May 12, 2005
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 26 Ohio State men’s tennis team (19-8 overall, 10-3 Big Ten) travels Saturday for competition at the 2005 NCAA Championship. The Buckeyes will face Brown in the first round at 1 p.m. EST Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. The winner in round one will play either the No. 10 seed Tennessee or East Tennessee State at 1 p.m. EST Sunday for a chance to advance to the Round of 16 in College Station, Texas.
The Buckeyes, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker, will be playing in the event for the sixth-consecutive season. Ohio State has made all of its appearances in the NCAA event with Tucker as the head coach. The Buckeyes are 7-5 in NCAA team tournament play.
The Brown Bears (23-5, 7-0 Ivy League) completed an undefeated Ivy season as the squad defeated Yale, 5-2, for the league title. The Bears, under the direction of head coach Jay Harris, will make their third appearance in the NCAA tournament in the last four years. The team received its first berth in 2002, after they earned an automatic bid as the Ivy League champion.
Harris, in his third season at the helm of the Brown program, led the Bears to their highest national ranking in 2003 with a No. 32 finish. That year, the squad went 20-5 overall and 6-1 in the league. Brown is led in singles by senior Adil Shamasdin, ranked No. 86, at the No. 1 spot, followed by senior Nicholas Goldberg and sophomore Eric Thomas at Nos. 2 and 3. In doubles, the team is led by the No. 47 pair of Shamasdin and junior Philip Charm.
A LOOK AT TENNESSEE
The 14th-ranked Tennessee squad (14-8, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) are positioned as the No. 10 seed in the tournament and are the hosts of the NCAA regional. Chris Mahony was named the acting head coach of the Volunteer squad when former head coach Michael Fancutt resigned in November 2004. Mahony was an assistant coach for Tennessee since 1999 in which the team made three-consecutive NCAA semifinal appearances (2000-2002), including a berth in the national championship match in 2001.
The Volunteers are led by senior Mark Dietrich, ranked No. 54 in singles, at the No. 1 position The doubles tandem of Ockie Oosthuizen and Ben Rogers are ranked No. 9 in the latest ITA poll.
EAST TENNESSEE STATE
East Tennessee State (20-3, 10-0 Southern Conference) won the Southern Conference title with a 4-0 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga and will make its fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament. Head coach Yaser Zaatini, in his third season with the Buccaneer program, was initially named the assistant coach in 2002, but has took on the role of head coach when former head coach Dave Mullins was named director of athletics at ETSU.
The Buccaneers are led by nationally ranked Oscar Posada. Posada, who is ranked No. 70 in the ITA poll, is 15-3 this season at the No. 1 singles position. The team boasts freshman Sebastian Serrano with a 14-1 mark at the No. 6 singles spot. ETSU has been dominant in doubles this season and its three top doubles tandems are a combined 43-7 (.860).
OSU vs. OPPONENTS
Ohio State will face Brown for its first meeting in program history Saturday. The Buckeyes trail Tennessee, 6-0, in the series and leads against East Tennessee State, 3-0. Ty Tucker, head coach, has faced the opponents in just one match in his six-year tenure. Tucker’s 2001 squad fell to Tennessee, 4-1, in the NCAA second round match.
Ohio State at the NCAA tournament
(under head coach Ty Tucker)
W, 4-0 vs. South Carolina, First Round
W, 4-3 vs. North Carolina- Second Round
W, 4-3 vs. Virginia- Round of 16
L, 0-4 vs. Baylor- Quarterfinal Round
W, 4-0 vs. Arkansas- First Round
W, 4-3 vs. Kentucky- Second Round
L, 0-4 vs. California- Round of 16
L, 3-4 vs. Vanderbilt- First Round
W, 4-3 vs. Va. Commonwealth- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Tennessee- Second Round
W, 4-3 vs. Boise State- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Texas- Second Round
THE TUCKER FILE
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. This season, the Buckeyes received their sixth-consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament and finished second at the 2005 Big Ten Championship behind first place Illinois. Tucker is 127-40 overall and 59-16 against Big Ten opponents during his six-year tenure with the Buckeyes and is 7-5 in five years of NCAA play. Tucker is aided by assistant coaches Marc Wurtzman, in his third year, and David Schilling, in his sixth season.
SECOND AT BIG TENS
Ohio State aimed for its first Big Ten title since 2001, but fell to Illinois, 4-2, in the conference championship match May 1 in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes finished second in the tournament with a 2-1 record, while the Illini captured their fourth-consecutive conference title. After a first round bye, OSU shutout Minnesota in the second round and topped Michigan, 4-0, and advanced to the conference finals. Sophomore Buckeye Joey Atas went 3-0 in singles action at the tournament and the junior duo of Scott Green and Ross Wilson went undefeated with three wins in doubles.
BUCKEYES RECEIVE SINGLES, DOUBLES BID
The junior duo of Scott Green and Ross Wilson received their first NCAA doubles bid, while sophomore Devin Mullings was selected for the 64-player field at the NCAA Singles Championship. Green and Wilson were tabbed as a 5-8 seed in the 32-team bracket, and Mullings will be making his first career NCAA appearance.
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 27-6 overall record this season.
Mullings, a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, is 27-10 overall in singles this season and is ranked No. 40 in the ITA Division I singles poll released May 2. He has been ranked in every ITA singles poll this season, with the recent No. 40 rank as his highest. Mullings is 19-7 in 2005 duals action with an 8-6 mark at the No. 1 spot and a 7-1 record at No. 2.
MIDWEST REGION HONORS
Marc Wurtzman, Ohio State assistant coach, and sophomore Devin Mullings were honored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association with Midwest Region awards. Wurtzman was named the ITA Assistant Coach of the Year and Mullings was tabbed the ITA Player to Watch. The ITA Player to Watch award is given to a student-athlete who has an outstanding season and is expected to perform at a high level the rest of his career.
Wurtzman, in his third year with the Buckeyes, helped guide the squad to its sixth-consecutive NCAA berth in 2005. Ohio State, ranked No. 26 in the ITA team poll, is 19-8 overall after the squad finished the Big Ten season with a 10-3 record. Wurtzman aided in coaching juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson to their first NCAA doubles bid and sophomore Mullings to his first NCAA singles berth.
ALL-BIG TEN AWARDS
The Big Ten Conference honored three Buckeyes at the league awards banquet April 28 in Champaign, Ill. Sophomores Devin Mullings and Joey Atas were selected to the All-Big Ten team, while junior Scott Green was named a Sportsman honoree. Mullings, a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, went 2-1 in singles that weekend at the conference championship, and Atas went undefeated in singles with three wins. Green, captain of the 2005 Buckeyes squad, also went undefeated in weekend action with a 3-0 doubles mark with partner Ross Wilson.
DOUBLES DROP TO No. 5
The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 5 in the ITA Division I doubles poll released May 2. 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 April 26 ranking.
Other Buckeyes are ranked in the May 2 doubles poll. Sophomores Joey Atas and Chris Klingemann are ranked No. 41 with a 9-4 overall record, while the OSU tandem of Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly hold the No. 49 spot with a 10-1 overall mark this season.
Sophomores Devin Mullings and Joey Atas are ranked in the May 2 ITA Division I singles poll. Mullings is ranked No. 40, his career best, while Atas follows at the No. 64 spot. Mullings posts a 27-10 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’ 27 contests this season, the squad is 19-8 overall with seven of its eight 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 twice (April 3 and May 1), Georgia twice (Feb. 13 and 17), Louisiana State (Feb. 19), Tulane (Feb. 5), Washington (Feb. 6) and Northwestern (April 24).
CRUCIAL DOUBLES POINT
The Buckeyes are 18-3 after capturing the crucial doubles point and have accumulated 14 doubles sweeps this season. After taking the lone doubles point, Ohio State fell to Illinois May 1 in the Big Ten championship match, Georgia Feb. 18 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship and Tulane Feb. 5. The squad defeated Butler, Xavier, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama, Coastal Carolina, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Minnesota (at the Big Ten tournament) and Michigan twice (once at the conference championship) after winning the doubles point.
THEY’RE ALL BACK
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 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.
GREEN NAMED CAPTAIN
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 30-13 overall in singles action this season.
REGULAR SEASON FINALE
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 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.
FRESHMAN STEPS UP
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.
FIRST OUTDOOR MATCH
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.
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 127-40 overall mark and is 59-16 against conference opponents.
Ohio State edged No. 40 Vanderbilt, 4-3, March 23 in Nashville, Tenn. After securing the doubles point, the Buckeyes battled the Commodores for the match win in singles action. With the match score tied at 3-all, eyes turned to the No. 2 singles spot. Sophomore Devin Mullings was able to retaliate after a 7-5 loss in the first set to Vanderbilt’s Pinsky. Mullings pulled through for the Buckeyes with a 6-1, 6-2 second and third set performance.
FIRST TOP 25 SHUTOUT
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.
NATIONAL TEAM INDOORS
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.
SPLIT SEC WEEKEND
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.
Ohio State opened the 2005 season at home Jan. 28 with shutouts over Butler and Xavier. With the two wins, the Buckeyes remained undefeated in home openers under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker.
Freshmen Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne made their home debut in the Scarlet and Gray. Eberly was 2-0 in singles as he played the No. 3 position in both matches. He defeated Butler’s Andy Bartish, 7-5, 6-2, and Xavier’s Justin Yeager, 6-3, 6-0. Eberly picked up two wins in doubles action as he paired with Dennis Mertens against Butler and Ross Wilson in the Xavier match. In singles, Ozanne defeated Xavier’s Brian Quinn, 6-0, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.