COLUMBUS, Ohio Bryan Koniecko and Justin Kronauge, members of the Ohio State men’s tennis team, won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinals of the 2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
It was a big day for Koniecko, a senior from Syosset, N.Y. Koniecko, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, took on No. 1 Oleksandr Nedovyesor of Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals and cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Koniecko will face Daniel Vallverdu (Miami (Fla.) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals.
Koniecko was a three-set winner in the second round vs. Sanam Singh of host Virginia to advance to the quarterfinals. Against Singh, Koniecko, dropped the first set, 6-2. He then took Singh to a second-set tie break which he won, 8-3, before allowing Singh to win only two more games as he triumphed in the third set, 6-2.
Although not easy in the least, Kronauge avoided a third set against Bruno Rosa of Rice in the second round, winning by a 6-4, 6-4 margin before taking on Enrique Oliveras of East Tennessee State in the quarterfinals. However, it was a different story in the round of 16 as Kronauge, the No. 7-seed had to rebound from a first-set 7-5 loss before eliminating Oliveras from the main bracket in the remaining two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Although the ITA indoor championships are an individual event, Kronauge will try to gain some redemption against No. 6-seed Arnau Brugues of Tulsa Saturday on behalf of teammate Steven Moneke. Moneke, a 2006 finalist in the tournament, was bounced from the main bracket following a 6-3, 6-1 loss.
En route to the quarterfinals Moneke beat Baylor’s Denes Lukacs, who earned the event’s No. 2 seed as the second-ranked player in the nation. Moneke dealt Lukacs a three-set loss, taking the first set, 6-4, before winning one game in the second set to lose 6-1. However, Moneke answered with another 6-4 victory in the final and deciding set for the win. The match-up between the Buckeye senior from Alten-Busick, Germany, and Lukacs was a rematch from last season when the two met in the consolation round of the 2007 ITA Indoor Championships in Columbus. Lukacs was a 6-2, 6-4 winner at the Racquet Club of Columbus a year ago.
2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
Hosted by University of Virginia
Nov. 6-9, 2008
No. 11 Steven Moneke (Ohio State) def. No. 10 J.P. Smith (Tennessee) 7-5, 6-2
No. 8 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State) def. No. 15 Bassam Beidas (Pepperdine) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
No. 9 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State) def. No. 17 Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) 7-5, 7-6
No. 11 Steven Moneke (Ohio State) def. No. 2 Denes Lukacs (Baylor) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
No. 8 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State) def. No. 14 Bruno Rosa (Rice) 6-4, 6-4
No. 9 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State) def. No. 82 Sanam Singh (Virginia) 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2
No. 6 Arnau Brugues of Tulsa def. No. 11 Steven Moneke (Ohio State) 6-3, 6-1
No. 8 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State) def. No. 31 Enrique Oliveras (East Tennessee State) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
No. 9 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State) def. No. 1 Oleksandr Nedovyesor (Oklahoma State) 6-2, 6-2
*Note – rankings are ITA Preseason Rankings (Sept. 4), not tournament seeding