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Jan. 11, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State men’s tennis team, currently ranked No. 32 in the nation and coming off a long holiday break, will swing back into action Saturday when the Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

In The Rankings

OSU starts the season with a national team ranking of No. 32 as well as being the No. 4 team in the latest Region-IV rankings. Individually, Phillip Metz (So., Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was the lone Buckeye to crack the national rankings in singles or doubles with his No. 38 ranking.

On the regional level, the team of Andrew Carlson (Sr., Gambrills, Md./Arundel) and Chris Porter (Sr., Canton, Ohio/Jackson) share the No. 8 doubles rank with fellow teammates Derek DeFalco (Sr., Maumee, Ohio/Maumee) and Bob Wellstein (Sr., Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg). Three Buckeyes also received singles recognition. Metz and Porter are ranked No. 8 and No. 9, respectively, and Jonathon Scale (So., Acworth, Ga./Harrison) is the No. 24 player in the region.

Scouting The Big Ten

Competition will be fierce in Ann Arbor, Mich., as the top players of the Big Ten Conference meet on the court to crown the singles indoor champion for the 2001 season.

In the latest national rankings from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, 10 singles players in the Top 100 compete for Big Ten teams. Thomas Haug will be the favorite at the tournament. Haug is junior from Minnesota and is ranked as the No. 16 player in the nation. OSU’s Metz is the fourth-highest ranked player in the Big Ten (No. 38) behind Haug, No. 29 Jason Marshall of Purdue and No. 35 Phil Stolt of Illinois.

In the team standings, Illinois and Minnesota are ranked in the Top 20 with rankings of No. 8 and No. 18, respectively. Indiana (27), Michigan (29), Ohio State (32), Purdue (39) and Northwestern (51) round out the representatives of the conference in the Top 75.

The Participants

The Buckeyes will have six representatives in the Big Ten Indoor field with the possibility of three more OSU players entering as well.

Confirmed for the tournament are Metz, Porter, Carlson, Scale, Adrian Bohane (Fr., West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Lakes) and Martin Johannson (Jr., Malmo, Sweden/Physical Education).

The late editions could include Wellstein, DeFalco and B.J. Munroe (Sr., Freeport, Bahamas/Freeport). All three Buckeyes are participating in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic at Marquette, Mich. Competition for the Classic began Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 14.

Big Ten: Last Year

The Big Ten Indoor Championships were held at East Lansing, Mich., a year ago and the Buckeyes fared well.

In the main draw of the tournament, Porter advanced to the semifinals as the No. 9 seed and fell to Iowa’s Tyler Cleveland, 6-3, 6-3. Cleveland went on to win the title and also was named the Player of the Year in the Big Ten.

Metz advanced to the third round before falling to Illinois’ top player, and No. 5 seed, Graydon Oliver. Carlson, Wellstein and DeFalco fell in the opening round of the tournament with Wellstein bouncing back to make the quarterfinals of the consolation before falling to Brad Erickson of Northwestern, 6-2, 6-4.

Vincent Ng (So., Broadveiw Heights, Ohio/University School) rebounded from an opening-round loss in the No. 7 and No. 8 singles bracket to claim the consolation championship. In the final, Ng defeated Alex Hobson of Illinois, 6-2, 6-1.

From The Baseline

Adrian Bohane: The newest member for the team, Bohane will look to contribute right from the start of the season. A fixture in the Florida junior circuit in recent years, Bohane remained as one of the Top 5 players in his age group. He also recently finished second at the Wickertree Holiday Classic Dec. 29-30 in singles.

Andrew Carlson: Entering his senior year, Carlson won 26 doubles matches last year, the fifth-highest total in a single season, and is only 11 victories away from breaking into the Top 15 on the all-time career wins list.

Brenton Contini (Fr., Dover, Ohio/Dover): A talented freshman that OSU head coach Ty Tucker feels can step into a competitive role for the Buckeyes this season. Contini posted a 4-2 record in singles and was a perfect 5-0 in doubles.

Derek DeFalco: After tying the single-season mark with 30 doubles wins last year, DeFalco is tied for No. 15 all-time for career doubles victories with 48. A second-consecutive season with 30 wins would place him into the Top 3 in OSU history.

Martin Johannson: A junior college transfer from Vicennes (Ind.) College, Johannson brings more depth to a talented team. At Vicennes, he was a two-time NJCAA All-American and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation in 2000.

Ben Kirksey: (Fr., Canton, Ohio/McKinley): One of the top players from the Ohio high school ranks a year ago, Kirksey had a stellar fall. He went 5-1 and captured the Singles B championship at the Rocket Indoor (10/14/00).

Phillip Metz: Metz started the fall ranked No. 92 in the nation and will begin the spring schedule at No. 38, the lone Buckeye to be ranked. As a freshman last year, he posted a 27-12 record and is tied for 12th all-time on the single season wins list, one shy of Tucker’s 28 in 1990.

B.J. Munroe: Munroe saw limited action last year following his transfer from Miami (Ohio) and posted an 0-3 singles mark with a 4-7 doubles record. He went 2-2 in the fall at singles and teamed with several teammates in doubles to finish 4-3.

Vincent Ng: Ng ended his freshman campaign with an 18-20 singles record with no doubles matches played. He went 2-2 in doubles during the fall as well as a 4-5 mark in singles.

Chris Porter: Porter’s 36 singles wins a year ago led the team and were the third most in a season in OSU history. For his career, he is 12th all-time for singles wins with 75 and his 50 doubles wins are the 14th most at OSU. He also posted 28 doubles wins a year ago, the third-most in a single season.

Jonathon Scale: Scale finished his freshman campaign with a 10-8 and 8-10 record in singles and doubles, respectively. During the fall, Scale posted a 7-4 mark at singles and finished with a record of 4-3 in doubles play.

Bob Wellstein: A scholar-athlete last season, Wellstein captured 26 doubles victories, tying Carlson for fifth in a single season. During the fall schedule, he went 0-1 in singles action and teamed with DeFalco to go 5-1 in doubles.

Last Time Out

Buckeye players last competed at the Wickertree Holiday Classic at the Wickertree Tennis Center Dec. 29-30.

Bohane, seeded No. 4 in the tournament, took second place to the No. 1 seed Ed Carter after withdrawing with an injury.

Also in singles action, six other Buckeyes entered the tournament and all received a tournament seeding. Bohane was followed by No. 6 DeFalco, No. 7 Wellstein, No. 8 Ng, No. 9 Munroe, No. 10 Kirksey and No. 11 Contini.

Wellstein and Ng joined Bohane in the semifinals with Wellstein falling to Bohane, 6-2, 7-6(5), and Ng falling to No. 1, and eventual champion, Ed Carter, 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-4.

Kirksey and DeFalco both reached third round action while Munroe and Contini bowed-out in the second round.

The No. 2 ranked duo of Carlson and Porter teamed to capture second place in doubles after falling to No. 1 Wynn Criswell and Matt Pledger, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in the finals. All three of OSU’s doubles tandems faced, and fell, to the No. 1 seed of Criswell and Pledger during the tournament.

No. 3 DeFalco and Wellstein fell in the semifinals, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, while the top ranked foe bested the No. 5 team of Bohane and Munroe, 6-3, 6-2.

In other action, Scale entered the Georgia Tech Holiday Tennis Challenge and was bumped from competition in the second round. In the opening round, Scale was defeated by Jerome Kirkland, 6-1, 6-2, and fell to Jackie Jenkins, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, in the second.

Next Up

The Buckeyes will have a one-week break following the Big Ten Indoors and then return to the courts to open the team season. 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.