Dec. 30, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Ty Tucker, Ohio State men’s tennis coach, announced the signing of two recruits for the 2005-06 season Thursday.

Bryan Koniecko, a native of Jericho, N.Y., and Mike O’Connell of Toledo, Ohio, will play for the Buckeyes beginning next fall.

Koniecko has been a Top 20 U.S. Junior player for the past four years. He is ranked as one of the Top 100 Juniors in the world. He played in six countries in 2003-04 and will be playing in the Australia Open in January.

In the USTA rankings he reached the No. 15 spot in 2003 in boys’ 16 and under, No. 1 in 2002 USTA boys’ 14 and under.

In 2004, Koniecko qualified into the Uruguay Bowl and advanced to the singles final where he fell to Uruguay native Pablo Cuevas, 6-0, 6-3.

In 2003, Koniecko reached the singles quarterfinals and finished third in doubles at the USTA 16 boys’ Super National Hard Court Championships. He advanced to the boys’ 18 singles quarterfinals at the Florida Open and won the USTA boys’ 18 singles title at the Eastern Section Closed in March.

In 2002, He won the boys’ 18 singles title at the Eastern Section Closed and reached the boys’ 14 round of 16 at the USTA Super National Clay Court championships

“Bryan has already played tennis in 10 countries and is one of the Top 5 American recruits for this recruiting period,” Tucker said. “We look for him to come in and make an immediate impact. He loves to play tennis so he is a perfect fit for me.”

O’Connell currently plays for St. Francis de Sales, where he also is a starter on the basketball team.

On the tennis court, O’Connell was a member of the 2002 Ohio State Championship Team. He was a first team all-state selection in both 2003 and 2004. He won the state doubles title in 2003 and was third in 2004.

O’Connell also won the United States Tennis Association boys’ 18 Midwest Closed Outdoor Doubles championship in June of 2004. In the USTA boys’ 16, he was ranked No. 6 in the Midwest in the final singles rankings and was No. 75 nationally. In doubles he was ranked No. 10 in USTA boys’ 16 national doubles in 2002.

“Mike will do some great things during his days at Ohio State,” Tucker said. “The trick to this level is to hold serve. He has a big lefty serve and he loves to compete. I think he has the potential to be special.”