COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team will prepare for its second home doubleheader of the 2010 campaign Sunday, when it competes against No. 9 Kentucky at noon and Wright State at 6 p.m. at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Live stats and updates will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Buckeyes (8-1; 0-0 Big Ten) are returning to dual action after advancing to the semifinals of the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. The squad fell to No. 6 Virginia, 4-1, at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. En route to the semifinals, Ohio State defeated No. 16 Louisville (4-2) and No. 12 Florida (4-3). The Buckeyes are 6-1 against nationally-ranked opponents this season.
At home, Ohio State has defeated Butler (7-0), Xavier (7-0), No. 51 New Mexico (7-0), No. 35 Tulsa (7-0), No. 22 North Carolina (6-1) and No. 13 Pepperdine (6-1).
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State extended its home win streak to 95-consecutive matches after downing No. 13 Pepperdine, 6-1, Feb. 5 and No. 22 North Carolina, 6-1, Feb. 7 at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. No other Big Ten team in any sport has won as many consecutive games at home than the Buckeyes. The Scarlet and Gray won its 16 home competitions last season, marking the sixth-consecutive year the Buckeyes won all their home matches. The streak dates back to the 2003 season, starting with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6.
BUCKEYES RECEIVE HIGH RANKING
Ohio State is No. 3 in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings announced Feb. 18. Guided by 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have now been ranked in the Top 25 in the ITA rankings for 10-consecutive years.
The three years prior to the 2009-10 season, Ohio State has earned a preseason ranking of No. 3 or higher and finished third behind Georgia and Virginia in 2007 and ’08. In 2009, the Buckeyes received a No. 1 preseason ranking, the first in program history, and finished second in the NCAA Championships.
Ohio State is 43-2 (.955) when ranked No. 3. The Buckeyes have been ranked in the ITA Top 10 for 97-consecutive matches, beginning March 7, 2006.
BUCKEYES RANKED IN THE POLLS
Three Buckeyes are in the Top 125 of the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings. In singles, senior co-captan Justin Kronauge, a native of Dayton, Ohio, is No. 43, while freshman Dino Marcan is No. 46. Sophomore Chase Buchanan rounds out the Buckeyes at No. 52.
LOOKING GOOD EARLY
Ohio State has never lost its first match of the season under head coach Ty Tucker. The former Buckeye owns an opening-day record of 22-0 since taking over the helm 11 years ago (The Buckeyes traditionally play two matches on opening day).
Led by 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have won a school-record 92-consecutive regular-season (non-tournament) matches dating back to the 2006 season. Ohio State lost, 5-2, against Notre Dame Feb. 26, 2006 in South Bend.
THE KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Kentucky, ranked ninth in the latest ITA standings, is 7-3 overall this season. The Wildcats competed at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championship last weekend. In the first round, Kentucky lost, 4-1, against UCLA. In their first consolation match, the Wildcats won a close 4-3 victory against No.12-seed Illinois. The team rounded out play against No.9-seed Stanford and lost, 4-2.
Kentucky moved into the Top 10 after upsetting then-No. 2 Virginia, 4-3, Feb. 6 at the Hilary J. Boone Indoor Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky. The victory for the Wildcats snapped a 63-match regular-season winning streak for Virginia who had not lost in the last two seasons.
WILDCATS IN THE RANKINGS
Kentucky has three members ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA Division I Men’s Tennis Rankings in singles. Wildcat sophomore Eric Quigley is eighth in the nation, while sophomore Alex Musialek is No. 29. Alberto Gonzalez is polled No. 125 in the standings.
OHIO STATE VS. KENTUCKY
The Buckeyes are 9-12 all-time vs. the Wildcats. Under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State is a perfect 6-0 against Kentucky. Last season, as the fifth-ranked team in the country, the Buckeyes defeated the 13th-ranked Wildcats, 5-2, April 2 in Lexington.
Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge, juniors Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa are a combined 6-0 all-time in singles against Kentucky. Since 1999, the Buckeyes have never faced a team ranked ninth in the country.
THE WRIGHT STATE RAIDERS
Wright State is 2-2 overall to begin the 2009-10 campaign. The Raiders started the year traveling to Michigan State Jan. 23 and lost, 6-1, vs. the Spartans. Wright State has won its last two matches, defeating Robert Morris (6-1) Jan. 30 and Kennesaw State (5-2) Feb. 5. Last season, the Raiders finished with a 5-18 overall record with a 3-4 mark in the Horizon League.
OHIO STATE VS. WRIGHT STATE
The Buckeyes are 5-0 all-time vs. the Raiders. Last year, Ohio State defeated Wright State, 4-0, April 19 in Columbus in its last regular-season match at the Stickney Tennis Center. The Buckeyes are 19-0 all-time vs. teams from the Horizon League Conference under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker.
SUCCESS IN DUALS
Ohio State has been dominant in the beginning of the 2010 campaign in dual action. In singles, the Buckeyes are a combined 42-9 (.824). Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge and junior Balazs Novak have eight wins each. In doubles, the Scarlet and Gray are a combined 20-7 (.741). Novak and freshman Dino Marcan lead the way with a 6-2 mark, while juniors Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa are 5-2.
Last season, Ohio State finished with a combined dual-record of 173-23 (.883) in singles and was 81-22 (.786) in doubles.
NOVAK LEADS BUCKEYES
In singles, junior Balazs Novak lead the Buckeyes in wins this season with 14 singles victories and tops the team in doubles with 12 wins.
Novak is 14-4 overall, winning nine of his last 10 matches. In 63 career dual matches, the native of Budapest, Hungary, has only suffered four losses.
Novak is 12-3 overall in doubles. Partnering with freshman Dino Marcan, the Buckeye duo is 9-2, including a 6-2 mark in dual action. Last year, Novak was 25-6 overall during his sophomore season.
