COLUMBUS, Ohio Bryan Koniecko and Justin Kronauge, members of the Ohio State men’s tennis team, advanced to the final of the 2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships Saturday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. The Buckeye teammates will face each other in the championship Sunday.
With the all-OSU final, Ohio State will boast an ITA indoor championships singles winner for the first time since 2003. Buckeye assistant coach Jeremy Wurtzman (2002-2004) won the ITA National Indoor singles championship in 2003 after defeating three Top 10 players. Wurtzman would finish his career as an All-American and the 2004 ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year (co-honoree).
Koniecko, the eighth-seed, advanced to the final after No. 3-seed Daniel Vallverdu of Miami (Fla.) withdrew from the tournament because of injury. The contest would have been a rematch from a year ago that saw Vallverdu win 6-2, 7-6 at No. 1 singles in a 5-2 Ohio State team victory.
Kronauge, who earned the seventh-seed, took on Arnau Brugues of Tulsa in the second semifinal match and defeated Brugues in two sets 6-4, 6-2. Kronauge, a native of Centerville, Ohio, was able to top Brugues after the Hurricane dealt the Buckeye a 6-4, 7-6 defeat last year at the All-American championships.
Koniecko, a senior out of Syosset, N.Y., and Kronauge competed against each other recently in the final of the 2008 Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional championships Oct. 20. Koniecko defeated Kronauge in a three-set match 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 to claim the singles crown in Columbus, Ohio. Kronauge won the 2007 Midwest Regional singles championship after defeating Koniecko in the semifinals 7-6, 6-3 in Minneapolis, Minn.
2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
Hosted by University of Virginia
Nov. 6-9, 2008
No. 8 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State) def. No. 6 Arnau Brugues (Tulsa) 6-4, 6-2
No. 9 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State) def. No. 8 Daniel Vallverdu (Miami (Fla.)) w/o[def.]
Note– rankings are ITA preseason rankings (Sept. 4), not tournament seedings