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April 6, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 33 Ohio State men’s tennis team (11-6 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) returns to action Saturday and Sunday as the squad plays host to No.56 Indiana and No. 58 Penn State. Both matches are slated for a noon start at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus. In the case of inclement weather, the Buckeyes play indoors at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus.

INDIANA
No. 56 Indiana is 10-8 overall, 4-1 in the Big Ten with conference wins over Wisconsin, Northwestern and Purdue and a 4-3 loss to Illinois. The Hoosiers are under the direction of head coach Ken Hydinger, in his 20th season with the program. Hydinger has a 293-210 overall record at Indiana and a 359-235 career mark. The team is led by senior Jakub Praibis who is ranked No. 49 in the ITA singles poll. Praibis is followed by sophomore David Bubenicek and junior Neil Kenner at the Nos. 2 and 3 singles spots.

PENN STATE
Penn State (13-4 overall, 2-3 Big Ten), ranked No. 58 in the ITA team polls, has two conference wins over Purdue and Wisconsin and three losses to Northwestern, Indiana and Illinois. The Nittany Lions are under the direction of head coach Jan Bortner. Bortner, in his 14th season, led his squad to a No. 65 national finish in the ITA rankings last season and a 14-11 overall record. In singles, junior Mark Barry, ranked No. 96 in the ITA singles poll, leads the squad at the No. 1 spot followed by junior Malcolm Scatliffe and sophomore Ryan Berger at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions.

OSU vs. OPPONENTS
Ohio State trails Indiana, 39-36, in the all-time series and leads over Penn State, 12-5. Last season, the Buckeyes topped Indiana, 6-1, (April 3) in Columbus and defeated Penn State, 6-1, (March 14) in State College, Pa. In his six-year tenure Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, is 4-2 against Indiana and is undefeated with six wins vs. Penn State.

OSU vs. THE BIG TEN
Ohio State is 52-14 against Big Ten opponents under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker. This record includes a 44-10 regular season mark and an 8-4 record in postseason play.

THE TUCKER FILE
Head coach Ty Tucker, the 2004 Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, guided his Buckeye squad to its finest campaign in program history in 2004. He led the team to its fifth-consecutive NCAA appearance where it advanced to the quarterfinal round and finished the season 12th in the nation. Tucker is 119-38 overall and 52-14 against Big Ten opponents during his six-year tenure with the Buckeyes. Tucker is aided by assistant coaches Marc Wurtzman, in his third year, and David Schilling, in his sixth season.

HAPPY 50th
Head coach Ty Tucker recorded his 50th Big Ten career win after his Buckeye squad shutout Iowa, 7-0, March 26 in Columbus. In his six-year tenure, Tucker owns a 119-38 overall mark and is 52-14 against conference opponents.

HOME SWEET HOME
After Ohio State’s four home wins over Butler and Xavier Jan. 28, Arkansas Feb. 11, Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 25, Iowa March 26 and Minnesota March 27, OSU extended its home win streak to 23 matches. The Buckeyes were undefeated at home in 2004 with 14 victories. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season starting with a 5-2 win over Purdue April 6.

SCHEDULE BATTLE
In the Buckeyes’ 17 contests this season, the squad is 11-6 overall with all six losses coming to Top 20 opponents. Ohio State has defeated three Top 25 teams including, Kentucky, Arkansas and Virginia Commonwealth. The Buckeyes fell to Illinois (April 3), Georgia twice (Feb. 13 and 17), Louisiana State (Feb. 19), Tulane (Feb. 5) and Washington (Feb. 6).

CRUCIAL DOUBLES POINT
The Buckeyes are 10-2 in match wins after capturing the crucial doubles point. Ohio State fell to Tulane Feb. 5 and Georgia Feb. 18 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship after the team claimed the lone doubles point. The squad defeated Butler, Xavier, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama, Coastal Carolina, Vanderbilt, Iowa and Purdue.

TEAM RANKED No. 33
Ohio State is ranked No. 33 in the latest ITA Division I team poll released April 5. OSU was ranked No. 28 last week in the team poll. In the March 1 rankings, the Buckeyes were positioned at the No. 10 spot. That was the highest team ranking for the Buckeyes and topped the squad’s No. 11 national ranking earlier this season.

DOUBLES STILL No. 1
The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I doubles poll released April 5. Green and Wilson have held the No. 1 doubles spot since the Jan. 13 preseason poll which is the highest ranking for a Buckeye doubles pair in program history. The duo received the No. 1 spot after a stellar fall season. Green and Wilson captured back-to-back national doubles titles at the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 10 and the ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 7. They became the first doubles team to capture both the ITA All-American title and the National Indoors title in the same season since 1992-93, and are the third team to do so in NCAA history. Green and Wilson went undefeated in fall tournament action with a 9-0 record. The pair posts a 19-4 overall record this season.

Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly are ranked in the April 5 doubles poll. The OSU tandem holds the No. 23 spot with a 10-2 overall mark this season.

ATAS HONORED
Sophomore Buckeye Joey Atas was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week March 4, the first conference honor for Atas this season. The sophomore was honored after he picked up two wins to lead the Buckeyes to victories over No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth and No. 42 Alabama Feb. 25 and 27. Atas upset VCU’s 11th-ranked Arnaud Lecloerec, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 1 singles position. He clinched his second win over a ranked opponent after he topped No. 46 Luigi D’Agord of Alabama, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, at No. 1. Atas is now 24-11 overall in singles action this season.

