was named Big Ten freshman of the year, the first in Ohio State program history and was honored as the Midwest Region IV rookie of the year. He was ranked No. 50 in the ITA Division I Singles polls Feb. 24 and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the Midwest Region IV singles polls.

Klingemann started at the No. 3 singles position in 19 matches for the Buckeyes and was 13-6 at the No. 3 singles spot. He compiled a 15-9 overall singles mark and went 7-4 against Big Ten opponents.

Mullings started at the No. 4 singles spot for the Buckeyes and was 24-5 in season singles. He had a 19-5 mark at the No. 4 spot and was undefeated at the Nos. 2 and 3 singles positions with five wins combined. Mullings was 10-2 against Big Ten opponents.

RECAP OF THE 2004 SEASON
Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, guided his 2004 Buckeye squad to its finest campaign in program history in 2004. Ohio State, 26-5 overall and 11-2 in Big Ten play, finished the regular season second in conference action and suffered its only conference losses to No. 1-ranked Illinois. At the 2004 Big Ten Championship, OSU fell to the Illini in the championship match to close tournament league play with a second place finish. Tucker is 108-32 overall and 49-13 vs. Big Ten competition during his five-year tenure with the Buckeyes.

Tucker was named the Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, former Buckeye standout Jeremy Wurtzman took home the title of co-ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year and Joey Atas was named the Midwest Region IV Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Wurtzman, a three-time All-Big Ten selection, was named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America Team, the first All-American in Buckeye history since Tucker in 1991.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes play host to Butler and Xavier in their 2005 home opener Friday, Jan. 28 at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus.