COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 5 Ohio State men’s tennis team begins a five-game road swing at No. 13 Kentucky Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Boone Tennis Center, followed by two conference matches against Michigan State Saturday and No. 47 Michigan Sunday, both at noon. The Buckeyes go into the week winning the last 10 dual matches shutting out 10 of the last 12 opponents, including nationally-ranked No. 7 Baylor (7-0), No. 9 UCLA (4-0), No. 22 Notre Dame (7-0), No. 33 Minnesota (7-0), No. 34 LSU (7-0), No. 51 Penn State (7-0) and No. 64 Iowa (7-0).
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In Big Ten play, the Buckeyes are 95-5 in the last 100 league matches, including postseason play. The Scarlet and Gray went a perfect 13-0 last season against Big Ten opponents en route to its third-consecutive Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles.
HOME SWEET HOME
With wins against Iowa, Minnesota and Toledo this past weekend, Ohio State has now won a school-record 84-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 fifth-ranked team in the nation in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Rankings announced Tuesday. The Buckeyes are 20-1 on the season with 15 wins over ranked opponents: No. 7 Baylor, No. 9 UCLA, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 18 Pepperdine (twice), No. 21 Washington, No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 26 Virginia Tech, No. 28 Wake Forest, No. 34 LSU, No. 39 North Carolina and then-No. 65 Stetson. Ohio State is 11-0 at home, while going 7-0 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. In 2009, the Buckeyes received a No. 1 preseason ranking.
OHIO STATE IN THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes have six members listed in the latest ITA singles and doubles polls announced March 31. In singles, Bryan Koniecko is No. 4, while Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge are Nos. 8 and 18, respectively. Sophomore Balazs Novak sits at No. 91 in singles and classmate Shuhei Uzawa is No. 96. Rounding out the list for Ohio State is Matt Allare who is No. 100. The Buckeyes are the only program in Division I to list two members in the Top 10 and are one of two teams, along with Virginia, to have three players ranked among the Top 25.
In doubles, Ohio State ranks four pairs in the latest ITA rankings. Moneke and Novak stand as the 36th-ranked doubles team in the nation. Moneke and Kronauge pair up to be No. 39, while Moneke and Koniecko stand at No. 71. Allare and Kronauge join as the fourth Buckeye pair in the doubles polls at No. 73.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Eight of 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Rankings announced Tuesday.
5 Ohio State
51 Penn State
THE KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Kentucky, currently 13th in the nation, is 13-5 overall this season with a 3-3 in SEC play winning five of the last six dual matches. Last time out, Kentucky defeated No. 22 Auburn, 4-3, on the road in Alabama. The Wildcats five losses have all come from ranked opponents including: then-No. 9 Mississippi (4-3), then-No. 5 Virginia (6-1), then-No. 9 Florida (4-3), then-No. 31 South Carolina (5-2) and No. 17 Alabama. However, Kentucky has an impressive 8-1 record at home with key wins against at then-No. 4 Tennessee (4-2), then-No. 17 Rice (4-3) and at then-No.25 Notre Dame (5-2).
Kentucky is 1-0 against Big Ten opponents this season with a 6-1 triumph against Indiana in Lexington.
KENTUCKY IN THE RANKINGS
The Wildcats have one singles member and one doubles pair ranked in the latest ITA polls announced Tuesday. In singles, senior Bruno Agostinelli ranks fifth in the nation with a 29-10 overall record. Agostinelli has won five-consecutive matches coming into the match up against the Buckeyes and is 11-4 at No. 1 singles.
In doubles, Agostinelli pairs with Brad Cox to be the 19th-ranked doubles duo in the country. The Wildcat pair is 14-10 overall this season with a 5-7 mark at No. 1 doubles.
OHIO STATE VS. THE WILDCATS
Kentucky leads the all-time series against the Buckeyes 8-12. However, Ohio State has won the last five meetings, all of which have come under current head coach Ty Tucker.
THE MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
Michigan State (12-7; 0-4 Big Ten) have dropped the last six decisions, including four-consecutive losses against Big Ten opponents. The Spartans started the season 12-1 before losing to No. 43 California, 6-1, March 12 in Berkley, Calif. Michigan State’s last victory was against Santa Clara winning, 4-3, March 11.
