Feb. 1, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 24-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team claimed a 6-1 victory over the DePaul Blue Demons and a 7-0 shut out against the West Virginia Mountineers Saturday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. With the wins, Ohio State improves to 5-0, the best season start since the 1989-90 squad opened its season with six-consecutive wins.

The Buckeyes improved their series record to 4-0 with DePaul and 13-5 against West Virginia. Vince Ng (Sr., Broadview Heights, Ohio), ranked No. 45 in the country, improved his singles record to 23-2 and is 13 wins away from setting the record for career singles wins at Ohio State. Jeremy Wurtzman (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.), ranked an Ohio State record high of No. 7 in the country, has a singles record of 16-4 this year.

The Buckeyes claimed all three doubles matches against both schools. Conor Casey (Jr., Ontario, Canada) and Dennis Mertens (Fr., Braaschaat, Belgium) dominated with an 8-3 win over DePaul’s Sam Davidson and Robert Kotroczo and claimed an 8-6 win over West Virginia’s Tony Epkey and Eric Kochanski. The duo of Wurtzman and Scott Green (Fr., North Canton, Ohio) defeated DePaul’s Eric Huffman and Andy Michael, 8-2. They improved their doubles record to 6-1 with a win over West Virginia’s Ian Bliss and Chris Green, 8-3. The OSU pair of Ng and junior Brenton Contini (Jr., Dover, Ohio) pulled ahead of DePaul’s Michael Fessler and Will Wang, 8-1 and knocked off West Virginia’s Kyle Markham and J.R. Randall, 8-4.

In singles action, the only loss by Ohio State was Mertens’ match against DePaul’s Michael where the OSU freshman fell 6-4, 6-2. Ben Kirksey (Jr., Canton, Ohio) made his first 2003 Ohio State appearance against West Virginia’s Bliss. Kirksey struggled on the first set, though came out ahead in the tiebreaker with a match score of, 3-6, 6-0 (2).

Next up, the Buckeyes travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to take on the UCLA Bruins for the first time in Ohio State history. The match is schedule for 1:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) Friday, Feb. 7.

#24 Ohio State 6, DePaul 1 Singles: 1) Andy Michael (DU) def. Dennis Mertens 6-4, 6-2 2) #45 Vince Ng (OSU) def. Robert Kotroczo 7-6, 6-4 3) #7 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. Will Wang 6-0, 6-0 4) Kevin McLean (OSU) def. Eric Huffman 6-4, 6-0 5) Brenton Contini (OSU) def. Sam Davidson 6-4, 6-2 6) Scott Green (OSU) def. Michael Fessler 6-0, 6-2 Doubles: 1) Casey/Mertens (OSU) def. Davidson/Kotroczo 8-3 2) Green/Wurtzman (OSU) def. Huffman/Michael 8-2 3) Contini/Ng (OSU) def. Fessler/Wang 8-1

#24 Ohio State 7, West Virginia 0 Singles: 1) #7 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. Eric Kochanski 6-3, 6-0 2) #45 Vince Ng (OSU) def. Tony Epkey 6-1, 6-3 3) Conor Casey (OSU) def. J.R. Randall 6-2, 6-1 4) Ben Kirksey (OSU) def. Ian Bliss 3-6, 6-0 (2) 5) Brenton Contini (OSU) def. Julian Mesa 6-4, 6-4 6) Scott Green (OSU) def. Kyle Markham 6-1, 6-1 Doubles: 1) Casey/Mertens (OSU) def. Epkey/Kochanski 8-6 2) Green/Wurtzman (OSU) def. Bliss/Green 8-3 3) Contini/Ng (OSU) def. Markham/Randall 8-4