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ATHENS, Ga. – The fourth-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team fell, 4-0, to No. 5 USC Sunday in a quarterfinal match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., to conclude the 2010 campaign. The Buckeyes (35-2) finished the year with the second-most wins in a single season in program history. The 35 victories tie the 2007-08 campaign total (35-2).

Under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes are now 25-11 in NCAA play.

“It was tough to swallow,” Tucker said. “They put it on us. I knew it would be a tough match. USC started the season ranked No. 1. We didn’t want to play USC, and now you know why. Hats off to USC. Anybody who plays them, they’re going to have their hands full.”

In doubles, the Buckeyes had leads in each of the three matches but failed to win the first point of the afternoon. At No. 3, senior co-captain Justin Kronauge and junior Balazs Novak ended the year undefeated with a 22-0 record after defeating Peter Lucassen and Jaak Poldma, 8-6. Tied 7-7 at No. 2, Daniel Nguyen and JT Sundling won two straight games over juniors Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa to win 9-7. The Buckeye duo concludes its third season with a 22-13 overall record.

The first point of competition came down to a highly-competitive No. 1 contest. Sophomore Chase Buchanan and freshman Dino Marcan, the ninth-ranked tandem in the country, held the lead for the majority of the match, but lost a close 8-6 decision to second-ranked Robert Farah and Steve Johnson.

Buchanan had one the best shots of the tournament during the 12th game of the match to put the pair up 6-5 after creating a cross-court one-handed backhand shot from the far corner as the packed McWhorter Courts’ crowd stood on its feet. Buchanan and Marcan, who will participate in the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championship later this week, dropped just their third match of the season.

In singles, the Trojans continued their momentum, winning the first sets in five of the six contests. At No. 4, Novak dropped a 6-2, 6-1 match to No. 83 Nguyen. A native of Budapest, Hungary, Novak has claimed 36 singles victories in back-to-back seasons as a Buckeye.

At No. 3, USC made it 3-0 on the scoreboard after 89th-ranked Poldma won 6-0, 6-3 decision against Marcan. The first-year Buckeye concludes his singles season with a 22-10 mark.

The Trojans earned their advancement into the semifinals when ninth-ranked Farah downed No. 8 Buchanan 6-1, 6-4 at the top of the lineup. The Big Ten Athlete of the Year, Buchanan is now 29-5, snapping a 20-match win streak.

At No. 5, Allare was ahead 7-6 (9), 5-2 over Matt Kecki after coming back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set. 

The 2010 senior class concludes its career with some of the best numbers in program history. Kronauge, along with senior co-captain Mike O’Connell, own the program’s most wins all-time (164), most NCAA wins all-time (17), claimed a 65-0 all-time Big Ten record and never lost at home with an 81-0 ledger. The class leaves Ohio State with five Big Ten regular-season and five Big Ten tournament titles. In NCAA play, the class went to the program’s only final (2009) along with four quarterfinal appearances (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010).

The singles and doubles championships of the 2010 NCAA Tournament will begin following the conclusion of the team championship (May 21-25). The University of Georgia will serve as host. Buchanan, the seventh-seed, and Kronauge will participate in the singles draw, while Buchanan and Marcan will compete on the doubles side. Live updates will be available at www.georgiadogs.com and www.ncaa.com.

2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Team Championship
Quarterfinals

No. 4 Ohio State 0, No. 5 USC 4
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
McWhorter Courts
Athens, Ga.
May 23, 2010

Tennis Match Final Results
Singles
1. No. 9 Robert Farah (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. No. 8 Chase Buchanan (OHIO STATE), 6-1, 6-4
2. No. 23 Justin Kronauge (OHIO STATE) vs. No. 3 Steve Johnson (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 3-6, 5-4, unf.
3. No. 89 Jaak Poldma (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Dino Marcan (OHIO STATE), 6-0, 6-3
4. No. 83 Daniel Nguyen (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Balazs Novak (OHIO STATE), 6-2, 6-1
5. Matt Allare (OHIO STATE) vs. Matt Kecki (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 7-6(9), 5-2, unf.
6. Devin McCarthy (OHIO STATE) vs. No. 121 Peter Lucassen (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 3-6, 4-5, unf.
Doubles

1. No. 2 Robert Farah/Steve Johnson (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. No. 9 Chase Buchanan/Dino Marcan (OHIO STATE), 8-6
2. Daniel Nguyen/JT Sundling (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OHIO STATE), 9-7
3. Balazs Novak/Justin Kronauge (OHIO STATE) def. Peter Lucassen/Jaak Poldma (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 8-6

*Rankings from latest Campbell/ITA Division I College Tennis Rankings Announced May 3

Match Notes:
Ohio State 35-2; National ranking No. 4
USC 23-3; National ranking No. 5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,3,1)
Ohio State is 25-11 all-time in NCAA play under the helm of head coach Ty Tucker