April 26, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 26 Ohio State men’s tennis team (17-7 overall, 8-2 Big Ten) travels for competition at the Big Ten Championship Thursday-Sunday in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 8-2 in league play and second in conference action behind outright champions Illinois. As the No. 2 seed in the bracket, Ohio State received a first round bye and will face the No. 7 Minnesota/No. 10 Wisconsin winner Friday at 3 p.m. EST at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign.

Ohio State is 57-15 against Big Ten opponents in six years under head coach Ty Tucker. This mark includes an 8-4 Big Ten championship mark in five years of tournament play. The Buckeyes won the 2001 Big Ten title after defeating Wisconsin, 4-2, in the second round, Northwestern, 4-2, in semifinal action and Illinois, 4-2, in the championship match. Last season, the OSU squad finished second behind Illinois in league play and placed second at the Big Ten tournament after a 4-1 loss to the Illini in the championship match.

Ohio State at the Big Ten Championship (under Tucker)
W 4-0 vs. Wisconsin
W 4-0 vs. Minnesota
L 1-4 vs. Illinois

W 4-0 vs. Wisconsin
L 1-4 vs. Minnesota

W 4-3 vs. Wisconsin
L 3-4 vs. Minnesota

W 4-2 vs. Wisconsin
W 4-2 vs. Northwestern
W 4-2 vs. Illinois

W 4-3 vs. Penn State
L 2-4 vs. Indiana

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 125-39 overall and 57-15 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.

The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 5 in the ITA Division I doubles poll released April 26. Green and Wilson held the No. 1 doubles spot since the Jan. 13 preseason poll, the highest ranking for a Buckeye doubles pair in program history, and fell to the No. 5 spot in the current rankings. The duo is positioned behind No. 1 Sam Warburg and KC Corkery of Stanford, No. 2 Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch and Matija Zgaga, No. 3 Georgia’s John Isner and Antonio Ruiz and No. 4 Kentucky’s Jesse Witten and Tigran Martirosyan.

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 is 24-6 overall record this season.

Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly are ranked in the April 26 doubles poll. The OSU tandem holds the No. 45 spot with a 10-1 overall mark this season.

Sophomores Devin Mullings and Joey Atas are ranked in the April 26 ITA Division I singles poll. Mullings is ranked No. 57, while Atas follows at the No. 59 spot. Mullings posts a 25-9 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.

After Ohio State’s 11 home wins the Buckeyes extended their home win streak to 28 matches. With the home wins, the Buckeyes went undefeated in the home schedule for a second-consecutive season. 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.

In the Buckeyes’ 24 contests this season, the squad is 17-7 overall with six of its seven 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), Washington (Feb. 6) and Northwestern (April 24).

The Buckeyes are 16-2 after capturing the crucial doubles point and have accumulated 12 doubles sweeps this season. After taking the lone doubles point, Ohio State fell to Tulane Feb. 5 and Georgia Feb. 18 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The squad defeated Butler, Xavier, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama, Coastal Carolina, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan and Michigan State after winning the doubles point.

All 10 Buckeyes on the men’s tennis squad are expected to return for the 2005-06 season, including redshirts Todd Wojtkowski and Ty Schaub. The 2005-06 anticipated returnees are seniors Scott Green, Dennis Mertens, Ross Wilson and Wojtkowski, juniors Joey Atas, Chris Klingemann and Devin Mullings, sophomores Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne and freshman Ty Schaub.

Sophomore Devin Mullings was honored as the Big Ten Athlete of the Week April 20. Mullings, a native of Freeport, Bahamas, became the second Buckeye to claim the honor, after he posted a 4-0 singles and doubles record against Michigan and Michigan State April 16-17. It was his first career Big Ten Athlete of the Week award. Mullings, 25-9 overall this season in singles, was on a 13-match win streak starting with a win over Virginia Commonwealth’s Marton Ott Feb 25 and ending with a loss to Northwestern’s Tommy Hanus April 24. He is 6-5 at the No. 1 singles spot and 8-1 at the No. 2 position.

Buckeye junior Scott Green was selected as the team captain for the 2005 squad by head coach Ty Tucker and his coaching staff. Green, a native of North Canton, Ohio, is in his third season with the Buckeyes, is a two-year OSU scholar-athlete and was an academic All-Big Ten selection in 2004.

“It is an honor to be named captain and to be in the same ranks like former captains Jeremy Wurtzman and Vince Ng,” Green said. “I never thought that I would get this honor especially as a junior. I just want to help the team out in any way I can, practice hard and accomplish our goals.”

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 27-13 overall in singles action this season.

Ohio State split conference action against Wisconsin and Northwestern in its final regular season matches April 22 and 24. The Buckeyes defeated he Badgers, 5-2, in Madison and fell to the Wildcats, 5-2, in Evanston. The OSU squad finished the regular season second in the conference behind No. 1 Illinois with an 8-2 mark in league play.

Ohio State defeated Michigan, 6-1, and shutout Michigan State, 7-0, April 16-17 in its final home matches in Columbus, Ohio. With the conference wins, the Buckeyes improved to 16-6 overall, 7-1 in Big Ten play and secured second place in the league race. After the win over Michigan State, Ohio State finished its home schedule undefeated in back-to-back seasons and recorded its 28th-consecutive victory in Columbus.

Ohio State captured its seventh shutout of the season after the squad defeated Michigan State April 17 in Columbus. The Buckeyes have shutout Butler (Jan. 28), Xavier (Jan. 28), Virginia Commonwealth (Feb. 25), Coastal Carolina (March 21), Iowa (March 26) and Purdue (April 2) in the 2005 season. While at Ohio State, head coach Ty Tucker has accumulated 50 shutouts. This mark includes 14 shutouts in 2004, 10 in 2003, seven in 2002, nine in 2001 and three in 2000.

Ohio State edged No. 29 Notre Dame, 4-3, in non-conference action April 13 in Columbus, Ohio. The contest came down to the final singles match on the No. 2 court as Buckeye sophomore Devin Mullings faced off with the Irish’s Barry King. Mullings pulled through for his squad with a 7-5, 7-5 victory. The match win over Notre Dame was Ohio State’s third-consecutive in the series between the two teams and was its 26th-consecutive home win in Columbus.

Ohio State defeated Indiana, 6-1, and edged Penn State, 4-3, April 9-10 in Columbus. With the two wins, the Buckeyes improved to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play. The conference victory over the Nittany Lions marked OSU’s 25th-consecutive win on its home courts in Columbus.

Against Penn State, freshman Buckeye Drew Eberly, who played No. 6 singles, bounced back from a 5-3 deficit in the third set and defeated Chris Sherman in four straight games, 7-5. With the victory, Eberly clinched the match win for the Buckeyes and improved to 5-1 in singles against Big Ten opponents.

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 Illinios’ 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.

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 toward the Buckeyes after a win at the No. 2 position. Ohio State was able to break the tie and jump ahead, 3-2, after a win from junior Ross Wilson at No. 4. Sophomore Chris Klingemann clinched the match for the Buckeyes after coming back from a 6-1 first set loss.

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 124-38 overall mark and is 56-14 against conference opponents.

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. Later that weekend, the squad topped Alabama, 4-3, Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa.

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.

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.

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 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.