COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team began its two-time Big Ten title defense Friday with a 7-0 win over Iowa at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 13-1 overall and 1-0 in the league. OSU head coach Ty Tucker now is one win shy of his 200th Ohio State and career victory. Tucker also scored his 80th conference win Friday.
The Buckeyes, who now have won 24-consecutive Big Ten matches, opened the competition by sweeping the doubles points, a feat they have accomplished 10 times this season. The 23rd-ranked pair of Matt Allare and Mike O’Connell handed J.P. Ritchie and Bart van Monsjou an 8-4 loss at the No. 1 spot. The tandem of Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge, No. 8 in the nation, beat Gregory Holm and Walker Grimes, 8-3, in the second position. Finally, at No. 3 doubles, Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke downed Christian Bierich and Austen Kauss, 8-2.
In singles action, Ohio State continued its dominance, winning four of the six matches in straight sets, including a super tiebreaker. After dropping the first set, both Koniecko and Eberly rallied for the three-set victory in their respective contests. Koniecko, ranked 29th in the nation and playing at No. 3 singles, defeated Bierich., 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Eberly defeated Tommy McGeorge at No. 5 singles, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4.
As the No. 7 player, Kronauge’s match against van Monsjou went to a second-set super tiebreaker, where the Buckeye prevailed, 7-6 (10-6) after dropping the first set, 6-3.
At No. 6 singles, Allare had little difficulty dispatching Gentry Kaegi as he defeated the Hawkeye, 6-0, 6-2. Shuhei Uzawa returned to the Buckeye lineup at No. 4 singles and dropped Reinoud Haal, 6-4, 7-5. Uzawa did not see singles action in Ohio State’s last contest at Baylor Feb. 27. The 34th-ranked player in the country, Moneke, beat Ritche, 7-6, 6-0, at the No. 2 spot.
The Buckeyes remain on the road for their March 9 match against Minnesota at noon ET in the Baseline Tennis Center.
1. No. 7 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Bart van Monsjou (Iowa) 3-6, 7-6 (10-6)
2. No. 34 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. J.P. Ritchie (Iowa) 7-6, 6-0
3. No. 29 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Christian Bierich (Iowa) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
4. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Reinoud Haal (Iowa) 6-4, 7-5
5. Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Tommy McGeorge (Iowa) 6-7, 6-1, 6-4
6. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Gentry Kaegi (Iowa) 6-0, 6-2
1. No. 23 Matt Allare/Mike O’Connell (OSU) def. J.P. Ritchie/Bart van Monsjou (Iowa) 8-4
2. No. 8 Justin Kronauge/Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Gregory Holm/Walker Grimes (Iowa) 8-3
3. Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Christian Bierich/Austen Kauss (Iowa) 8-2