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May 5, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s tennis team will play South Carolina (15-13) the weekend of May 14-16 in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament, the NCAA announced Wednesday. The exact date and time of the first round match has not been determined.

The winner in round one will play either North Carolina or South Carolina State for a chance to advance to the Round of 16.

The Buckeyes, under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ty Tucker, will be playing in the event for the fifth-consecutive season. Ohio State has made all of its appearances in the NCAA event with Tucker as the head coach. The Buckeyes are 4-4 in NCAA team tournament play.

Last season at the NCAA championships, the squad advanced to the Round of 16 where it fell to fourth-ranked California, 4-0. In the first round, the Buckeyes shut out Arkansas, 4-0, and defeated Kentucky, 4-3, in second round action.

Ohio State, ranked No. 17 nationally, is 23-4 overall after finishing the Big Ten season with an 11-2 record. Both losses were to No. 1 Illinois, once during the regular conference season and then most recently in the championship match of the Big Ten tournament.

Senior Jeremy Wurtzman, the No. 3-ranked singles player in the country, is 37-3 in singles competition this season. He was recently selected as a member of the 2004 All-Big Ten Men’s Tennis Team. Wurtzman (Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy, Fla.) is 127-43 in singles competition during his career, which includes a 103-27 record as a Buckeye. That record is good for the No. 6 spot all time at Ohio State for singles wins. He played one season at Florida.

The Big Ten freshman of the year award also was awarded to a Buckeye. Joey Atas was recognized for his accomplishments during his freshman campaign in Columbus. Atas (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) is 25-8 heading into the NCAA tournament. “We are pleased with the draw,” Marc Wurtzman, Ohio State assistant coach, said. “I think we can do some damage. We hope to repeat what we did last year in making it to the Round of 16.”

Marc Wurtzman said the Buckeyes are ready for the NCAA tournament.

“We are really peaking as a team right now,” Wurtzman said. “Even though we lost to Illinois in the Big Ten title game, everyone is on top of his game. Teams are going to have to play really well to beat us.”

With five-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances secured, Wurtzman said the team expects to be successful.

“Coach Tucker has recruited well the last several years,” Wurtzman said. “I also think we are one of the hardest working teams in the country. With that combination, good things happen.”

Buckeyes in NCAA tournament action-
2000-
W, 4-3 vs. Boise State- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Texas- Second Round

2001-
W, 4-3 vs. Va. Commonwealth- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Tennessee- Second Round

2002-
L, 3-4 vs. Vanderbilt- First Round

2003-
W, 4-0 vs. Arkansas- First Round
W, 4-3 vs. Kentucky, Second Round
L, 0-4 vs. California, Third Round