SOPHOMORE SENSATIONS
Sophomores Devin Mullings and Joey Atas are ranked in the April 5 ITA Division I singles poll. Mullings is ranked No. 52, while Atas follows at the No. 53 spot. Mullings posts a 19-8 overall singles mark. In the March 8 singles rankings, Atas was ranked a season high No. 35 after wins over top-ranked opponents from Virginia Commonwealth and Alabama.

LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State fell to No. 2 Illinois, 5-2, April 3 in Champaign. The OSU duo of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson defeated the No. 9 doubles pair in the country at the No. 1 position. Green and Wilson topped Illini Ryler Deheart and GD Jones, 8-3, to win the only doubles match for the Buckeyes. In singles action, Buckeyes Devin Mullings and Wilson put Ohio State’s two points on the board. Mullings, ranked No. 72 in the ITA Division I singles poll, upset 24th-ranked Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, at the No. 3 spot, while Wilson captured his second win on the day with a 6-4, 6-3 performance over Monte Tucker. Sophomore Chris Klingemann gave a tough fight on the No. 1 court for the Buckeyes. He fell in three sets, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 10-5, to No. 27 Jones.

SIX SHUTOUTS
Ohio State captured its sixth shutout of the season after the squad defeated Purdue April 2 in West Lafayette. The Buckeyes have shutout Butler (Jan. 28), Xavier (Jan. 28), Virginia Commonwealth (Feb. 25), Coastal Carolina (March 21) and Iowa (March 26) in the 2005 season. While at Ohio State, head coach Ty Tucker has accumulated 45 shutouts. This mark includes 14 shutouts in 2004, 10 in 2003, seven in 2002, nine in 2001 and three in 2000.

FIRST OUTDOOR MATCH
Ohio State topped Minnesota, 4-3, in its first outdoor match this season March 27 in Columbus. After losing the doubles point, the Buckeyes retaliated in the singles portion and won four-of-six spots. Freshman Drew Eberly put Ohio State’s first point on the board after a 6-0, 6-4 performance at No. 6 and sophomore Devin Mullings shifted the momentum towards the Buckeyes after a win at the No. 2 position. Ohio State was able to break the match score and jump ahead, 3-2, after win from junior Ross Wilson at No. 4. Sophomore Chris Klingemann clinched the match win for the Buckeyes after coming back from a 6-1 first set loss.

BIG TEN OPENER
Ohio State shutout Iowa, 7-0, March 26 in its Big Ten opener in Columbus. With the win, Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, recorded his 50th Big Ten career win and improved to 5-1 in conference openers. The match victory over Iowa was Ohio State’s fifth shutout this season and extended its home win streak to 22 matches.

VANDERBILT RECAP
Ohio State edged No. 40 Vanderbilt, 4-3, March 23 in Nashville, Tenn. After securing the doubles point, the Buckeyes battled the Commodores for the match win in singles action. With the match score tied at 3-all, eyes turned to the No. 2 singles spot. Sophomore Devin Mullings was able to retaliate after a 7-5 loss in the first set to Vanderbilt’s Pinsky. Mullings, ranked No. 72 in the nation, pulled through for the Buckeyes with a 6-1, 6-2 second and third set performance.

FIRST TOP 25 SHUTOUT
Ohio State shutout No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 25 in Columbus. With the win, the Buckeyes picked up their first regular season shutout against a Top 25 opponent and extended their home win streak to 21 matches. Later that weekend, the squad topped Alabama, 4-3, Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa.

NATIONAL TEAM INDOORS
Ohio State wrapped up play Feb. 20 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago. The Buckeyes, the No. 13 seed of the 16-team tournament, made their first appearance in the National Team Indoor Championship since 1977, and went 1-2 in tournament play. Ohio State fell to No. 4 Georgia in first round action, picked up a 4-1 win over No. 13 Kentucky in the consolation quarterfinal round and suffered a 4-1 loss to No. 11 Louisiana State in the match that decided 9th place.

The 16-team field at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship featured top-ranked national tennis programs and included defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia.

SPLIT SEC WEEKEND
Ohio State split weekend action against top-ranked Southeastern Conference opponents Feb. 11-13. The Buckeyes topped Arkansas, 5-2, in Columbus and fell to No. 4 Georgia, 6-1, in Athens.

WASHINGTON INVITE
Ohio State fell to No. 17 Tulane and No. 18 Washington Feb. 4 and 5 in tournament action at the Washington Invitational in Seattle. With the 4-3 loss to the Green Wave and a 4-1 loss to the Huskies, the Buckeyes fell to 2-2 this season. The Washington Invitational featured four teams, Ohio State, Tulane, Washington and Minnesota. The shootout was structured as round robin play, with each team playing each other once. There was no match between Minnesota and Ohio State.

HOME OPENER
Ohio State opened the 2005 season at home Jan. 28 with shutouts over Butler and Xavier. With the two wins, the Buckeyes remained undefeated in home openers under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker.

Freshmen Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne made their home debut in the Scarlet and Gray. Eberly was 2-0 in singles as he played the No. 3 position in both matches. He defeated Butler’s Andy Bartish, 7-5, 6-2, and Xavier’s Justin Yeager, 6-3, 6-0. Eberly picked up two wins in doubles action as he paired with Dennis Mertens against Butler and Ross Wilson in the Xavier match. In singles, Ozanne defeated Xavier’s Brian Quinn, 6-0, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.

UP NEXT
Ohio State is back on the courts April 13 as the squad plays host to Notre Dame. The Buckeyes play host to Big Ten foes Michigan and Michigan State in weekend action April 16-17. The matches are all slated for a noon start at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus. In the case of inclement weather, the Buckeyes play indoors at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus.