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Feb. 22, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Second ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team returns to action for the first time since claiming the runners up spot in the 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship which was held Feb. 16-19 in Chicago. The Buckeyes will take on No. 20 LSU (5-0) in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday.

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 Tennessee 4-0. Ohio State beat No. 37 Kentucky by a 6-1 score in its final match before heading to Chicago for the tournament.

Under head coach Ty Tucker, OSU opened the season with 10-consecutive wins for the first time since 1988 when they went 14-0. The Buckeyes began the campaign 9-0 last season.

BUCKEYES REMAIN AT NO. 2
Ohio State remained at No. 2 nationally in the latest FILA Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll released Feb. 21. 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 57-9 so far this season in eleven matches. Opposing teams have managed to take only 27 of a possible 153 singles sets from OSU.

LOUISIANA STATE TIGERS
Louisiana State is 5-0 so far this season. The last two Tiger victories have come against raked teams No. 62 UL-Lafayette (7-0) and No. 35 Rice (4-3).

LSU is ranked No. 20 in the latest ITA rankings released Feb. 21. In addition to the team ranking, the Tigers boast several players ranked in singles and doubles. Ken Skupski comes in at No. 24 and Danny Bryan is listed at No. 62 in singles. In doubles, Skupski and James Clusky dropped to No. 6 in the country despite having an unblemished record in dual matches this season. The pair was ranked No. 3 in the previous rankings. Bryan and Colt Gaston are ranked No. 25 in the country.

THE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
The Buckeyes enjoyed a successful 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship. 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 round opening 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. The Dogs claimed the doubles point, then won at No. 1, No. 5, and No. 6 singles.

OSU VS. THE TIGERS
Ohio State has a 1-5 record against the LSU Tigers. OSU won the last meeting between the two teams 6-1 in Columbus last season.

OSU vs. THE SEC
The Buckeyes have already beaten two teams from the Southeastern Conference this season (Kentucky 6-1 and Tennessee 4-0).

Ohio State has a 24-51 record against the Southeastern Conference. OSU is 5-2 vs. Alabama, 3-0 vs. Auburn, 0-3 vs. Florida, 0-10 vs. Georgia, 7-12 vs. Kentucky, 2-5 vs. LSU, 0-2 vs. Mississippi, 0-1 vs. Mississippi St., 1-7 vs. Tennessee and 5-7-1 vs. Vanderbilt.

OSU INDIVIDUALS RANKED HIGH
The Buckeyes remained No. 2 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll released Feb. 21. 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.

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.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS
The Buckeyes are coming off a record-setting 2005-06 campaign in which they set several school record. The Buckeyes set high marks with the best dual record in school history (28-2), the longest win streak (19) and the best winning percentage (.933). The squad equaled its best showing in NCAA tournament play by advancing to the quarterfinals before dropping its final match of the season to Texas.

UP NEXT
OSU returns home to open Big Ten play against Indiana March 3.

2006-07 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

NAME SINGLES DOUBLES
Christensen 0-0 0-0
Eberly 10-4 9-6
Klingemann 18-4 16-7
Koniecko 13-7 11-3
Kronauge 14-5 10-6
Moneke 25-5 10-2
Mullings 20-3 15-7
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 39-17 67-21
Klingemann 71-38 87-21
Koniecko 40-22 34-9
Kronauge 14-5 9-6
Moneke 42-10 12-2
Mullings 99-29 62-19
O’Connell 2-2 0-1
Ozanne 12-10 10-3
Schuab 6-9 1-0