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April 29, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 10 Ohio State men’s tennis team beat No. 38 Michigan 4-0 Saturday to advance to championship match of the 2006 Big Ten Championship Sunday in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Buckeyes (24-1) are one win away from claiming the Big Ten tournament title to go along with their regular-season league title earned by going 10-0 this season. It is the second time Ohio State defeated Michigan this season. The first was April 16 in Ann Arbor, Mich., when OSU downed the Wolverines 7-0.

Against Michigan (12-11) Saturday, the Buckeyes started by winning the doubles point. OSU has won the doubles point in each of its 25 dual matches this season. Buckeye seniors Ross Wilson (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) and 2006 Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree Scott Green (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover), the nation’s No. 1-ranked doubles team, defeated Matko Maravich and Brian Hung, the nations No. 10 doubles team, 8-3 at the No. 1 doubles spot to improve the OSU pair’s record to 29-2 and 23-1 in dual competition.

Ohio State clinched the match when junior Devin Mullings (Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prepatory) beat Brian Hung 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 3 singles spot, which gave Mullings his 25th singles win of the year. The 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Bryan Koniecko (Long Island, N.Y./Syosset) won his match at No. 1 singles against No. 38 Matko Maravich 6-4, 3-0 to improve his season singles record to 22-12. Steven Moneke (Alten-Busick, Germany) beat Andrew Mazlin 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 4 single spot. With the win Moneke improved his singles record to 18-6 on the year.

Ty Tucker, the 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year, improved his conference tournament record to 10-5. This will be Tucker’s fourth appearance in the Big Ten title match, which includes Ohio State’s 2001 league tournament title. OSU has met Illinois each time it advanced to the final. Tucker was pleased with the way his team played on the day.

“I thought we played much better today,” Tucker said. “It’s the third year in a row we’ve advanced to the final so we are really excited. We can’t wait to play Illinois or Penn State and we are going to give it our best shot tomorrow.”

The Buckeyes will face either No. 5 Illinois or Penn State at 1 p.m. Sunday in the championship match of the 2006 Big Ten Tournament. OSU has defeated both teams this season. The Illini loss to the Buckeyes in the regular season was their first regular-season conference loss since the 1997 season. The streak lasted 86 matches and included eight regular-season Big Ten titles. Their only loss to a conference opponent during that streak was to Ohio State in the 2001 Big Ten Tournament title match.

No. 10 Ohio State 4, Michigan 0

Singles
1. #40 Bryan Koniecko (OSU/22-12) def. #39 Matko Maravic (MICH), 6-4, 3-0 ret.
2. #99 Chris Klingemann (OSU) led Ryan Heller (MICH), 6-4, 2-1, abd.
3. #118 Devin Mullings (OSU/25-9) def. Brian Hung (MICH), 6-2, 6-3
4. #103 Steven Moneke (OSU/18-6) def. Andrew Mazlin (MICH), 6-3, 6-1
5. Dennis Mertens (OSU) led Steve Peretz (MICH), 6-2, 4-3, abd.
6. Ross Wilson (OSU) led Peter Aarts (MICH), 6-3, 4-5, abd.
Order of finish: 1,4,3

Doubles
1. #1 Green/Wilson (OSU/28-2) def. #10 Hung/Maravic (MICH), 8-3
2. Eberly/Koniecko (OSU/19-2) def. Heller/Mazlin (MICH), 8-2
3. Klingemann/Mullings (OSU) led Aarts/Bruckmann (MICH), 6-3, abd.
Order of finish: 2,1