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Feb. 7, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 11 Ohio State men’s tennis team plays host to No. 20 Arkansas at 4 p.m. Friday at Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes are undefeated in their last 19 home matches. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season. It began with a 5-2 win over Purdue April 6. Ohio State hits the road Feb. 13 to face fourth-ranked Georgia in Athens, Ga.

No. 20 ARKANSAS
Arkansas improved to 2-0 over weekend action as the squad topped Army, 5-2. The Razorback’s first win of the season came with a 5-2 decision against Southwest Missouri State. They will face Oklahoma Tuesday, before making the trip to Columbus Friday.

Arkansas is under the direction of head coach Robert Cox. In 18 years of coaching, Cox has guided the Razorbacks to 227 victories, eight NCAA tournaments and 11 Top-40 final ITA rankings. Last season the squad advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in program history.

No. 4 GEORGIA BULLDOGS
The No. 4 Georgia squad is 3-0 this season with wins over Furman, Louisville and William & Mary. The Bulldogs are led by head coach Manuel Diaz. In 16 seasons, Diaz has compiled an overall record of 354-85, an .806 winning percentage. The Bulldogs have competed for the NCAA title eight times.

Georgia has three players ranked in the Top 35 of the ITA Division I singles Poll. John Isner is ranked No. 18, Matic Omerzel follows at No. 28 and Matias Ormaza is positioned at No. 35. The team also has two more players ranked in the singles Top 55.

OSU vs. OPPONENTS
Ohio State leads in the series against Arkansas, 1-0, and trails Georgia, 7-0. The last time the Buckeyes faced the Razorbacks was in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Championship. Ohio State topped Arkansas, 4-0. Last season in Athens, the 15th-ranked Buckeyes dropped a 5-2 match to the No. 21 Bulldogs Feb. 1. It was Ohio State’s first loss of the season.

AGAINST THE SEC
Ohio State is 8-6 against Southeastern Conference opponents under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker. Last season, the Buckeyes went 2-1 against the SEC in regular season play with wins over Vanderbilt and Alabama (Feb. 13-14) and defeated South Carolina, 4-0, in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Championship.

THE TUCKER FILE
Head coach Ty Tucker, the 2004 Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, guided his Buckeye squad to its finest campaign in program history in 2004. He led the team to its fifth-consecutive NCAA appearance where it advanced to the quarterfinal round and finished the season 12th in the nation. Tucker is 110-34 overall and 49-13 against Big Ten opponents during his six-year tenure with the Buckeyes. Tucker is aided by assistant coaches Marc Wurtzman, in his third year, and David Schilling, in his sixth year.

LAST WEEKEND
Ohio State fell to No. 17 Tulane and No. 18 Washington Feb. 4 and 5 in tournament action at the Washington Invitational in Seattle. With the 4-3 loss to the Green Wave and a 4-1 loss to the Huskies, the Buckeyes fell to 2-2 this season. The Washington Invitational featured four teams, Ohio State, Tulane, Washington and Minnesota. The shootout was structured as round robin play, with each team playing each other once. There was no match between Minnesota and Ohio State.

HOME OPENER
Ohio State opened the 2005 season at home Jan. 28 with shutouts over Butler and Xavier. With the two wins, the Buckeyes remained undefeated in home openers under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker.

Freshmen Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne made their home debut in the Scarlet and Gray. Eberly was 2-0 in singles as he played the No. 3 position in both matches. He defeated Butler’s Andy Bartish, 7-5, 6-2, and Xavier’s Justin Yeager, 6-3, 6-0. Eberly picked up two wins in doubles action as he paired with Dennis Mertens against Butler and Ross Wilson in the Xavier match. In singles, Ozanne defeated Xavier’s Brian Quinn, 6-0, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.

HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State is 6-0 in (first-match) home openers under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker. After the two wins over Butler and Xavier last weekend, OSU extended its home win streak to 19 matches. The Buckeyes were undefeated at home in 2004 with 14 victories. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season starting with a 5-2 win over Purdue April 6.

TEAM RANKED No. 11
Ohio State is ranked No. 11 in the ITA Division I team poll released Feb. 1. This is the highest team ranking for the Buckeyes and ties the squad’s top national ranking during a season. The Buckeyes moved into the No. 11 spot last season in the March 16 polls. The next team poll will be released Feb. 15 on www.itatennis.com.

RSVP PLEASE
Ohio State received an invitation to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 17-20 in Chicago. That marked the first bid to the team championships for the Buckeyes in program history. The 16-team field includes defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia.

DOUBLES No. 1
The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I doubles poll released Jan. 13. This is the highest ranking for a Buckeye doubles pair in program history. The duo received the No. 1 spot after a stellar fall season. Green and Wilson captured back-to-back national doubles titles at the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 10 and the ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 7. They became the first doubles team to capture both the ITA All-American title and the National Indoors title in the same season since 1992-93, and are the third team to do so in NCAA history. Green and Wilson went undefeated in fall tournament action with a 9-0 record. The pair posts an 11-0 overall record this season.

Other Buckeye doubles teams were ranked in the poll, including Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly at the No. 24 spot and sophomores Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann at No. 28.

SOPHOMORE SENSATIONS
Sophomores Devin Mullings, Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann are ranked in the Jan. 13 ITA Division I singles Poll. Mullings holds the No. 40 spot, Atas is No. 67 and Klingemann is positioned at 124.

RICE INVITE
Six Buckeyes represented the team Jan. 21-23 at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas. Sophomore Devin Mullings, the No. 4 seed of the tournament, advanced to the semifinal round in singles action. He fell, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, in the semifinal match to Baylor’s Benjamin Becker, the 2004 NCAA Singles champion and the No. 2 seed of the tournament. In the doubles bracket, sophomores Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann advanced to the final match after knocking off opponents from Baylor and Rice. The OSU tandem was forced to withdraw from the final match because of tournament delays and travel conflicts.

A FINAL TASTE
Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Ross Wilson advanced to the doubles title match Oct. 26 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship. The OSU tandem suffered an 8-5 loss to the No. 1 seed, Illinois’ Ryler DeHeart and G.D. Jones. Eberly and Wilson, 5-1 in tournament play, advanced to the final round after they defeated teammates Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann, 8-1, in semifinal action.

MULLINGS ADVANCES AT REGIONALS
Sophomore Devin Mullings advanced to the semifinal round after four-consecutive wins in the singles main draw Oct. 25 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. Mullings, the No. 13 seed, fell to the No. 2 seed Illinois’ Ryler DeHeart, 7-5, 7-5.

DOUBLES PERFECT UP NORTH
The men’s tennis squad competed Oct. 14-17 at the Hidden Duals in Ann Arbor, Mich. The three-day event consisted of a “hidden dual” match format where teams squared off against each other but the outcome of the match was not scored as a team effort. However, each match counted toward the individual players’ records and rankings. The Ohio State team combined for a perfect 5-0 record in doubles.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes return to action Feb. 17-20 at the National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago. Ohio State received a team bid to the championship for the first time in program history. The 16-team field includes defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia. Ohio State is back at home Feb. 25 against Virginia Commonwealth.