KRONAUGE, O’CONNELL TO LEAD BUCKEYES
Seniors Justin Kronauge and Mike O’Connell were named 2009-10 team captains, head coach Ty Tucker announced.
A 2008 ITA All-American and two-time Big Ten honoree (2008, ’09), Kronauge returns for his final season with the most singles and doubles wins of any active member on the team. In three seasons with Ohio State, Kronauge has claimed 122 singles wins and 102 doubles victories.
O’Connell, a native of Holland Ohio, returns for his final year as a doubles specialist for the Buckeyes. After undergoing left shoulder surgery at the end of the summer, O’Connell will look to be healthy and ready to defend another Big Ten title. O’Connell has a career doubles record of 32-14 and 17-9 in dual play.
KRONAUGE CLIMBS SINGLES, DOUBLES CHARTS
Senior Justin Kronauge won two singles matches against Louisville and Florida last weekend to continue his rise in the record books for career singles. In singles, Kronauge has 122 career victories, which is fifth on the all-time career singles wins list.
In doubles, Kronauge became the sixth Buckeye in program history to hit the 100-win mark. He currently has 102 career doubles wins, which is fifth on the all-time career wins list.
He is also just the third Buckeye in OSU history to have at least 100 singles wins and 100 doubles wins. Former Buckeyes Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke are the other two student-athletes to accomplish the feat.
Kronauge is currently third on the all-time combined career wins list with 224 victories. Koniecko and Moneke are first and second, respectively, with 254 and 247 victories.
AGAINST THE BEST
Several Buckeyes have claimed key wins against opponents ranked in the Campbell/ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings.
BUCKEYE WINS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS IN 2009-10:
Justin Kronauge (11-3 overall)
No. 21 Ashley Watling (Tulsa) – 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
No. 29 Reid Carleton (Duke) – 6-3, 6-1
No. 70 Alex Llompart (Pepperdine) – 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 84 Simon Childs (Louisville) – 7-5, 6-2
Chase Buchanan (10-4 overall)
No. 7 Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) – 6-2, 6-4
No. 36 Clay Donato (North Carolina) – 6-3, 6-4
No. 90 Bassam Beidas (Pepperdine) – 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
No. 98 Stephen Havens (Notre Dame) – 6-1, 6-3
Shuhei Uzawa (11-8 overall)
No. 38 Javier Garrapiz (Georgia) – 7-6, 6-3
No. 78 Mihai Nichifor (Columbia) – 6-1, 6-2
Dino Marcan (10-1 overall)
No. 16 Jarmere Jenkins (Virginia) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 81 Andrew Carter (Louisville) – 6-3, 6-4
No. 99 Brennan Boyajian (North Carolina) – 6-1, 7-5
Balazs Novak (14-4 overall)
No. 96 Sebastian Fanselow (Pepperdine) – 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
Steven Williams (12-3 overall)
No. 97 Marek Czerwinski (Illinois) – 6-4, 6-4
STRONG JUNIOR CLASS
Juniors Matt Allare, Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa have had impressive careers since joining the team during the 2007 campaign. In singles, the trio has a combined overall record of 194-56 (.776) in less than three complete seasons at Ohio State. Allare, Novak and Uzawa are a combined 40-4 in Big Ten play.
In doubles last season, the three Buckeyes each won at least 25 matches in both singles and doubles as sophomores.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Nine of the 11 teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Rankings announced Feb. 18.
3 Ohio State
53 Penn State
THE BIG TEN’S BEST
For the fourth time this season, a member of the Ohio State men’s tennis team was named Big Ten Player of the Week the conference announced Feb 16. Freshman Dino Marcan won his second-career weekly honor after his performance at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championship last weekend in Charlottesville, Va. He won the award for the first time Jan. 19. Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge and sophomore Chase Buchanan earned athlete of the week honors Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, respectively.
Ohio State, which has collected three-consecutive weekly laurels, leads the Big Ten with four followed by Michigan and Northwestern.
With the help of Marcan, the Buckeyes advanced to its third semifinal appearance in four years at the tournament.
In a 4-2 first-round victory against the Cardinals, Marcan played at No. 3 singles against No. 81 Andrew Carter. The first-year Buckeye won 6-3, 6-4.
In the semifinal match against host-school and sixth-ranked Virginia, Marcan topped 16th-ranked Jarmere Jenkins in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 to claim a victory over the highest ranked opponent he has faced in his collegiate career. Marcan improves to 10-1 overall and holds a 3-0 mark against nationally-ranked opponents this season.
Buchanan, a native of New Albany, Ohio, won two singles matches against ranked opponents in matches against the Waves and Tar Heels, Feb. 5 and 7, respectively.
In a 6-1 victory against the Waves, Buchanan played at No. 1 singles against No. 90 Bassam Beidas. The second-year Buckeye won 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) in a third-set tiebreaker. The following match against the Tar Heels, He topped 36th-ranked Clay Donato in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 for his 20th-career victory as a Buckeye.
Kronauge, a native of Centerville, Ohio, posted a 4-0 record Jan. 30-31 as Ohio State was one of 15 schools to serve as hosts of the 2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. With the help of Kronauge, the Buckeyes advanced to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the fourth-consecutive season.
Marcan participated, along with three other Buckeye members, at the Boilermaker Invitational Jan. 16-17 at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind. Marcan, a native of Rijeka, Croatia, was announced the tournament winner with four singles and three doubles victories.
NOTING THE TY TUCKER ERA (as of Feb. 17)
Head Coach Accomplishments…
Ohio State Accomplishments Under Tucker…
Ohio State will travel south to face No. 13 Baylor Feb. 24 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. Live stats and updates will be available at www.baylorbears.com.