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Nov. 14, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State men’s tennis team begins tournament play Saturday, Nov. 15 through Monday, Nov. 17, at the Big Ten Singles Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich. Six Buckeyes including, Joey Atas, Brenton Contini, Scott Green, Ben Kirksey, Dennis Mertens and Ross Wilson, will battle conference foes at the three-day event.

BUCKEYES IN ACTION
First round action (64 players) of the singles championship begins Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

SCHEDULE OF PLAY
First Round-
Joey Atas (3-2) vs. Sounak Chatterjee (Purdue)
Brenton Contini (3-3) vs. Troy Havens (Purdue)
Scott Green (4-3) vs. David Robinson (Purdue)
Ben Kirksey (2-2) vs. Christina Tempkee (Northwestern)
Dennis Mertens (6-2) vs. Matt Christian (Northwestern)
Ross Wilson (3-3) vs. Alex Conti (Wisconsin)
MERTENS, ATAS SEEDED
Sophomore Buckeye Dennis Mertens is seeded No. 6 in the tournament while freshman Joey Atas is positioned as the 9-16 player.

Mertens is 6-2 in tournament action this season. He advanced to the quarterfinal round at the Midwest Regional Championship, Oct. 26 in East Lansing, Mich. Mertens fell to the No. 12 seed Chris Martin of Illinois.

Atas posts a 3-2 record in tournament play.

LAST SEASON AT THE BIG TEN SINGLES
Vince Ng, a former Ohio State men’s tennis player, claimed the 2002 Big Ten Singles Championship, defeating six-consecutive opponents Nov. 18 in Minneapolis, Minn.

WURTZMAN CLAIMS TWO TITLES
Jeremy Wurtzman recently captured the ITA National Indoors title, Nov. 9 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Midwest Regional crown, Oct. 28 in East Lansing, Mich. Wurtzman, ranked No. 20 in the nation (Sept. 3 preseason polls), is the first Buckeye in program history to claim a national tournament title. He defeated the No. 2 player in the nation, Georgia’s Bo Hodge in final round play at the National Indoors.

Wurtzman is on an 11-match win streak with a 14-1 record in tournament play this season. He extended his career singles record to 104-41 including a 24-16 mark as a freshman at Florida. Wurtzman claimed his 100th victory, Nov. 6 at the National Indoor Championships in Ann Arbor.

TUCKER SIGNS RECRUIT
Devin Mullings, a native of Miramar, Fla., signed the NCAA National Letter of Intent committing to the Ohio State men’s tennis team beginning winter quarter 2004. Mullings is ranked No. 31 in the national junior polls (Oct. 20), his highest career singles rank.

Mullings, born in Freeport, Bahamas, has a 73-37 career singles record and posts an 18-17 career doubles mark. He is 32-15 in singles this season to date.

WURTZMAN, ATAS BRING HOME TITLE
Jeremy Wurtzman and Joey Atas returned to Columbus with the ITA All-American doubles consolation title Oct. 11. The pair captured the crown after four wins in the consolation bracket. Wurtzman and Atas defeated Mississippi’s Paul Ciorascu and Claes Lidholm (injury).

PRESEASON RANKINGS
Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked No. 20 in singles in the preseason polls (Sept. 3). Wurtzman finished with a 34-9 overall record last season, was undefeated against Big Ten opponents and owns a 104-41 career singles record to date.

The Ohio State sophomore duo of Ross Wilson and Scott Green are ranked No. 42 in doubles. At the end of the 2003 season, Wilson and Green held a 9-8 mark in doubles with four wins at the No. 2 slot. In tournament play this season, Wilson and Green are 8-4.

NEW KIDS ON THE COURT
Two new Buckeyes were added to the 2003-04 roster.

Joey Atas, a freshman from Baltimore, Md., was a two-year starter for Calvert Hall High School and was undefeated with 22 victories his junior and senior years.

Freshman Dominic Ozanne comes to Columbus from St. Ignatious High School in Cleveland, Ohio.

NO EASY MATCH
The 2003-04 Buckeyes start their regular season in the home opener against Xavier, Jan. 23, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. Big Ten play will begin at Penn State, March 14 in State College, Pa. The Buckeye’s will face all of their conference opponents in the months of March and April. Ohio State closes its season the weekend of April 23-25 against Big Ten foes Iowa and Minnesota in Columbus.

SEC FOES
Ohio State is matched against three Southeastern Conference opponents in the month of February. Georgia will play host to Ohio State, Feb. 1 in Athens. The Buckeyes face Vanderbilt and Alabama Feb. 13 and 14 in Columbus

SIX IN TOP 25
Six of the Buckeyes’ 2004 opponents were ranked in the Top 25 at the conclusion of the 2003 season. Ohio State will face defending national champions Illinois, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 15 Alabama, No. 18 Virginia Commonwealth and No. 23 Georgia.

2003 RECAP
The 2003 season marked one of the best in program history for the Buckeyes. Ohio State finished 22-7 on the season with a 9-1 conference record. The squad was ranked No. 17 in the nation after making its fourth-consecutive NCAA appearance and advancing to the Round of 16. The Buckeyes fell to Minnesota in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, placing third at the tournament and second in the regualr season race.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Buckeyes will not see action until the start of the new year. Ohio State travels Jan. 6-11 for the Milwaukee Tennis Classic in Milwaukee, Wis. The Milwaukee Classic will mark the conclusion of preseason tournament play.

The Buckeyes host Xavier and Cleveland State in the season opener, Jan. 23 at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus, Ohio.