COLUMBUS, Ohio For the second time this season, the Ohio State men’s tennis team downed Pepperdine, this time by a 6-1 score Monday at the Ralph-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif. The No. 6 Buckeyes improve to 17-1 overall (2-0 Big Ten) and the 17th-ranked Waves fall to 12-7.
Prior to Monday, Ohio State and Pepperdine met in the opening round of the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago Feb. 13. In that match, the Buckeyes dropped the doubles point but rebounded with four singles victories, including three-consecutive to close out the match, clipping the Waves, 4-2.
The Scarlet and Gray was able to carry the doubles point into singles play this time around, but it came down to the final doubles match between Buckeyes Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa and the Waves’ Mahmoud Kamel and Alex Moreno. Uzawa and Koniecko secured the 8-5 victory at the No. 3 position after teammates and No. 41 Steven Moneke and Balazs Novak garnered an 8-4 win over Hugh Clarke and Alex Llompart at No. 2 to start things off. However, Pepperdine kept the match close with an 8-1 victory at No. 1 doubles. No. 14 Omar Altmann and Bassam Beidas topped Matt Allare and Justin Kronauge to even doubles match-play at 1-all.
Overall, Moneke and Novak have a 6-1 record, including a 4-0 mark at No. 2 doubles. Uzawa and Koniecko are 8-1 overall and own a 6-1 ledger at the No. 2 spot.
With momentum on its side, Ohio State quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead courtesy of wins by Kronauge and Novak at Nos. 4 and 5 singles, respectively. Kronauge, ranked 21 in the ITA standings, downed Kamel 6-4, 6-0 and No. 88 Novak handed Moreno a 6-1, 6-1 loss.
Making his Buckeye debut at No. 2 singles was freshman Chase Buchanan, who joined Ohio State in the 2008 early signing period as the No. 1 ranked player in the nation. The New Albany, Ohio, native faced tough competition in his first start against No. 39 Omar Altmann and lost 6-4, 6-4 to the Pepperdine junior.
With the Buckeyes needing only one more win to claim the match, Allare proved to be clutch with his straight-set victory against Jenson Turner 6-3, 6-3. Allare now is a winner of 16-consecutive singles matches and improves to 19-2 overall.
Ohio State and Pepperdine played out the Nos. 1 and 3 matches despite the Buckeyes already having secured the win. Koniecko, who is third in the country, dispatched No. 27 Beidas 6-4, 6-4 at No. 1 and No. 8 Moneke was a 6-2, 7-6 (5) straight-set victor over Llompart.
March 23, 2009
No. 17 Pepperdine 1, No. 6 Ohio State 6
Ralph-Straus Tennis Center
1. No. 14 Omar Altmann/Bassam Beidas (PEPP) def. Matt Allare/Justin Kronauge (OSU), 8-1
2. No. 41 Steven Moneke/ Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Hugh Clarke/Alex Llompart (PEPP), 8-4
3. Bryan Koniecko/ Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Mahmoud Kamel/Alex Moreno (PEPP), 8-5
Order of Finish (2,1,3)
1. No. 3 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 27 Bassam Beidas (PEPP) 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 39 Omar Altmann (PEPP) def. Chase Buchanan (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
3. No. 8 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Alex Llompart (PEPP) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
4. No. 21 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Mahmoud Kamel (PEPP) 6-4, 6-0
5. No. 88 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Alex Moreno (PEPP) 6-1, 6-1
6. No. 100 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Jensen Turner (PEPP) 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish (4,5,2,6,1,3)