COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team hosts Cleveland State Tuesday at 2 p.m. for its eighth home dual match of the season before traveling to College Station, Texas, to face No. 36 Texas A&M Friday at 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The home match against the Vikings is scheduled to be played at Ohio State’s outdoor venue, Stickney Tennis Center. Should there be cold weather and high winds, the match will be moved to the Buckeyes indoor venue, The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
Live updates vs. Cleveland State will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and AggieAthletics.com at Texas A&M.
The Buckeyes (14-1; 2-0 Big Ten) have won six-consecutive matches, shutting out all six opponents, including No. 12 Baylor, No. 13 UCLA, No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 30 LSU, Purdue and Penn State.
In Big Ten play, the Buckeyes are 93-5 in the last 98 league matches, including postseason play. The Scarlet and Gray went a perfect 13-0 last season against Big Ten opponents en route to their third-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Buckeyes have won a school-record 80-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season. No other Big Ten team in any sport has won as many contests in a row at home. The Scarlet and Gray won all 16 home competitions last season, marking the fifth-consecutive year it has achieved perfection on its home courts. The streak began in 2003 with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6.
OHIO STATE RANKS HIGH
Ohio State is the third-ranked team in the nation in the latest ITA NCAA Men’s Division I rankings announced March 3. The Buckeyes are 14-1 on the season with 10 wins over ranked opponents: No. 12 Baylor, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 22 Washington, No. 23 Wake Forest, No. 25 Notre Dame No. 29 North Carolina, No. 30 LSU, No. 32 Virginia Tech and No. 69 Stetson. Ohio State is 7-0 at home, while going 5-0 on the road in dual competition. The Buckeyes are 2-1 at a neutral site after participating in the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago.
Under 10th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have now been ranked in the Top 25 in the ITA rankings for nine-consecutive years. For the past two seasons, Ohio State has earned a preseason ranking of No. 3 and finished third behind Georgia and Virginia both in 2007 and 08.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State has six members listed in the latest ITA standings announced March 3. In singles, Steven Moneke is No. 4, while Bryan Koniecko and Justin Kronauge are Nos. 6 and 20, respectively. Sophomore Balazs Novak sits at No. 71 in singles and classmate Shuhei Uzawa is No. 100. The Buckeyes are the only program to list two members in the Top 10 and are one of two teams, along with Virginia, to have three players ranked in among the Top 25.
In doubles, Ohio State ranks three pairs in the latest ITA rankings. Moneke and Koniecko stand as the 37th-ranked doubles team in the nation. Moneke and Novak pair up to be No. 43, while Kronauge and Matt Allare stand at No. 68.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
The Big Ten Conference has six of 11 teams ranked in the latest ITA team standings announced March 3.
3 Ohio State
A LOOK AT THE CLEVELAND STATE VIKINGS
The Vikings come to Columbus with a 9-3 record. After dropping its first two matches against Michigan State and No. 69 Stetson, Cleveland State has won nine of its last 10 dual matches.
Leading the Vikings is junior Phil Orno, who is 12-5 overall on the season in singles and was named the Horizon League Player of the Week twice this spring. Orno and classmate Ryan Hamning post a perfect 11-0 record at No. 1 doubles for the 2008-09 campaign. Sophomore Robert Fox is 9-2 at No. 5 singles this spring.
After a 6-1 victory against IPFW March 6, the Vikings improved to 6-1 on their home court. Following the match against the Buckeyes, the Vikings will travel to Florida for its spring trip. Play begins on Sunday, March 15 when Cleveland State takes on Bethune Cookman in Orlando.
OHIO STATE VS. THE VIKINGS
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series against Cleveland State 3-0. Ohio State last played Cleveland State last season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, winning 4-0. Ohio State claimed the doubles point to begin the match. Then-freshmen Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa beat Brad Groleski and Chris Klepatz by an 8-4 score at No. 3 doubles, while Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge downed Rob West and Robert Fox, 8-5 at No. 2 doubles to clinch the doubles point for the Scarlet and Gray.
Allare won his singles match against Fox at No. 5 singles to seal Ohio State’s place in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Championship.
THE NO. 36 TEXAS A&M AGGIES
The Aggies, currently ranked 36th in the latest ITA standings, are 5-4 overall for the 2009 spring season. Most recently, Texas A&M defeated No. 22 Washington, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center to put the Aggies one match over .500 on the season.
