May. 1, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 26 Ohio State men’s tennis team (19-8, 10-3 Big Ten) fell to Illinois, 4-2, in the Big Ten championship match Sunday in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes finished second in the tournament with a 2-1 record, while the Illini picked up their fourth-consecutive conference title.

In doubles action, the Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead after they tallied the lone point with wins at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots. Buckeye sophomores Chris Klingemann (Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent) and Devin Mullings (Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prepatory) finished first for Ohio State after an 8-6 win over Illinois’ Pramond Dabir and Ryler Deheart at No. 2.

The doubles portion wrapped up as juniors Scott Green (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) clinched the point for the squad. Green and Wilson topped GD Jones and Monte Tucker, 8-5, at the No. 1 position.

In singles competition, Illinois jumped ahead to a 2-1 lead after Jones and Chris Martin handed the Buckeyes losses at the Nos. 2 and 5 spots. Sophomore Joey Atas (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) evened the score after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tucker, however, the point was Ohio State’s last of the day.

Buckeye Wilson fell in three sets to Ruben Gonzalez, followed by an Illini victory at No. 1 singles.

Next up, Ohio State awaits a bid to the NCAA Championship as the first and second rounds begin May 10. The NCAA men’s tennis selection show will begin at 4:45 p.m. EST Wednesday on ESPNews.

No. 1 seed Illinois 4 No. 2 seed Ohio State 2

Singles 1. #8 Ryler Deheart (UI) def. #57 Devin Mullings (OSU) 6-4, 7-5 2. #25 GD Jones (UI) def. Chris Klingemann (OSU) 6-2, 6-0 3. #59 Joey Atas (OSU) def. Monte Tucker (UI) 6-2, 6-3 4. Ruben Gonzalez (UI) def. Ross Wilson (OSU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 5. Chris Martin (UI) def. Drew Eberly (OSU) 6-4, 6-3 6. Dennis Mertens (OSU) vs. Pramond Dabir (UI) 3-6, 5-6 DNF Order of finish: 2, 5, 3, 4, 1

Doubles 1. #5 Scott Green/Wilson (OSU) def. Jones/Tucker (UI) 8-5 2. Klingemann/Mullings (OSU) def. Dabir/Deheart (UI) 8-6 3. Atas/Eberly (OSU) vs. Martin/Ryan Rowe (UI) 7-4 DNF Order of finish: 2, 1