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May 22, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 22 Ohio State men’s tennis team upset the No. 6 seed Virginia, 4-3, Saturday in Round of 16 action at the 2004 NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 26-4 overall and will make their first NCAA quarterfinal appearance in program history. The squad will face the No. 3 seed and nationally-ranked No. 2 Baylor (29-2 overall) at 2 p.m. CDT (3 p.m. EDT) Sunday in Tulsa, Okla. This will mark the first meeting between the two teams in series history. With the Sweet 16 win over the Cavaliers (24-4), the Buckeyes improved to 7-4 in five years of NCAA tournament play.

“It was a great win for Ohio State,” Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach said. “It is probably a win that will put Ohio State in the Top 10 rankings for the first time ever. That was the goal from the start of the season. We find ourselves in the quarterfinals and we will just try to add some gravy or whip cream to it. We came back from behind a doubles point down like we did last week. It was windy conditions, but we fought hard.”

Ohio State fell behind 1-0 in the doubles portion as Virginia was able to secure the point at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots. The 25th-ranked pair of Joey Atas (Fr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) and Jeremy Wurtzman (Sr., Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy/Florida) fell to the No. 21 Cavalier tandem of Nick Meythaler and Rylan Rizza, 9-8, at the No. 1 position. The OSU sophomore duo of Scott Green (So., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (So., Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) fell, 9-7, at the No. 2 spot to Darrin Cohen and Doug Stewart.

In singles action, Dennis Mertens (So., Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) put Ohio State’s first point on the board as he defeated Cohen, 6-3, 7-6, at the No. 6 spot. Wurtzman, the No. 3 singles player in the nation, evened the score at 2-2 as he won his 11th-consecutive match after a 6-2, 7-5 decision over ninth-ranked Stewart. Wilson broke the score as he tallied a 6-2, 7-5 win against Meythaler on the No. 5 court. Virginia was able to knot the match at 3-3 as OSU’s Chris Klingemann (Fr., Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent) dropped a 6-4, 6-0 match to Marko Miklo.

Devin Mullings (Fr., Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prepatory) secured Ohio State’s first trip to the NCAA quarterfinal round as he defeated Stephen Rozek, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3. With the win, the Buckeyes snapped Virginia’s nine-match win streak and improved to 5-4 against Top 25 opponents

“We are happy to be in the quarterfinals,” Tucker said. “By no means are we ready to pack up and go home to Columbus.”

No. 22 Ohio State – 4 No. 6 Virginia – 3

Singles- 1. #3 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. #9 Doug Stewart (UV) 6-2, 7-5 2. Rylan Rizza (UV) def. Joey Atas (OSU) 6-3, 6-2 3. Marko Miklo (UV) def. Chris Klingemann (OSU) 6-4, 6-0 4. Devin Mullings (OSU) def. Stephen Rozek (UV) 6-2, 6-4 5. Ross Wilson (OSU) def. Nick Meythaler (UV) 6-2, 7-5 6. Dennis Mertens (OSU) def. Darrin Cohen (UV) 6-3, 7-6 Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 5, 3, 4

Doubles- 1. #21 Meythaler/Rizza (UV) def. #25 Joey Atas/Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) 9-8 2. Cohen/Stewart (UV) def. Scott Green/Ross Wilson (OSU) 9-7 3. Brenton Contini/Dennis Mertens (OSU) vs. Miklo/Rozek (UV) DNF Order of finish: 2, 1