The Aggies began the season 2-0 after defeating Radford at home, while beating No. 39 North Carolina State, 6-1, in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Texas A&M then lost to No. 9 Florida, 6-1, in the championship match of the ITA National Indoor Team Championship qualifier in Gainesville, Fla.
Since the loss to the Gators, the Aggies have gone 3-3 against ranked opponents with wins against No. 43 TCU Feb. 18, No. 27 Boise State March 6 and the Huskies March 8.
The match against the Buckeyes will mark the first Top 5 opponent for the Aggies this season.
AGGIES IN THE RANKINGS
Texas A &M currently has three members ranked in the latest ITA polls. In singles, the Aggies have two members standing in the Top 25. Sophomore Wil Spencer is No. 22, while senior teammate Conor Pollock is No. 24. Spencer is 16-7 overall in singles with a 3-2 record against opponents at No. 2 singles this season.
Pollock is 15-9 in singles and 16-5 in doubles for the 2008-09 campaign. Pollock is a two-time team captain and All-American.
Sophomore Austin Krajicek sits at No. 107. Krajicek is 11-7 in singles, while posting a 16-5 mark in doubles this season. In 2008, Krajicek was honored as co-Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Year at the age of 17.
In doubles, the Aggies have one pair in the Top 10 as Pollock and Krajicek rank No. 6 in the nation. The Aggie duo is 8-1 on the season playing all matches at No. 1 doubles spot.
OHIO STATE VS. THE AGGIES
The Scarlet and Gray is 0-2 all-time against Texas A&M. The Buckeyes have not faced the Aggies since the 1998-99 season losing, 7-0, in College Station, Texas. This will be the first match against the Aggies under the helm of current Buckeye head coach Ty Tucker.
One member of the Buckeye squad has already faced an Aggie this season. Bryan Koniecko defeated then-No.14 Conor Pollock 7-5, 7-6, Nov. 6 at the 2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. Koniecko went on to claim the ITA indoor championship title and was the first Buckeye to do so since 2003.
Two Buckeyes are tied for the most wins on the season with 23 triumphs. Bryan Koniecko, ranked sixth in singles in the ITA standings, is 23-2 overall, while classmate and No. 4 Steven Moneke stands at 23-3 this season. Koniecko, the 2008 ITA Indoor Singles Champion, is 12-1 in dual matches this season, posting a 10-1 record at No. 1 singles. Moneke, who was named to the 2009 ITA Team Indoor Championships All-Tournament Team at No. 3 singles, has won 14-consecutive matches in his senior campaign with a perfect 14-0 dual match record.
In doubles, Moneke leads the squad for the most wins with 18 victories. Moneke is 18-4 in doubles this season, winning six of his last seven doubles matches.
The Buckeye pair of Matt Allare and Justin Kronauge leads the team in double triumphs with nine (two losses). The duo is 5-1 in dual matches this season and is 3-1 at No. 1 doubles.
AGAINST THE BEST
Senior Bryan Koniecko is 15-2 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I polls. For the season, Koniecko, currently sixth the in latest ITA standings, owns a 23-2 overall record.
Bryan Koniecko Wins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2008-09:
No. 99 Kellen Damico (Texas), 6-4, 7-5
No. 92 Nicolas Delgado (Virginia Tech), 6-4, 6-0
No. 74 Haythem Abid (UCLA), 6-1, 6-2
No. 50 Marc Spicijaric (Illinois), 6-2, 6-2
No. 46 Austen Childs (Louisville), 7-5, 6-0
No. 44 Bassam Beidas (Pepperdine), 6-0, 6-2
No. 38 Jordan Rux (Baylor), 6-3, 6-4
No. 37 Cory Parr (Wake Forest), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 27 Clay Donato (North Carolina), 6-3, 7-5
No. 23 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State), 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
No. 23 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State), 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
No. 22 Steven Moneke (Ohio State), 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 17 Sanam Singh (Virginia), 2-6, 7-6, 6-1
No. 14 Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 7-5, 7-6
No. 2 Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Oklahoma State), 6-2, 6-2
Several Buckeyes come into the match against Cleveland State with winning streaks in singles play.
