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Feb. 28, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Second ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team returns home to begin defense of its 2006 Big Ten Title when it faces No. 68 Indiana at noon Saturday at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center. Last time out, the Buckeyes handed No. 20 LSU (5-1) its first loss of the season. Ohio State beat the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, by a 4-2 score.

The Buckeyes defeated Butler, Xavier, No. 18 Washington, No. 13 Florida State and Toledo each by a 7-0 score to open the season. OSU then traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., and topped the Volunteers 4-0. Ohio State beat No. 37 Kentucky by a 6-1 score in the Buckeyes final match before heading to Chicago for the 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship where it finished as runner up.

BUCKEYES REMAIN AT NO. 2
Ohio State remained at No. 2 nationally in the latest FILA Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll released Feb. 27. The second-place ranking is the highest by the Buckeyes in school history. The previous high was No. 3, a spot Ohio State attained in the preseason rankings this year.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Ohio State has outscored opponents 61-11 so far this season in 12 matches. Opposing teams have managed to take only 35 of a possible 169 singles sets from OSU.

INDIANA HOOSIERS
Indiana is 8-2 so far this season. IU’s only losses have come against Kentucky (5-2) and Notre Dame (7-0). Indiana is ranked No. 68 in the latest ITA rankings released Feb. 27.

THE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
The Buckeyes enjoyed a successful 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship which was held at the Mid Town Tennis Club in Chicago Feb., 16-19. The event included 16 of the top teams in the nation. OSU advanced all the way to the final where it fell to defending champion and No. 1 seeded Georgia 4-0. Ohio State beat Stanford (0-5) in the opening round 4-0. OSU won a tight doubles point and got wins in singles from Justin Kronauge, Bryan Koniecko and Chris Klingemann. Klingemann clinched the win at No. 4 singles.

In the quarterfinals, the Buckeyes beat No. 5 Baylor (7-2) 4-3. Ohio State won the doubles point. OSU got singles wins from Devin Mullings at the No. 3 spot, Justin Kronauge at the No. 5 spot and Drew Eberly clinched the match a No. 6 singles. The win was Ohio State’s first against Baylor.

Ohio State met No. 3 UCLA (7-2) in the semifinals. The Buckeyes downed the Bruins 4-2. For the first time all year OSU failed to claim the doubles point. The Scarlet and Gray responded by rattling off four wins in singles. The wins came from Moneke at No. 2, Klingemann at No. 4, Kronauge at No. 5 and Mullings, who clinched the match, at No. 3. Ohio State earned its first win against UCLA, and its first appearance in a national tournament final.

The Buckeyes met No. 1 Georgia in the championship match. It was the first time the top two seeds met in the final since 1996 when No. 2 UCLA beat No. 1 Stanford. No. 1 Georgia (8-0) proved to strong on this occasion claiming a 4-0 win. It marked the first time OSU had been shut out since it lost to Baylor in the 2004 NCAA Quarterfinals 4-0.

Georgia claimed the doubles point, then won at Nos. 1, 5 and 6 singles.

OSU VS. IU
Ohio State has a 38-39 record against the Indiana Hoosiers. OSU won the last meeting between the two teams 6-1 in Bloomington, Ind., last season. OSU has won the last six meetings between the two schools.

2006 BIG TEN RECAP
The Buckeyes won the outright Big Ten regular season title by going 10-0, then went on to claim the tournament title by beating 2nd seeded Illinois 4-2 in the final. In his eight year tenure with the Buckeyes, head coach Ty Tucker has compiled a record of 72-16 against Big Ten opponents. Tucker was named the 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Bryan Koniecko was named the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Koniecko, Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann were all selected to the All-Big Ten team.

OSU INDIVIDUALS RANKED HIGH
The Buckeyes remained No. 2 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll released Feb. 27. In addition to the high team rating, the Buckeyes also boast six singles players among the Top 70 in the country. Sophomore Steven Moneke is the top-ranked Buckeye singles player at No. 14. In addition to Moneke, sophomore Bryan Koniecko, the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, jumped from No. 62 to No. 17. Seniors Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann also improved their ranking by moving to Nos. 35 and 47, respectively. Freshman Justin Kronauge rounds out the ranked singles players at No. 60.

Koniecko and Moneke come in ranked No. 13. Mullings and Klingemann combine to form the No. 14 doubles team in the nation. Drew Eberly and Kronauge are ranked No. 60.

HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 45 matches by winning its first five matches of the season against Butler (7-0), Xavier (7-0), No. 18 Washington (7-0), No. 13 Florida State (7-0) and Toledo (7-0) respectively. The Buckeyes won their 12 home competitions last season. The 2006 season marked the third-consecutive year in which the Buckeyes won all their home matches. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season starting with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6.

THE BIG TEN’S BEST
Three members of the team have been named Big Ten Men’s Tennis Player’s of the Week. Chris Klingemann, ranked No. 47 nationally in singles, was named the Big Ten Player of the Week Tuesday after he helped the Buckeyes hand No. 20 LSU its first loss of the season by beating the Tigers 4-2 Saturday in Baton Rouge, La. senior battled through three sets to defeat the Tiger’s Colt Gaston at No. 3 singles. He and Mullings paired up for a 9-8 upset of the nation’s sixth-ranked tandem of LSU’s James Cluskey and Ken Skupski to clinch the doubles point for the Buckeyes Klingemann is 19-4 in singles this season.

Bryan Koniecko earned the award Feb. 7 after he helped the Buckeyes beat No. 13 Florida State 7-0. He won his match at the No. 1 singles spot against Florida State’s Ytai Abougzar 6-3, 6-5. Koniecko also won his match at the No. 3 doubles spot.

Devin Mullings also recieved the award Feb. 22 after he helped the Buckeyes advance to the final of the 2007 ITA/USTA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships in Chicago. He won two matches in doubles and singles to help OSU beat No. 28 Stanford (4-0), No. 5 Baylor (4-2) and No. 3 UCLA (4-2) to reach the championship match against No. 1 Georgia (L, 0-4)

UP NEXT
OSU travels to No. 26 Miami (Fla.) March 10.

2006-07 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

NAME SINGLES DOUBLES
Christensen 0-0 0-0
Eberly 11-4 9-7
Klingemann 19-4 17-7
Koniecko 13-7 11-3
Kronauge 14-6 11-7
Moneke 26-5 11-2
Mullings 20-4 16-7
O’Connell 2-2 0-1
Ozanne 3-1 0-1
Schuab 2-2 0-0

CAREER INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

NAME SINGLES DOUBLES
Christensen 0-0 0-0
Eberly 40-17 67-22
Klingemann 72-38 88-21
Koniecko 40-22 35-9
Kronauge 14-6 9-7
Moneke 43-10 13-2
Mullings 99-30 63-19
O’Connell 2-2 0-1
Ozanne 12-10 10-3
Schuab 6-9 1-0