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Feb. 19, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State men’s tennis team, 5-3, looks to continue its home winning streak (5-0) against Virginia Commonwealth at noon Saturday and Penn State (Big Ten opener) at noon Sunday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center.

Ohio State is ranked No. 27 (Intercollegiate Tennis Association results Feb. 19) in the country and features players ranked at the national level. Junior Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked an Ohio State record high of No. 7 and senior Vincent Ng holds the No. 45 position.

Next up, Ohio State plays host to Maryland and Cleveland State at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Feb. 28. The Buckeyes host Indiana State at noon on March 2. All matches are held at the West Recreation Center.

OHIO STATE vs. VCU
Virginia Commonwealth, 9-2 on the season, holds the series record against Ohio State, 7-2. In the 2000-01 season, the Buckeyes claimed a 4-3 decision over VCU. The Rams, ranked No. 16, are under the direction of Paul Kostin. Kostin is in his 13th year as head coach for the Rams. He has a school record of 270-65 and a 21-year career record of 429-139.

BIG TEN PLAY BEGINS
Ohio State opens Ben Ten Conference play against Penn State Feb. 23. The Buckeyes hold the series lead over PSU, 10-5. In the 2001-02 season, Ohio State shut out the Lions, 7-0. In 2002-03 tournament action, junior Conor Casey faced Penn State’s Todd Stecko in first round play at the 2002 Big Ten Indoors on Nov. 16. Casey fell to Stecko, 6-2, 6-4. The Nittany Lions are 2-1 (as of Feb. 21) on the season and are coached by Jan Bortner. Bortner, in his 21st year at Penn State, began coaching the women’s tennis squad in 1983. He resigned in 1990 with a 125-45 career record and took the position as head coach for the men’s tennis team. To date, Bortner holds a 155-131 record in 12 years as Penn State’s men’s head coach.

OHIO STATE BATTLES SEC FOES
Ohio State dropped to 0-3 on the road after two defeats last weekend. No. 14-ranked Alabama downed the Buckeyes, 4-3, in a tight match Feb. 14. With the win, Alabama extended its winning streak to seven and the Buckeyes fell 5-2 overall and 0-2 on the road. Last Sunday the Buckeyes suffered a 6-1 loss to Vanderbilt and dropped to 0-3 on the road. With the victory, the Commodores improved to 6-1 on the season and the Buckeyes fell to 5-3.

FIRST LOSS TO NO. 1 UCLA
The Buckeyes suffered their first loss to No. 1-ranked UCLA Feb. 7 in Los Angeles, Calif. The Bruins handed Ohio State a 5-2 defeat. Senior Vince Ng posted Ohio State’s first singles point in a victory over UCLA’s Rodrigo Grilli, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The No. 24 Buckeyes had close matches and almost pulled an upset over the No. 1-ranked Bruins. Junior Brenton Contini cut the deficit to 5-2 after his singles win against UCLA’s Chris Surapol, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

BEST SEASON START SINCE 1989
The Buckeyes opened their season with a 5-0 record, the best start since the 1989 squad went 6-0. The team is perfect (5-0) at home on the 2003 season.

Ohio State shut out both Toledo and Butler, 7-0, in the home opener Jan. 22. On Jan. 26, the Buckeyes claimed a 6-1 decision over Notre Dame, giving Ohio State its first win over the Fighting Irish since 1989. Bob Bayliss, Notre Dame head coach, suffered his second loss to the Buckeyes after a 14-match winning streak against OSU.

Wins over DePaul (6-1) and West Virginia (7-0) moved Ohio State’s record to 5-0.

NG’S RECORD COUNTDOWN AT 12
Vince Ng, a senior from Broadview Heights, Ohio, is 12 singles wins away from setting the Ohio State record for career singles wins. Ng has a 2002-03 individual record of 24-4, suffering his two losses n preseason tournament action and recently at Alabama and Vanderbilt duals. Roger Smith (Ohio State, ’86) currently holds the record with 126 singles wins. Ng has a career singles record of 115-42 to date.

CONTINI, GREEN PERFECT IN DUALS
Junior Brenton Contini has a 2003 duals record of 6-0. Contini is 1-0 at the No. 4 position, 3-0 at the five and 2-0 at six. He has claimed six victories in his last eight outings. Contini has a career singles record of 28-13 and holds a career duals record of 10-1.