Last time out, Michigan State was handed a 6-1 defeat against No. 24 Wisconsin March 29 in Madison, Wisc. However, the Spartans are 9-1 when playing at their home courts this season.
OHIO STATE VS. THE SPARTANS
Ohio State leads the all-time series 36-35 against Michigan State. Under head coach Ty Tucker, The Buckeyes are a perfect 9-0 against the Spartans.
THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
Michigan (7-12; 1-3 Big Ten) began the season winning the first five matches, but has lost 12 of the last 14 dual matches. Last time out, the Wolverines broke an eight-game losing streak after defeating No. 58 Northwestern, 4-3, March 29. Michigan is 5-12 against nationally-ranked opponents this season with key wins against No. 43 California (5-2), No. 49 Vanderbilt (4-3) and No. 50 Virginia Commonwealth. The Wolverines are 5-7 at home for the 2008-09 campaign.
MICHIGAN IN THE RANKINGS
Michigan, ranked 47th in the latest ITA polls, has one student-athlete in singles and two doubles pairs ranked in the standings. Sophomore Jason Jung is No. 98 and has an overall record of 13-17 this season. In doubles, Mike Sroczynski and Jung are 24th in the nation, while George Navas and Jung are No. 51. Sroczynski and Jung are 14-9 overall and are 2-3 at No. 1 singles.
OHIO STATE VS. THE WOLVERINES
Michigan leads the all-time series 19-37-1 against the Buckeyes. Ohio Sate is 10-2 against Michigan under head coach Ty Tucker.
Two Buckeyes are tied for the most wins on the season with 28 triumphs. Bryan Koniecko, ranked fourth in singles in the ITA standings, is 28-3 overall, while teammate and No. 18 Justin Kronauge stands at 28-6 this season. Koniecko, the 2008 ITA Indoor Singles Champion, is 17-2 in dual matches this season, posting a 14-2 record at No. 1 singles. Kronauge, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week March 17, has won 11-consecutive matches including a 9-0 record at No. 3 singles.
In doubles, the Buckeye pair of Matt Allare and Kronauge leads the team in doubles triumphs with 12 (four losses). The duo is 8-3 in dual matches this season and is 6-3 at No. 1 doubles.
AGAINST THE BEST
Senior Bryan Koniecko is 19-3 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I poll. For the season, Koniecko, currently fourth the in latest ITA standings, owns a 28-3 overall record.
Bryan Koniecko Wins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2008-09:
No. 116 Slavko Bijelica (Purdue), 6-4, 6-4
Then-No. 99 Kellen Damico (Texas), 6-4, 7-5
Then-No. 92 Nicolas Delgado (Virginia Tech), 6-4, 6-0
No. 91 Patrik Fischer (Washington), 6-1, 7-5
No. 63 Marc Spicijaric (Illinois), 6-2, 6-2
No. 62 Ishay Hadash (Minnesota) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
No. 51 Haythem Abid (UCLA), 6-1, 6-2
No. 49 Jordan Rux (Baylor), 6-3, 6-4
No. 40 Austen Childs (Louisville), 7-5, 6-0
No. 36 Clay Donato (North Carolina), 6-3, 7-5
No. 27 Bassam Beidas (Pepperdine), 6-0, 6-2
No. 27 Bassam Biedas (Pepperdine), 6-4, 6-4
No. 26 Cory Parr (Wake Forest), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 23 Sanam Singh (Virginia), 2-6, 7-6, 6-1
No. 21 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State), 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
No. 21 Justin Kronauge (Ohio State), 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
No. 16 Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 7-5, 7-6 (3)
No. 8 Steven Moneke (Ohio State), 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 2 Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Oklahoma State), 6-2, 6-2
Several Buckeyes come into the match against Kentucky with winning streaks in singles and doubles play.
