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COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the 96th consecutive time, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team won a home match, beating No. 9 Kentucky, 5-2, Sunday in The Ohio State University Indoor Varsity Tennis Center. The Buckeyes improve to 9-1 overall this season.

Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge clinched the win with his 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 29 Alex Musialek at No. 2 singles. With his 123 career wins, Kronauge is just three victories away from tying Roger Smith (1983-86) with 126 wins for fourth place in the program’s record books.

Ohio State improves to 10-12 all-time against Kentucky and under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker is 6-0. The Scarlet and Gray is 5-0 against teams ranked No. 9 in the nation.

The Buckeyes were forced to rally from a doubles-point loss with four-straight singles wins. Kronauge, who cracked the ITA Top 50 with his No. 43 ranking this past week, was down a break in the first set, but broke back in the eighth game to make the score, 4-4. The Buckeye from Dayton, Ohio, held a 40-15 advantage for set point and eventually broke Musialek again for the 6-4 first-set win. Kronauge then served for the match and the team win up 40-15 again before taking the 6-3 victory.

Junior Matt Allare cruised to his eighth win of the season. Allare, who hails from Mason, Ohio, downed Graeme Dyce, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 6 singles to bring the Buckeyes even with the Wildcats, 1-1.

A native of Rijeka, Croatia, No. 46 Dino Marcan defeated Brad Cox, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 singles to pull Ohio State ahead, 2-1.

In a dramatic win, sophomore Chase Buchanan rallied from a 2-0 first-set deficit to win the opening frame, 7-5. Buchanan, No. 52 in the nation, broke No. 8 Eric Quigley in the ninth game and served the tying game. After a successful hold (5-5), the Central, Ohio, product from New Albany, broke Quigley in the following game and took a 6-5 lead and serving for the set, won 7-5. With the momentum on his side, Buchanan dominated the second set, winning 6-2.   

With Ohio State up, 3-1, it was Kronauge’s win at No. 2 singles that sealed the Buckeye victory.

Also, earning a win for the Scarlet and Gray was junior Balazs Novak at No. 4 singles. A native a Budapest, Hungary, Novak beat Anthony Rossi, 6-2, 6-4. Classmate, Shuhei Uzawa dropped a 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-7) decision to No. 125 Alberto Gonzalez at No. 5.
 
For the third-straight match, the Buckeyes dropped the doubles point, but they did not go down without a fight. The No. 2 doubles tandem of Marcan and Novak were broken in the fifth game and trailed the Wildcats’ and 37th-ranked Musialek and Rossi, 3-2. However, Marcan and Novak won the ninth game of the match to bring the score to 5-4 on serve. From there, the Buckeye duo broke again in the 11th game to take its first lead of the match, 6-5, and eventually won, 8-6.  

The doubles point would come down to the No. 3 position between Allare and Uzawa and Wildcats Alex Lambropoulos and Gonzalez. Both teams were on serve through the sixth game until Allare and Uzawa broke Kentucky’s serve in the following game to take a 4-3 advantage. However, the UK duo broke back to tie the score, 4-4. Trading games, Lambropoulos and Gonzalez took a 7-5 lead after another break and served for the match and the doubles point. Allare and Shuhei pushed the Wildcats to 40-all in the game before relinquishing their fifth match of the season.

At No. 1 doubles, Buchanan and Kronauge suffered an 8-3 setback to 14th-ranked Quigley and Cox.  

The Buckeyes will continue action Sunday, hosting Wright State at 6:30 p.m. in the VTC.

Tennis Match Results
Feb. 21, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(Varsity Indoor Tennis Center)

No. 3 Ohio State 5, No. 9 Kentucky 2

Singles competition
1. No. 52 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. No. 8 Eric Quigley (KENTUCKY) 7-5, 6-2
2. No. 43 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 29 Alex Musialek (KENTUCKY) 6-4, 6-3
3. No. 46 Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Brad Cox (KENTUCKY) 6-4, 6-2
4. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Anthony Rossi (KENTUCKY) 6-2, 6-4
5. No. 125 Alberto Gonzalez (KENTUCKY) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-7)
6. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Graeme Dyce (KENTUCKY) 6-3, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. No. 14 Brad Cox/Eric Quigley (KENTUCKY) def. Chase Buchanan/Justin Kronauge (OSU) 8-3
2. Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. No. 37 Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (KENTUCKY) 8-6
3. Alex Lambropoulos/Alberto Gonzalez (KENTUCKY) def. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Kentucky 7-4; National ranking No. 9
Ohio State 9-1; National ranking No. 3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,3,1,2,4,5)
Official: Vince Solomon  T-3:00  A-221