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April 7, 2000

OSU on the Road
Men’s tennis will hit the road to take on No. 53 Northwestern on Saturday and No. 6 Illinois on Sunday. Both matches will start at 12 noon (cst).

“In some ways the Northwestern match is a bigger match for us than Illinois,” assistant coach Dave Schilling said. “There is no pressure on us against Illinois. They are one of the best teams in the country. Northwestern is a team in the Top 60 and getting better every week. Coach Tucker and I talked about this being one of the biggest matches of the season since the beginning of the year. I think we have our work cut out for us playing two top-ranked teams back-to-back. The first one will be Northwestern. We need to get a win there.”

No. 44 Ohio State
Ohio State coaches are both surprised and pleased that the team has remained in the Top 50. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association committee ranked Ohio State No. 44 in the country Wednesday. The Buckeyes overall record is 9-6 overall, 3-1 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State is fourth this week in the Big Ten standings with a .75 winning percentage. The No. 1 team, Illinois (13-3), has a 1.00 winning percentage with a 5-0 record in the Big Ten. Northwestern (7-8), another competitor this weekend, is No. 9 with a .20 (1-4) percentage record.

Ty and tying records
New OSU head coach Ty Tucker continues to bring sweet success to the Ohio State tennis courts. The win over Rice (4/2) tied the overall wins for the 1996-97 season (9). The Buckeyes, with their third Big Ten win against Iowa (6-1) on March 26, surpassed the 1996-97 season’s Big Ten total wins (2). Before this season, OSU had just two league wins combined in the last three years. The Buckeyes have already broken the overall record of the past two years. The next records to break for both the Big Ten (4-6) and overall (13-13) is from the 1995-96 season. More information can be found at the Big Ten website, (www.bigten.org). Coaches’ Forum
Here is an update from the coaches on the performance of some Ohio State players thus far this season and how the team has adapted to moving from indoors to outdoors quickly.

“It is often hard for the northern teams to go from playing six months indoors to outdoors in early spring because there are so many new variables. The wind, sun, etc. make it tough. The hardest part might be the switch from the fast indoor courts to the slower outdoor courts. It is harder for the guys to be aggressive and hit winners because the ball does not have as much pace or sting on it.”

“Carlson has had a tough time this season. He has a very “big” game that should be able to win at the top spot in the lineup. We have tremendous amount of confidence in Carlson, in fact, probably more than he does in himself. Once he starts believing that he is as good as the players he is playing, he will start winning on a regular basis.”

“Chris Porter, as a junior, he is learning how to win matches even when he is not playing his best tennis. That was the case this weekend. This shows great maturity and an understanding of the competitive side of the game.”

Scouting No. 53 Northwestern
The Wildcats lead the series against Ohio State 42-29. Northwestern defeated OSU last year, 4-3. Joost Hol and Brad Erickson are ranked No. 34 in doubles. Northwestern’s overall record is 7-8, 1-4 in the Big Ten. Head coach Paul Torricelli guided the Wildcats to a win over Michigan State (4-3) on April 1st. The following day No. 20 Michigan defeated Northwestern, 4-3.

No. 44 OSU vs. No. 53 Illinois
Last season Illinois won, 7-0, against Ohio State. For the previous three years the Fighting Illini have won the Big Ten conference. Illinois’s record is 14-3, 5-0 in the Big Ten. Most recently, Illinois head coach Craig Tiley led the team to victory over No. 32 Kentucky, 4-3. The Fighting Illini have two ranked doubles players and two singles players. Cary Franklin is No. 10 in singles and Jeff Laski is No. 38. Laski and Jamal Parker are No. 15 in doubles. Franklin and Graydon Oliver are No. 40 in doubles.

OSU def. Rice, 4-2
Ohio State defeated Rice, 4-2, April 2 at Jesse Owens West after the match was moved indoors because of rain.

“It was a great team effort,” Tucker said. “We wanted to be 3-2 up going into the guys with experience. Wellstein and DeFalco are both juniors that have played in every Big Ten match in two years and a half years. Anytime its 3-2 or 2-3 we feel confident with those two guys on the court. Every match is very important.”

Tucker also thinks the No. 35 duo of Carlson/Porter are playing well together.

“It’s great. We thought that Carlson and Porter gave us a better shot at winning today at No. 1. That is one of the good things about this team is that we are very flexible. Scale and Munroe have only played together once. They were able to come in and produce a win for us. Scale and Munroe played good tennis. That is a contribution for those guys to make. They know if they slip up and have a bad game they might not see any more action for the rest of the season. For them to come out and handle that is big on their part. So they will see some more action.”

Coach Tucker talked about the difference between last year’s 7-0 loss over Rice and this season’s 4-2 win.

“These guys are fighting hard for us. They make Schilling and I look good. The guys are giving their whole effort every time they go out there to play. Schilling is doing a great job with them and helped to pull DeFalco through that last match in the No. 5 position. Our guys feel real good playing at home. We are happy to be here.”