Freshman Scott Green is off to a perfect start in duals with a 4-0 record. Green tallied three wins at the No. 6 position and posted one victory at No. 4.

BUCKEYES FAIR TOUGH SCHEDULE
The 2002-03 season is Ty Tucker’s fourth year as the men’s tennis head coach. Tucker has a career and Ohio State record of 65-20 and a 28-9 record in the Big Ten Conference.

With at least eight matches against Top 25 opponents, Tucker expects his team to be ready to compete.

“Our schedule is one of the strongest since I have been here, “Tucker said. “We are going to have to improve every month, every week and every day.”

WURTZMAN JOINS STAFF
Marc Wurtzman, a 1998 graduate of The Ohio State University, is in his first year as the OSU men’s tennis assistant coach. For the past two seasons, Wurtzman held the position of assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. Wurtzman is happy to be back at his alma mater and plans on building his resume at Ohio State.

“I have high goals and came here to better my career,” Wurtzman said. “The main reason I came here is for a chance at a Big Ten title. The team and the coaching staff really get the job done here.”

RANKED AMONG NATION’S BEST
In the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I preseason national rankings, junior Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked an Ohio State record No. 7 in singles. Senior co-captain Vince Ng is ranked at the No. 45 singles position though the results came out prior to his Milwaukee Tennis Classic title Jan. 11. The Buckeye men’s tennis team is ranked No. 27 in the country in the current (Feb. 19) ITA poll.

VINCE NG CLAIMS TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES
Vince Ng, claimed the Milwaukee Tennis Classic title Jan. 11 in Milwaukee, Wis. Ng defeated five opponents in the men’s open singles tournament (64 players). Ng claimed the coveted Big Ten Indoors title Nov. 18 in Minneapolis, Minn. Ng has an 18-2 tournament record in the 2002-03 season. He won 17-consecutive matches since his run and at the Big Ten Indoors in November and recently suffered his first two losses at Alabama and Vanderbilt.

RICE INVITE STATS
OSU junior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman Scott Green advanced to the semifinals round in doubles action Jan. 18, at The Met/Rice University Indoor Tennis Tournament in Houston, Texas. The duo defeated Rice’s Matthias Mathaes and Robert Searle, 9-7 in the first round of 16 pairs. In quarterfinals action, Wurtzman and Green sealed a victory over Ryan Haymond and Alistair Jenkins from Texas, 8-6. The pair concluded their tournament run in the semifinals with a loss to Rice’s Richard and William Barker, 8-5.

Wurtzman, the No. 1 seed at the Rice Invite, defeated two opponents and advanced into the quarterfinals. In the first round, Wurtzman defeated Cesar Vargas of Nebraska, 6-2, 6-4. He claimed a victory in the second round of 16 players over Texas’ Roger Gubser, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. William Barker of Rice, the No. 5 seed, defeated Wurtzman, 6-2, 6-2, in quarterfinals action.

OSU junior Conor Casey and freshman Ross Wilson advanced to the quarterfinal round in doubles action. In the round of 16, the duo defeated Rice’s Tony Haerle and Cody Jackson, 8-3. Casey and Wilson ended their run with a quarterfinals loss to Texas A&M’s Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic, 8-5.

Buckeyes Casey, Green, Dennis Mertens and Wilson all suffered a loss in the first round (32-players) of singles action, Jan. 17, at the Rice Invite.

RECAP OF NATIONAL INDOORS
Jeremy Wurtzman, a junior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, competed in the 2002 National Intercollegiate Indoors, Nov. 7-10, in Dallas, Texas. The National Intercollegiate Indoors featured the top 32-ranked players in the country. Wurtzman, ranked No. 21 at the time, came home with a semifinals appearance where he fell to Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Dorsch went on to claim the 2002 tournament title.

In the first round of play, Wurtzman defeated Jean Simon of Texas, 7-6 (7), 6-3. In the event last year, Simon defeated Wurtzman in the round of 16. Wurtzman advanced to the second round of the National Intercollegiate Indoors where he was matched against Illinois’ Phil Stolt for the third time this season. He defeated Stolt, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (4) and placed himself into the quarterfinals. Wurtzman dominated No. 5 Alex Vlaski of Washington, 6-4, 6-4, in quarterfinals action, which advanced him to a semifinals match against Dorsch.