Player Win Streak
Matt Allare 18
Justin Kronauge 11
Balazs Novak 11
Shuhei Uzawa 8
Steven Williams 5
Bryan Koniecko 4
Player Win Streak
Balazs Novak 13
Steven Moneke 6
Bryan Koniecko 4
Matt Allare 3
Justin Kronauge 3
SEVERAL BUCKEYES HIT 20-WIN MARK
Six members of the team have won 20 singles matches. Senior Bryan Koneicko and junior Justin Kronauge (28), senior Steven Moneke (26), sophomores Balazs Novak (25), Shuhei Uzawa (24) and Matt Allare (21) have all won at least 20 singles matches this season.
Koniecko and Moneke have a combined dual match record of 34-3, while Kronauge is 17-3 in dual action.
Uzawa, a native of Chiba, Japan, has been impressive in his second season for the Buckeyes with a 24-6 overall record and is 10-1 at No. 6 singles. The sophomore has broken his freshman record of 21 triumphs already this year, while Novak hit the 20-win mark for the second-consecutive year.
Allare, who has won 18-consecutive matches for the 2009 spring season, is 21-2 overall and is just three wins shy of tying his single-season high set last season.
MONEKE AND KONIECKO CLIMB THE ALL-TIME LIST
Senior tri-captains Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko continue to rise in the all-time career wins list for singles and doubles. In singles, Moneke, a two-time ITA All-American, has 127 career singles wins and is six victories away from breaking the career singles wins school record of 132 set by former Buckeye Vince Ng (1999-03) on the all-time career singles wins list.
Koniecko, a two-time All-American, has 120 career wins as a Buckeye and most recently passed Devin Mullings (2003-07) for third on the all-time career wins list. For the past four seasons, both Moneke and Koniecko have had at least 20 singles wins each campaign.
In doubles, Koniecko has 111 career victories and is third on the all-time career list, which is the most for an active member. Koniecko is six wins shy of tying Scott Green (2003-06) for third all-time.
Moneke began the season 13th all-time in career wins and is now fifth. Moneke has 90 career doubles wins and passed Stephen Miguel (85; 1987-1990) after defeating David Galic and Jordan Rux of Baylor, 9-7, with teammate Justin Kronauge.
BUCKEYES TOP COMBINED CAREER WINS LIST
Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke sit alone at the top of the combined career wins in program history. Koniecko, a native of Long Island, N.Y., is first on the all-time combined wins list with 231 (120, 111), while classmate Moneke is second with 217 triumphs (127, 90). The two Buckeyes passed Ross Wilson with 208 (90, 118; 2003-06), Roger Smith with 204 (126, 78; 1983-86) and former teammate Drew Eberly with 193 (75, 118; 2005-08).
Justin Kronauge, a junior from Dayton, Ohio, passed Jeremy Wurtzman (108, 74; 2001-04) for fourth on the all-time list with 182 victories after defeating Jared Miller and Nutthavit Likitkumchorn of Toledo, 8-1, at No. 1 doubles March 29 with Koniecko. Kronauge, a 2008 ITA All-American now has 186 victories in less than three complete seasons with the Scarlet and Gray.
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
Three Buckeyes have been honored as Big Ten Player of Week as announced by the conference this season. Steven Moneke, Bryan Koniecko and Justin Kronauge have been recipients of the weekly award. Koniecko recently received the honor for the second-time this season announced by the conference March 31.
Koniecko, a senior tri-captain from Syosset, N.Y., is the Buckeyes’ fifth conference player of the week this season, which leads the league. Illinois and Wisconsin each have four Big Ten Athlete of the Week honorees.
Moneke, a senior tri-captain, was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Feb. 24, his second-consecutive. Moneke helped the No. 3 Buckeyes to 7-0 victories against then-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 eighth in the nation.
Senior tri-captain Koniecko received the weekly honor Feb. 10 and March 31. In their first road trip of the dual season, the Buckeyes collected two wins against No. 22 North Carolina (7-0) and No. 21 Wake Forest (4-0), respectively. Koniecko defeated two ranked opponents en route to recording singles and doubles victories in both contests. With the singles victories over then-No. 73 Clay Donato of North Carolina and then-No. 34 Cory Parr of Wake Forest, Koniecko improved to 8-1 on the season against nationally-ranked opponents. He also moved into a tie for sixth place in the Ohio State career singles record book with 108 wins with assistant coach Jeremy Wurtzman. The two-time All-American improved his 2008-09 singles record to 16-1, which includes 15-consecutive wins.
