COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team will continue Big Ten dual match play at No. 46 Penn State at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes will look to make it 42-consecutive league wins with a victory against the Nittany Lions. Live updates will be available at www.GoPSUSports.com.
Ohio State (13-1; 1-0 Big Ten) has won five-consecutive matches, shutting out all five opponents, including No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 Baylor, No. 14 LSU, No. 25 Notre Dame and Purdue. In Big Ten play, the Buckeyes are 92-5 in the last 97 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.
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 Feb. 24. The Buckeyes are 13-1 on the season with wins over ranked opponents in No. 8 UCLA, No. 10 Baylor, No. 14 LSU, No. 15 Pepperdine, No. 21 Wake Forest, No. 22 North Carolina, No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 32 Virginia Tech and No. 64 Stetson. Ohio State is 7-0 at home, while going 4-0 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
In the latest ITA singles and doubles standings, announced Feb. 19, five Buckeyes are ranked in both singles and standings.
In singles, Bryan Koniecko is No. 4, while teammates Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge are Nos. 22 and 23, respectively. Sophomore Balazs Novak sits at No. 63 in singles and classmate Shuhei Uzawa is No. 82. Ohio State is one of two schools, joining Virginia, to have three players in singles ranked in among the Top 25.
In doubles, Ohio State has two Buckeye pairs listed in the rankings. Moneke and Novak stand as the 29th-ranked doubles team in the nation. The duo has an overall record of 5-1 overall on the year, going a perfect 3-0 at No. 2 doubles. Moneke and Koniecko pair up to be No. 37 in doubles. The two senior captains are 7-1 overall this season and 4-0 in dual competition.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
The Big Ten Conference has nine of 11 teams ranked in the latest ITA team standings announced Feb. 24.
3 Ohio State
46 Penn State
A LOOK AT PENN STATE
No. 46 Penn State is 5-4 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play for the 2008-09 campaign. The Nittany Lions have won three-consecutive matches against Cornell, Lehigh and Purdue. Penn State’s four losses this season all came against ranked opponents.
The Nittany Lions opened the 2009 spring season on the road at No. 40 North Carolina State Jan. 18 losing, 4-3. During the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Penn State fell to No. 17 Oklahoma State, 4-3, in the opening round and dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 36 Duke in a consolation match. The Nittany Lions were last defeated Feb. 7 at home falling, 4-3, to No. 31 Virginia Tech.
Senior Brendan Lynch leads the team in singles with a 10-8 overall record, including a 6-3 record in dual action. Lynch has won four-consecutive singles matches and has a perfect 3-0 record at No. 1 singles. Junior Guillaume St-Maurice, a native of Saint-Eustache, Quebec, is 10-5 in singles and he is 7-2 in the last nine matches.
In doubles, Lynch and St-Maurice lead the Nittany Lions with an 8-1 overall record. The Penn State duo is 7-1 in dual play, winning three-consecutive matches coming into its match against the Scarlet and Gray. Sophomore Eddie Bourchier and junior Ryan Gormley are 7-2 overall, winning their previous four matches this season. The two are 1-0 and 4-2 in Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, respectively.
OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE
Ohio State leads the all-time series 16-5 against the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes have won 10-consecutive matches against Penn State, all under current head coach Ty Tucker.
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 63-4 since joining the Scarlet and Gray.
Ohio State has won 41-consecutive matches against Big Ten opponents and is now 92-5 in its last 97 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.
Two Buckeyes are tied for the most wins on the season with 22 triumphs. Bryan Koniecko, ranked fourth in singles in the ITA standings, is 22-2 overall, while classmate and No. 22 Steven Moneke stands at 22-3 this season. Koniecko, the 2008 ITA Indoor Singles Champion, is 11-1 in dual matches this season, posting a 9-1 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 13-consecutive matches in his senior campaign with a perfect 13-0 dual match record.
In doubles, Moneke leads the squad for the most wins with 17 victories. Moneke is 17-4 in doubles this season.
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 fourth the in latest ITA standings, owns a 22-2 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 Penn State with winning streaks in singles play.
Player Win Streak
LAST TIME OUT
No. 3 Ohio State won its fifth-consecutive match this season after defeating No. 10 Baylor, 7-0, March 1 at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The win marks the ninth triumph against a ranked opponent on the season and improves the Buckeyes’ home win streak to 80-consecutive matches, which dates back to the 2003 season.
In doubles, Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge won, 9-7, against David Galic and Jordan Rux at No. 1 doubles and claimed the crucial doubles point for the Buckeyes. Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa won the first doubles match, 8-2, against Attila Bucko and Marc Bruche at No. 3 doubles. The Buckeye duo improves to 4-0 overall on the season.
In singles, No. 22 Moneke defeated No. 10 Denes Lukacs, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, while No. 4 Koniecko defeated No. 38 Jordan Rux 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 singles. Matt Allare claimed the victory for the Scarlet and Gray, as the sophomore defeated Maros Horny 0-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 at No. 5 singles. Allare has now won 12-consecutive singles matches.
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
For the second-consecutive week, Steven Moneke, a senior co-captain on the third-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team, was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week the conference announced Feb. 24. Moneke shares 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 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 22nd in the nation.
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.
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.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Buckeyes return to Columbus to host Cleveland State at 2 p.m. March 10 at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.