MIDWEST REGIONALS IV IN REVIEW The men’s tennis team traveled to Madison Wis., for the ITA Midwest Regional IV Championship Oct. 24-29. Two Buckeyes advanced to the main draw of the event.

Junior Jeremy Wurtzman lost 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals to Phil Stolt of Illinois.

Wurtzman and Stolt faced-off in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the 2002 ITA All-American Tournament Oct. 11. Stolt defeated Wurtzman in round three of the main draw, 7-5, 6-3.

Wurtzman left Madison with an impressive 4-1 record.

OSU senior Vince Ng automatically qualified for the main draw of the tournament. Ng closed out his tournament action with a loss in the second round to Matt Baccaranni of Ball State 7-6 (5), 7-5.

OSU junior Brenton Contini was defeated in the first round by Johnny Berrido of Louisville, 6-4, 6-4.

The duo of Contini and Wurtzman won their first round in the doubles main draw. The OSU pair lost in round three to Thomas Haug and Avery Ticer from Minnesota, 8-6.

RECAP OF ITA ALL-AMERICAN TOURNEY
The men’s tennis team traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the ITA All-American Championship Oct. 4-13. Two Buckeyes advanced to the main draw of the event.

Jeremy Wurtzman automatically advanced to the main draw as the No. 14 seed. He played his way to the Final 16 and finished with a record of 2-1 following a 7-5, 6-3 loss against Big Ten foe, Phil Stolt of Illinois.

Vince Ng rallied to the main draw with six victories in preliminary action. His winning streak ended in the first round of the main draw as he fell to Baylor’s Matias Marin, 6-1, 6-1.

Brenton Contini lost in the second round of the preliminary event to Mississippi’s Patrick Chucri, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4. Sophomore Kevin McLean lost to Dino Mancarella of UAB, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round and freshman Scott Green lost to Oregon’s Sven Swinnen, 6-2, 6-4.

In the second round of the doubles draw, the Buckeye duo of McLean and Ng lost to Roger Gubser and Drew Hoskins of Texas, 8-2. Contini and Green lost, 8-1, in the first round of the doubles draw to the Florida duo of Janne Holmia and Trey Johnson.

BELGIUM RECRUIT ADDED TO ROSTER
Dennis Mertens from Braaschaat, Belgium, signed the NCAA National Letter of Intent to play as a freshman for the men’s tennis team at The Ohio State University. Mertens plans to major in international business at Ohio State.

“In Belgium, you have to choose between academics and tennis,” Mertens said. “I chose Ohio State because I can focus on both my studies and tennis.”

Mertens has a career high junior world-rank of No. 135 in singles and No. 20 in doubles. He is ranked nationally in Belgium at No. 2 singles in juniors and is No. 1 doubles in juniors. Mertens has 12 singles tournament wins and nine of 11 doubles tournament wins in Belgium.

METZ TOURS IN THE PRO-AMS
Phil Metz, a senior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, took the 2002 fall quarter off. Metz competed in national professional tennis tournaments as an amateur and returned to Ohio State to begin winter quarter and the 2002-03 season.

The professional tennis league is comprised of four levels beginning with satellites and futures, continuing up to challengers and ATP tennis (televised professional matches). Metz contended as an amateur in the futures level, matched against and defeating world-ranked tennis players.

SENIOR BUCKEYES ADD LEADERSHIP
Buckeye senior Vince Ng has been selected co-captain for the 2002-03 season.

Tucker said Ng is the hardest working student-athlete at Ohio State.

“Vince leads by example,” Tucker said. “He is on the Presidential Scholarship, he is an Academic All-American and he is on pace to set the record for career singles wins at Ohio State. How could I not select him as captain?”

Phil Metz, a senior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, was appointed co-captain for the 2002-03 season. Tucker said he will rely upon Metz and senior co-captain Vince Ng to lead the Buckeye team to a successful 2002-03 season.

Metz, a native of Mentor, Ohio, is a three-year letter winner at Ohio State and currently holds a career record of 85-34 in singles.