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Feb. 15, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s tennis team (3-3 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) travels Thursday-Sunday for competition at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship at the Mid-Town Tennis Club in Chicago. This is the first bid to the team championship for the Buckeyes in program history. OSU is slated to face fourth-ranked Georgia at 7 p.m. EST Thursday in Chicago. The 16-team field features top-ranked national tennis programs and includes defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia.

No. 4 GEORGIA BULLDOGS
The No. 4 Georgia squad is 4-0 this season with wins over Ohio State Feb. 13, Furman, Louisville and William & Mary. The Bulldogs are led by head coach Manuel Diaz. In 16 seasons, Diaz has compiled an overall record of 358-85, with an .808 winning percentage, and the Bulldogs have competed for the NCAA title eight times and captured the crown in 1999 and repeated in 2001.

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. GEORGIA
Ohio State trails Georgia in the series, 0-9. The Buckeyes fells to the Bulldogs, 6-1, Feb. 13 in Athens, Ga. Last season, the 15th-ranked Buckeyes dropped a 5-2 match to the No. 21 Bulldogs Feb. 1. It was the first loss of the 2004 season for Ohio State.

AGAINST THE SEC
Ohio State is 9-7 against Southeastern Conference opponents under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker. In 2005 SEC action, Ohio State defeated Arkansas, 5-2, Feb. 11 and fell to Georgia, 6-1, Feb.13. 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.

OSU vs. THE FIELD
Under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State is 4-12 overall against the 15-team field represented at the National Indoor Championships. The Buckeyes are 2-4 in the last six matches against the field.

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 111-35 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.

HOME SWEET HOME
After Ohio State’s three home wins over Butler and Xavier Jan. 28, and Arkansas Feb. 11, OSU extended its home win streak to 20 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. 15
Ohio State is ranked No. 15 in the latest ITA Division I team poll released Feb. 15. In the preseason rankings, the Buckeyes were positioned at the No. 11 spot. That was the highest preseason team ranking for the Buckeyes and tied the squad’s top national ranking during a season. The Buckeyes moved into the No. 11 spot last season in the March 16 polls.

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 a 12-1 overall record this season with their first loss coming against No. 10 John Isner and Antonio Ruiz of Georgia Feb. 13.

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.

WASHINGTON INVITE
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.

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 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. 25 as they play host to Virginia Commonwealth at noon at Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus.