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April 23, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State men’s tennis team beat Wisconsin 6-1 Sunday to close the regular season with 12-consecutive wins, the sixth-consecutive 20-win season, the first undefeated Big Ten regular season and a 40-match home win streak.

With the win the Buckeyes clinched the outright Big Ten regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., next weekend. The title is Ohio State’s fifth overall and first since the 2001 Big Ten Tournament title.

OSU extended its home win streak to 40 matches which dates back to the 2003 season. The Buckeyes have won 10-consecutive Big Ten regular season matches, 16 of the last 17 and is riding an overall 13-match win streak. Ty Tucker, now in his seventh year as Ohio State head coach, has led the Buckeyes to six-consecutive 20 win season and OSU’s 12th overall. The six-consecutive 20-win seasons is a school record.

Against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes started by sweeping the doubles point. OSU has won the doubles point in each of its 23 dual matches this season. Buckeye seniors Ross Wilson (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) and Scott Green (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover), the nation’s No. 1-ranked doubles team, defeated Nolan Polley and Jeremy Sonkin 8-3 at the No. 1 doubles spot to improve the OSU pair’s record to 27-2 and 21-1 in dual play.

Ohio State juniors Devin Mullings (Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prepator) and Chris Klingemann (Fla./Texas Tech Independent) disposed of Gian Hodgson and Elliott Bisnow 8-2 at the No. 3 doubles spot to claim their 20th doubles win of the season. In singles, Klingemann beat Jeremy Sonkin at the No. 1 spot 7-5, 6-3. Klingemann improved his record at the No. 1 singles spot to 9-2 on the year. Dennis Mertens (Sr. Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) earned his 25th singles win of the year when he beat Gian Hodgson 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 4 spot.

Tucker was pleased with his team’s performance this season but said it would only get tougher from here on out.

“We want to go as far as we can in the Big Ten tournament,” Tucker said. “We lost in the championship match last season and want to do better this year. Our first goal was to win the Big Ten regular season. We did that. Now we want the Big Ten tournament title to go with it.”

Wilson said he is looking forward to the conference tournament in Minneapolis.

“It was awesome to go undefeated,” Wilson said. “We are going to celebrate tonight but we have to come back and work hard if we want to win the tournament. We would love to play Illinois in the final like we have the last few years. It’s always a great match when we play them. We have guys that thrive off of big game atmospheres and it’s always special when we compete against them.”

Up next, the Buckeyes travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten tournament April 27-30.

No. 7 Ohio State 6, Wisconsin 1
Singles

No. 1 Chris Klingemann (OSU/22-6) def. Jeremy Sonkin (UW) 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 Nolan Polley (UW) def No. 38 Bryan Koniecko (OSU/20-12) 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 Devin Mullings (OSU/24-9) def. Lachezar Kasarov (UW) 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 Steven Moneke (OSU/16-6) def. Felipe Bellido (UW) 7-5, 6-4
No. 5 Dennis Mertens (OSU/25-6)) def. Gian Hodgson (UW) 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 Ross Wilson (OSU/21-6) def. Elliott Bisnow (UW) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles
No. 1 No. 1 Wilson/Green (OSU/27-2) def. Polley/Sonkin (UW) 8-3
No. 2 Eberly/Koniecko (OSU/18-2) def. Kasarov/Bellido (UW) 8-5
No. 3 Klingemann/Mullings (OSU/20-2) def. Hodgson/Bisnow (UW) 8-2