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May 7, 2001%^$

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%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 21 Ohio State men’s tennis team opens the 2001 NCAA National Team Tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday against the 2000 runner-up squad of Virginia Commonwealth on the Varsity Courts at the University of Tennessee. No. 7 Tennessee and Maryland-Baltimore County battle at 10 a.m. with the winners meeting at 1 p.m. Sunday.%^$

%^$Buckeye NCAA History%^$

%^$For only the second time in team history, and the second-consecutive year, the Buckeyes have earned a spot in the NCAA Team Championships. OSU defeated host Boise State, 4-3, to open the 2000 tournament before falling to Texas in the second round, 4-1.%^$

%^$”I am happy we have made the tournament for the second year,” Ty Tucker, OSU head coach, said. “We have played a lot of tennis and have gotten a lot better in the last year and a half. Our guys are ready to play. We are excited to be going to an SEC school with a nice facility. It is going to be fun. Tennessee is a tennis powerhouse. We are looking forward to going there.”%^$

%^$Individually, Phillip Metz became only the ninth OSU player selected to the singles tournament. The last Buckeye to do so was Tucker in both 1990 and 1991.%^$

%^$”Phil had a great year,” Tucker said. “He deserves everything he gets. He is ranked No. 2 in our region and has beaten No. 1 (Illinois’ Graydon Oliver) twice in the last month. Phil played for an NCAA singles invitation and earned it the last part of the year. He will be a tough out for anybody in Athens.”%^$

%^$The Road To The NCAA Tourney%^$

%^$The Buckeyes journey to their second-consecutive NCAA appearance saw many records set or nearly broken. OSU set team records for consecutive wins (16) and Big Ten wins (11) and finished second all-time in overall wins (24). The Buckeyes’ winning percentage (.889) is sixth all-time.%^$

%^$Individual Records%^$

%^$Two seniors, Chris Porter and Derek DeFalco, have had stellar careers for the Buckeyes. Their career marks, as well their accomplishments this year, have helped them elevate their names in the record books.%^$

%^$Porter, with a win over Dayton’s D.J. Gebhart April 1, became the fourth Buckeye all-time to secure 100 wins a career. His 106 wins stand as the fourth-best in OSU history and only three behind Ernie Fernandez’s third-place total of 109. Porter also has fared well in doubles. His 70 career wins are sixth on the all-time ledger.%^$

%^$DeFalco is one doubles victory away from setting the single-season record for wins with 31. For his career, he has totaled 78 doubles wins and is tied with Roger Smith (1983-86) for third-place on the all-time list.%^$

%^$Scouting VCU%^$

%^$The No. 41 Rams enter the contest with a 17-10 overall record and 9-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association. VCU earned the automatic berth by winning its sixth-consecutive CAA championship with a 4-2 win over No. 66 William and Mary.%^$

%^$Led by coach Paul Kostin, the Rams are 3-0 against opponents appearing on the OSU schedule. VCU defeated Louisville, 6-1, Clemson, 4-0, and Virginia Tech, 4-3. OSU won by scores of 4-0, 6-1, 5-2, respectively.%^$

%^$No. 76 Frank Moser and No. 63 Florian Marquardt lead the way on the court for the Rams at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, and team together as the No. 7 doubles team in the nation. Moser is 18-10 this year while Marquardt has a 22-12 record. The duo have combined for a 20-10 doubles record as well.%^$

%^$Rams vs. Buckeyes%^$

%^$The Rams and Buckeyes will meet for the ninth-consecutive year with VCU holding the 8-1 series lead on the strength of eight-consecutive wins. VCU won the last meeting, 6-1, in Richmond, Va., (3/4/2000). OSU’s win over the Rams was in 1991, 5-4, at home.%^$

%^$In the last meeting, Moser defeated Metz at No. 3, 6-1, 7-6. VCU’s Mats Norin downed Vincent Ng at the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-3, while Fernando Sanchez bested Bob Wellstein at No. 5, 6-1, 6-1. OSU captured its only point of the match when Derek DeFalco defeated Mattias Hoglund at No. 6, 6-1, 6-3.%^$

