Feb. 24, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Ohio State Men’s Tennis team handed No. 20 LSU its first loss of the season in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday. The Buckeyes beat the Tigers 4-2 to improve to 11-1 on the year, and 3-0 against teams form the Southeastern Conference (Tennessee 4-0, Kentucky 6-1).
OSU has won the last two meetings between the schools, winning a 6-1 decision last year on Feb. 12 in Columbus. LSU holds the edge in the all-time series 6-2.
Ohio State has outscored opponents 63-11 this season. Opposing teams have managed to take only 35 of 169 singles sets from the Buckeyes.
OSU collected the doubles point for the 38th time in 42 matches. Wins for the Buckeyes came at the No. 1 spot where seniors Devin Mullings (Freeport, Bahamas/Fort Lauderdale Prep.) and Chris Klingemann (Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent), the nations 14th ranked doubles pair, came from behind to beat the sixth-ranked duo of James Cluskey and Ken Skupski 9-8. The 13th ranked tandem of Ohio State sophomores Steven Moneke (Alten-Busick, Germany/Gesamtschale Giessen-Ost) and Bryan Koniecko (Long Island, N.Y./Syossett) won their match at No. 3 doubles against Kevin Dessauer and Jan Zelezny 8-6.
Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker felt winning the doubles point was crucial.
“Mullings and Klingemann helped us out big time by staying in their doubles match in bad conditions against a great team,” Tucker said.
The Buckeyes won three hard fought singles matches. Every match went to three sets except one. No. 14 Moneke beat No. 24 Skupski at the No. 1 spot 7-5, 1-6, 6-1. No. 47 Klingemann downed Colt Gaston 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. Senior Drew Eberly (Lake Forrest, Ill./Lake Forrest) clinched the match for Ohio State when he beat James Cluskey at the No. 6 singles spot.
Tucker was proud of the way his players competed against LSU.
“We played pretty well,” Tucker said. “The wind was blowing at around 30 miles per hour and we were outside for the first time this season. But the guys competed as well as they can compete. They stayed mentally focused. The atmosphere was unbelievable. They had people screaming and yelling and tailgating, but we kept competing and competing and we came out on top.”
The Buckeyes return home to begin the defense of its 2006 Big Ten Title when they face No. 63 Indiana March 3 at the Jesse Owens Tennis Center in Columbus.
No. 2 Ohio State 4, No. 20 LSU 2
1. #14 Steven Moneke (OSU/26-4) def. #24 Ken Skupski (LSU), 7-5, 1-6, 6-1
2. #62 Danny Bryan (LSU) vs. #17 Bryan Koniecko (OSU/13-7), 5-7, 6-4, 2-2 (unfinished)
3. #47 Chris Klingemann (OSU/19-4) def. Colt Gaston (LSU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
4. Kevin Dessauer (LSU) def .#35 Devin Mullings (OSU/20-4), 7-5, 6-4
5. Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. #60 Justin Kronauge (OSU/14-6), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
6. Drew Eberly (OSU/11-4) def. James Cluskey (LSU), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
1. #14 Chris Klingemann/Devin Mullings (OSU) def. #6 James Cluskey/Ken Skupski (LSU), 9-8
2. #25 Danny Bryan/Colt Gaston (LSU) def. #60 Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU), 8-4
3. #13 Steven Moneke/Chris Klingermann (OSU) def. Kevin Dessauer/Jan Zelezny (LSU), 8-6
# – national rankings
Order of finish:
Singles: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Doubles: 2, 3, 1