Koniecko, currently fourth in the ITA rankings released Tuesday, won three singles and three doubles matches this past weekend to help then-No. 6 Ohio State improve its home win streak to 84-consecutive matches. With his combined six victories, Koniecko lifted the Buckeyes past in-state foe Toledo, 4-0, and two conference rivals in Iowa (7-0) and Minnesota (7-0). The two-time All-American is now 19-3 against ranked opponents this season and 28-3 overall with a 14-2 mark at No. 1 singles
Kronauge was named Big Ten Player of Week March 17 and was his first weekly laurel this season and third of his career. Ranked 20th in the latest ITA polls, Kronauge won two singles matches and a doubles match against Cleveland State and No. 18 Texas A&M as the Buckeyes improved to 16-1 overall. With Ohio State down 3-1 against the Aggies, Kronauge began the Buckeye rally at No. 3 singles when he gave Ohio State its first point following a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 22 Wil Spencer. Now, 9-0 at No. 3 singles, Kronauge has put together a seven-match win streak. In doubles, then-No. 68 Kronauge and Matt Allare gave the Vikings’ Phil Orno and Ryan Hamning their first loss of the season at No. 1, winning, 8-5.
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, Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge. The All-America Buckeye trio has combined for a career Big Ten singles record of 75-4.
Ohio State has won 44-consecutive matches against Big Ten opponents and is now 95-5 in its last 100 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.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State improved to 20-1 overall and a perfect 11-0 at home on the season after defeating then-No. 28 Minnesota, 7-0, and Toledo, 4-0, last Sunday in a dual doubleheader in Columbus.
In doubles against Minnesota, Matt Allare and Justin Kronauge improved to a team-high 12 wins (four losses) after defeating Ishay Hadash and Sebastian Gallego, 8-5, at No. 1 doubles. On court 3, No. 41 Balazs Novak and Steven Moneke improved to a perfect 6-0 in dual competition with an 8-4 victory over Dino Bilankov and Phillip Arndt, giving the Buckeyes an early 1-0 advantage against the Gophers.
In singles, the Buckeyes once again defeated each opponent in straight sets. Allare, ranked No. 100, came out firing on court No. 5, defeating Bilankov 6-1, 6-4, to finish first in competition for Ohio State. Allare has now won 18-consecutive matches for the 2009 spring season, which is the longest streak by a Buckeye on the season this year.
Freshman Chase Buchanan made his indoor debut Sunday against Wernet at No. 2 singles. Buchanan, who signed with the squad during the 2008 early signing period as the No. 1 recruit in the nation, defeated Wernet 6-3, 6-2.
On court No. 3, No. 8 Moneke added another memorable moment to his impressive career with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Gallego. The two-time ITA All-American now sits second on the Ohio State all-time career wins list with 127 victories, passing former Buckeye Roger Smith (126; 1983-86) and Moneke also claimed the win for Ohio State.
In doubles against Toledo, Allare and Buchanan paired for the first time and defeated Sven Burus and Robbie McCallum, 8-1, on court No. 2. Kronauge and Koniecko followed minutes later with an 8-1 victory against Nutthavit Likitkumchorn and Jared Miller. Paired for just the third time this season, the win marks the first dual match victory for the Buckeye duo.
In singles, Kronauge improved to 28-6 with a 6-3, 6-0 win against Burus at No. 2 singles. Kronauge is 17-3 in dual competition this year.
On court No. 5, Novak put the Buckeyes ahead, 3-0, against the Rockets with the Scarlet and Gray needing only one more match win to follow for the sweep in the doubleheader. Novak downed Gursher Harika 6-1, 6-1 and is now a perfect 9-0 at No. 5 singles.
Completing the win for Ohio State was No. 3 Koniecko at No. 1 singles claiming his 28th triumph of the season with a 6-1, 6-4 score against Miller. Koniecko improves to 14-2 at No. 1 singles and 17-2 in dual action this season
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 single season in school history.
NEXT TIME OUT
Ohio State will finish up the 2009 road dual match schedule traveling to Indiana April 10 and Illinois April 12.