COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team opened its season with a 7-0 shutout of Butler Wednesday morning at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The Buckeyes have now won a school-record 90-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2002-03 season.
Ohio State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) improves to 11-0 all-time against the Bulldogs. Against opponents from the Horizon League, the Buckeyes are 21-0 all-time. Under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State moves to 21-0 on opening day.
“We are trying to get some matches in for everybody,” Tucker said. “We did a good job this fall. I’m very happy with Devin McCarthy and Steven Williams and we are trying to get those guys some matches. We look forward to playing Xavier later today and it was good to get the first win of the season.”
In singles, sophomore Steven Williams continued his impressive start to the 2010 campaign, winning in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 against Zach Ervin. Williams, a native of Manlius, N.Y., has now won five-consecutive matches, including nine of the last 11.
Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge put the Buckeyes within one point of taking the first match of the season after defeating Ben Raynauld 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2 singles. Kronauge, who now has 115 victories in his career, is one win shy of tying former Buckeye Devin Mullings (2003-07) for fifth on the all-time career singles wins list.
Junior Balazs Novak followed with another strong outing for Ohio State. Novak won 6-2, 6-1 against Bryce Warren at No. 3 singles to clinch the Buckeyes’ first win of the season. Novak, who was 36-6 in singles last year, improves to 7-3 this season.
The rest of the singles matches finished out play. At No. 4 singles, junior Shuhei Uzawa downed Lenz Theodor 6-2, 6-3. Uzawa is 7-4 in singles in his third year at Ohio State.
At No. 1 singles, freshman Dino Marcan, who was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week Tuesday, won his fifth-consecutive match of the year, defeating Chris Herron 6-2, 6-3. Sophomore Devin McCarthy, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished out the morning session for the Buckeyes with a 6-1, 7-5 win against Brandon Bayliss at No. 5 singles. He is now 6-2 this year after starting for the first time in his career in the singles lineup.
In doubles, Uzawa and Novak downed Theodor and Stephen McLoughlin, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles to clinch the first doubles point. Although last season the two Buckeyes only paired up once, they now have an overall career record of 7-1 when playing together. Kronauge and Williams followed with an 8-5 win against Herron and Ervin to claim the first Buckeyes doubles point of the 2010.
Marcan and sophomore Chase Buchanan played for the first time together and finished out play with an 8-5 victory against Raynauld and Warren on court No. 1. The Buckeye pair broke serve in the eighth game of the match en route to its first win of the season.
Ohio State continues its home opener doubleheader at 5 p.m. Wednesday when the team takes on Xavier at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Admission is free.
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Butler
The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center
Jan. 20, 2010, 10 a.m.
1. Dino Marcan/Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. Ben Raynauld/Bryce Warren (Butler) – 8-5
2. Justin Kronauge/Steven Williams (OSU) def. Chris Herron/Zach Ervin (Butler) – 8-5
3.Balazs Novak/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Lenz Theodor/Stephen McLoughlin (Butler) – 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Chris Herron (Butler) – 6-2, 6-3
2. Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Ben Raynauld (Butler) – 6-1, 6-2
3. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Bryce Warren (Butler) – 6-2, 6-1
4. No. 34 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Lenz Theodor (Butler) – 6-2, 6-3
5. Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Brandon Bayliss (Butler) – 6-1, 7-5
6. No. 88 Steven Williams (OSU) def. Zach Ervin (Butler) – 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 3, 4, 1, 5