Player Win Streak
SEVERAL BUCKEYES HIT 20-WIN MARK
Four members of the 2008-09 Ohio State squad have already accomplished 20 singles wins. Seniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke (23), junior Justin Kronauge (22) and sophomore Shuhei Uzawa (20) have all won at least 20 singles matches this season.
Koniecko and Moneke have a combined dual match record of 26-1, while Kronauge is a perfect 8-0 at No. 3 singles for the Buckeyes.
Uzawa, a native of Chiba, Japan, has been impressive in his second season for the Buckeyes with a 20-6 overall record and is 8-1 at No. 6 singles. The sophomore is one singles win shy of tying his season-high 21 wins set last season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes went on the road for their fourth away dual match of the season defeating Penn State, 7-0, March 5 at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center in University Park, Pa. The Buckeyes win marks 42-consecutive victories against Big Ten opponents.
The Buckeyes took down the doubles point after Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge defeated Adam Slagter and Jason Lee, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles. Moneke improved to a team-best 18 wins (4 losses), while teammate Kronauge is 17-5.
In singles, Ohio State won each match in straight sets. No. 20 Kronauge defeated Eddie Bourchier 6-0, 6-1, at No. 3 singles to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-0. Kronauge has won five-consecutive singles matches and is 8-0 at No. 3 singles. Koniecko, ranked sixth in the latest ITA standings, defeated Brendan Lynch, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 1 singles and is now 10-1 at the top singles spot. Clinching the 14th victory this season for the Buckeyes was Matt Allare after the sophomore defeated Lee 7-6 (3), 6-2. Allare has now won 13-consecutive singles matches and improved to 16-2 this season.
The win improves the Buckeyes’ all-time series record against the Nittany Lions to 17-5. The Scarlet and Gray has won 11-consecutive matches against Penn State, all under head coach Ty Tucker.
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
For the second-consecutive week, Steven Moneke, a senior co-captain, was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week the conference announced Feb. 24. Moneke shared the honor with Moritz Baumann of Wisconsin. Senior co-captain Bryan Koniecko received the weekly honor Feb. 10.
Moneke helped the No. 3 Buckeyes to 7-0 victories against No. 25 Notre Dame Feb. 21 and then-No. 14 LSU Feb. 22. Highlighting Moneke’s weekend was his No. 1 singles performance against the Tigers, where the two-time All-American defeated No. 5 Michael Venus, the 2008 ITA All-American singles Champion, 6-2, 6-3. Moneke, a native of Alten-Buseck, Germany, is ranked fourth in the nation.
BUCKEYES VS. BIG TEN OPPONENTS
Last season, Ohio State recorded a combined Big Ten singles record of 53-7 and a total Big Ten doubles record of 25-5. Six Buckeyes went through singles play undefeated, including 10-0 ledgers by 2008 ITA All-Americans Bryan Koniecko, Justin Kronauge and Steven Moneke. The All-America Buckeye trio has combined for a career Big Ten singles record of 69-4.
Ohio State has won 42-consecutive matches against Big Ten opponents and is now 93-5 in its last 98 league matches, including postseason play. The Buckeyes have not lost to a Big Ten opponent in an away dual match since the 2004-05 campaign, dropping a 5-2 decision at Northwestern.
Head coach Ty Tucker has led the Buckeyes to 20 or more wins in eight of nine complete seasons at Ohio State. Last year marked a record-breaking year for the Buckeyes as they compiled a 35-2 record, earning the most wins in a season in school history.
There is no sign of slowing down for Ohio State. Under Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have risen from the cellar of the Big Ten Conference to a nationally dominant program, earning the ITA preseason No. 1 ranking in 2009.
The future continues to look bright for the Scarlet and Gray as Tucker’s incoming freshman class was voted the second-best in the nation by a panel of junior tennis experts in a media poll conducted by TennisRecruiting.net.
The class, consisting of all Ohio natives, includes Blue Chip star and New Albany native Chase Buchanan. In addition, Tucker has two five-star recruits in Peter Kobelt (New Albany) and Wyatt Lippert (Cincinnati) joining the team and a four-star recruit in Devin McCarthy (Cincinnati), who enrolled at Ohio State in January.
The Buckeye recruiting class is tied for second with Yale, while Stanford earned the top nod.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes will break for 10 days before traveling to Malibu, Calif., March 23 to compete against No. 14 Pepperdine.