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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four members of the Ohio State men’s tennis team went undefeated at the Boilermaker Invitational Saturday and Sunday at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind. Freshman Dino Marcan was the tournament winner with four singles and three doubles victories.  

Senior co-captain Mike O’Connell, junior Balazs Novak, sophomore Steven Williams and Marcan stayed perfect in both singles and doubles play through two days, facing members of the Valparaiso, Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan and Purdue squads.

The Buckeyes were a combined 13-0 in singles and 5-0 in doubles action. In addition to Marcan, Novak and Williams also claimed a 4-0 record in singles, winning two matches both Saturday and Sunday.

Marcan, a native of Rijeka, Croatia, made his Buckeye debut at No. 1 singles and defeated Alex Das of Eastern Kentucky 6-2, 6-3. Marcan followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Kazuya Komada of Western Michigan. Marcan faced his first-career Big Ten opponent in P.J. Rose of  Purdue and beat him in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Marcan wrapped up the event with another straight-set triumph, downing Adam Whitmer of Valparaiso, 6-1, 6-3.

Novak, who was 36-6 last season, had a strong showing to start off his third year at Ohio State. Novak began the event defeating Hugo Klientovsky of Eastern Kentucky 6-1, 6-2, while following with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Pablo Olivarez of Western Michigan in his second match. After dropping the first set in his third match, Novak forced a third-set tiebreaker against Slavko Bijelica of Purdue, winning 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11). Blanking Valparaiso’s Kyle Stump, 6-0, in the first set, Novak would go on to win the second set, 6-1, in his final outing.

Williams won four-consecutive matches at No. 3 singles. After winning his opening match, the native of Manlius, N.Y., made a strong comeback against Casey Cullen of Western Michigan in the second session of singles play and won 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4). Williams defeated Eric Ramos of Purdue in his third match with a 7-5, 6-2 victory before handing Chris Baum of Valparaiso 6-0, 6-1.

O’Connell claimed his only singles win against Nik Schroeder of Eastern Kentucky. O’Connell dropped the opening set, 6-0, but countered to force a third-set tiebreaker and won 0-6, 6-4, 1-0 (5).

In doubles, Marcan and Novak went 3-0 at No. 1. The Buckeye duo won two matches during day one of the invitational, defeating Rose and Ramos, 8-6, and Tom Litscher and Kyle Stump of Valparaiso, 8-2. Marcan and Novak finished out the weekend downing Zeyad Montasser and Komada of Western Michigan, 8-3.

O’Connell, a doubles specialist, paired with Williams during day one. The two Buckeyes defeated Thomas Wilson and Bijelica of Purdue, 8-6, in the opening match. The Buckeye pair followed with an 8-1 win against Kevin DeHerrera and Whitmer of Valparaiso.

Ohio State will begin the 2010 dual season Wednesday when it hosts Butler and Xavier in a doubleheader home opener at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.

Boilermaker Invitational
Hosted by Purdue University
West Lafayette, Ind.
Schwartz Tennis Center
Jan. 16-17, 2010

Saturday, Jan. 16
11 a.m.
Purdue vs. Ohio State Doubles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. P.J. Rose/Eric Ramos (PUR) 8-6
No. 2 – Mike O’Connell/Steven Williams (OSU) def. Slavko Bijelica/Thomas Wilson (PUR) 8-6

Noon
Eastern Kentucky vs. Ohio State Singles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Alex Das (EKU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 – Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Hugo Klientovsky (EKU) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 – Steven Williams (OSU) def. Carles Pons (EKU) 6-0, 6-4
No. 4 – Mike O’Connell (OSU) def. Nik Schroeder (EKU) 0-6, 6-4, 1-0 (5)

4 p.m.
Valparaiso vs. Ohio State Doubles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Tom Litscher/Kyle Stump (VU) 8-2
No. 2 – Mike O’Connell/Steven Williams (OSU) def. Adam Whitmer/Kevin DeHerrera (VU) 8-1

5 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Western Michigan Singles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Kazuya Komada (WMU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 – Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Pablo Olivarez (WMU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – Steven Williams (OSU) def. Casey Cullen (WMU) 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4)

Sunday, Jan. 17
9 a.m. – Purdue vs. Ohio State Singles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan (OSU) def. P.J. Rose (PUR) 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 – Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Slavko Bijelica (PUR) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11)
No. 3 – Steven Williams (OSU) def. Eric Ramos (PUR) 7-5, 6-2

11 a.m. – Ohio State vs. Western Michigan Doubles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Zeyad Montasser/Kazuya Komada (WMU) 8-3

2 p.m. – Ohio State vs. Valparaiso Singles
No. 1 – Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Adam Whitmer (VU) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 – Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Kyle Stump (VU) 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 – Steven Williams (OSU) def. Chris Baum (VU) 6-0, 6-1