%^$Scouting Tennessee%^$

%^$The Vols (18-5), ranked No. 7 in the nation and the SEC runner-up, are led by three NCAA individual participants, Mark Parsons (20-19 at No. 1), Peter Handoyo (32-8 at No. 3) and Adam Carey (27-16 at No. 4). The trio ranks Nos. 31, 25 and 54 in the nation, respectively.%^$

%^$Parsons and Carey also have qualified for the doubles event. The duo is ranked No. 20 and is 20-10 after playing the year in the No. 2 doubles position. Handoyo and Andy Crews lead the team from the No. 1 doubles spot with a 21-8 overall record%^$

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%^$Volunteers vs. Buckeyes%^$

%^$OSU is 0-5 in matches with the Vols. The last match played was a 4-3 decision for UT in Knoxville, Tenn., in the 1994-95 season.%^$

%^$Scouting UMBC%^$

%^$The Retrievers were 10-5 this year and posted a 5-0 mark in the Northeast Conference to earn the automatic berth. UMBC is led on the courts by Nikhil Misra and Mikhail Kouznetsov.%^$

%^$Misra is 20-9 in the No. 1 spot while Kouznetsov has posted a 19-5 record at No. 2. Both players participate in doubles with Kouznetsov and Louis Bavaldi leading the squad from the No. 3 position with a 16-3 record. Misra and Chris Cetateanu are 6-0 playing in the No. 2 spot.%^$

%^$Retrievers vs. Buckeyes%^$

%^$An OSU-UMBC match in the second round would be the first meeting between the two squads in school history.%^$

%^$From The Baseline%^$

%^$Adrian Bohane: The freshman has stepped into a starting role at No. 3 singles and posted a 23-9 record. In his last match, Bohane upset No. 54 Phil Stolt of Illinois, 6-1, 6-1.%^$

%^$Andrew Carlson: Playing in his final season as a Buckeye, Carlson has a 23-3 record at No. 4 singles and is 5-5 at No. 1 doubles with Jonathon Scale.%^$

%^$Brenton Contini: Contini has provided a solid backup for OSU in doubles. He is 12-1 on the year and 7-1 in dual matches.%^$

%^$Derek DeFalco: DeFalco is 30-10 on the year and 28-7 with partner Bob Wellstein. Playing from the No. 2 doubles spot, DeFalco and Wellstein have made it difficult for teams to take the doubles point.%^$

%^$Phillip Metz: Metz has had a stellar year at No. 1 singles. He qualified for the NCAA tournament with a 34-10 record with upset wins over Jason Marshall of Purdue and Illinois’ Oliver twice.%^$

%^$Vincent Ng: Ng is 32-10 playing at No. 6 this year and helped secure two big wins for OSU. His win over Wisconsin’s Justin Baker helped OSU advance to the Big Ten semifinals and his win in the Illinois match secured the 4-2 Buckeye win and the Big Ten title.%^$

%^$Chris Porter: Playing No. 2 singles, Porter has posted his second-consecutive year with 30 or more wins (31-9). He has also teamed with Phillip Metz to provide a tough doubles team. The duo is 14-3.%^$

%^$Jonathon Scale: Scale is 5-6 at No. 1 doubles with Andrew Carlson this year and 15-11 overall.%^$

%^$Bob Wellstein: Wellstein is 28-7 in doubles this year and 16-10 at No. 5 singles. His 28 doubles wins are fourth-most in the program’s history while his 63 career wins rank him 11th all-time.%^$

%^$Next Up%^$

%^$If the Buckeyes can win both matches at Tennessee over the weekend, OSU will travel to Athens, Ga., and the University of Georgia for the final rounds of the team event which runs May 19-22.%^$Metz begins play in the singles championships at Athens, Ga., May 23. The singles and doubles tournaments will conclude May 28.