COLUMBUS, Ohio The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team returns to action at noon Saturday at No. 17 Illinois. After that match the 24-1 and 6-0 in the Big Ten Buckeyes head to Purdue for its final regular season road match of the year.

The Buckeyes collected four wins last week. The Scarlet and Gray beat No. 39 Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. April 2. Ohio State then returned home and claimed three victories last weekend. The Buckeyes beat Northwestern (7-0) and Toledo (4-0) in a doubleheader Friday. Ohio State then ousted No. 35 Wisconsin by a 6-1 margin.

Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker claimed his 200th career victory against Minnesota March 9 in Minneapolis, Minn. Tucker also captured his 80th Big Ten Conference win against No. 47 Iowa March 7 in Iowa City, Iowa. For his career, Tucker owns a 210-46 record and a 91-16 mark in the league.

The Buckeyes have won 32-consecutive Big Ten matches. Ohio State has recorded 10-0 records in regular-season play the last two years. In addition, the Scarlet and Gray has claimed the last two Big Ten tournament titles.

Nine of eleven teams in the Big Ten Conference are ranked in the ITA Top 75.

Rank School
2.   Ohio State
15. Michigan 
16. Illinois
32. Wisconsin
38. Indiana
47. Penn State
53. Iowa
73. Michigan State
75. Purdue

Ohio State is 16-1 against teams ranked in the ITA top 75. The Buckeyes have collected wins against No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 6 USC, No. 2 Georgia and No. 9 Baylor. Ohio State’s lone loss came at the hands of No. 1 Virginia in the final of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 18 in Seattle, Wash.

No. 17 Illinois is 13-6 and 5-1 in the Big Ten. The Illini have won two consecutive Big Ten matches (Penn State and Michigan) by a 5-2 score after losing to Wisconsin by the same margin.

Seniors Ryan Rowe and Ruben Gonzales lead the way for the Illini. They are ranked Nos. 12 and 90, respectively. Sophomore Billy Heiser comes in at No. 94.

Gonzales teams up with Brandon Davis to form the nations 25th ranked doubles team. Rowe and Heiser are ranked No. 29.

Gonzales has been named the Big Ten men’s tennis player of the week on three occasions this season, including this week.

The Buckeyes are 30-54-1 all-time against the Illini, but has won four out of the last five meetings. Ty Tucker is 6-12 against the Illini in his career.

Ohio State met Illinois on three occasions last season. The Buckeyes won the first two matches by a combined 11-1 score. Ohio State beat Illinois 7-0 in Columbus, then beat the Illini 4-1 in the 2007 Big Ten Tournament Championship match. Illinois claimed the third act of the trilogy by ousting Ohio State from the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Illini won that match by a 4-2 margin.

No. 75 Purdue is 8-10 on the season and 2-4 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are 1-6 in their last seven matches. Their lone win during that stretch came against Northwestern March 30. The Buckeyes claimed the meeting last season against the Boilers by a 7-0 margin.

The Buckeyes are 65-18 all-time against the Boilermakers. Ohio State has won eight-consecutive matches against Purdue, all under current head coach Ty Tucker.

No. 2 Ohio State claimed four wins in five days last week. The Buckeyes traveled Wednesday to Bloomington, Ind. and dispatched the 35th-ranked Hoosiers, 6-1. Ohio State then returned home and swept a doubleheader Friday against Northwestern (7-0) and Toledo (4-0). On Sunday the Buckeyes welcomed No. 35 Wisconsin and beat the Badgers, 6-1.

Ohio State currently sits atop the Big Ten standings with a 24-1 record. The Buckeyes also boast the best winning percentage (.960) in the league.

With his 4-0 record, junior Steven Moneke is No. 1 in the league in singles wins at the No. 1 spot. Sophomore Justin Kronauge leads the league in wins at No. 3 singles. Kronauge is 7-0. Moneke is second at No. 3 singles with a 6-0 record. Freshman Matt Allare owns the top spot at Nos. 5 and 6 singles with 11-0 and 4-0 records, respectively.

In doubles action, Bryan Koniecko and Moneke are tied for first at No. 2 doubles with a 10-0 record.

Ohio State advanced to the final of the 2008 ITA National Team Indoors Championship as the No. 3 seed. The Buckeyes beat No. 35 Boise State (4-0) in the first round, No. 6 USC (4-1) in the quarterfinals, and 2007 champion and No. 2 Georgia (4-1) in the semifinals before falling to No. 1 Virginia (4-1) in the final. It was the second-consecutive year Ohio State advanced to the final of the national tournament.

Three Buckeyes were named to the All-Tournament singles team. Junior Steven Moneke was named to the No. 2 singles spot, while freshman Matt Allare and senior Drew Eberly were named at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Eberly and sophomore Justin Kronauge were named to the All-Tournament doubles team at the No. 2 spot.

Sophomore Justin Kronauge is 15-4 against opponents who are nationally ranked in the ITA/NCAA Division I polls. For the season, Kronauge owns a 28-7 record.

Justin Kronauge Wins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2007-08
No. 109 Dylan Arnould (Duke), 6-3, 6-1
No. 72 Milan Mihailovic (Texas), 6-0, 6-1
No. 58 Nate Schnugg (Georgia), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 42 Billy Mertz (Alabama), 7-5, 6-2
No. 38 Clancy Shields (Boise State), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
No. 41 Raoul Schwark (Minnesota), 6-2, 6-3
No. 67 Ricardo Soriano (Tulsa), 6-3, 6-4
No. 30 Sheeva Parbhu (Notre Dame), 6-4, 6-4
No. 51 Thomas Richter (Indiana), 7-5, 6-3
No. 6 Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State), 7-6, 6-3
No. 98 David Rosenfeld (Miami, Fla.) 6-4, 6-2
No. 66 Omar Altmann (Pepperdine) 6-1, 6-0
No. 64 Cory Parr (Wake Forest) 7-5, 6-3
No. 17 Lars Poershcke (Baylor) 1-6, 5-5 (retired)
No. 100 Marek Michalicka (Wisconsin) 6-0, 4-6, 6-4

Justin Kronauge, ranked 17th in the nation, leads the Buckeyes in singles wins with 24 (seven losses). So far, Kronauge is 15-4 in dual action with 2-1 and 7-0 records at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions, respectvely. He is 6-3 at No. 1 singles.

The pair of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko lead the team in doubles wins with 24 (three losses). The Buckeye tandem has a dual match record of 19-1 so far this season.

Bryan Koniecko was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week April 2. It marked the sixth time this season an Ohio State student-athlete claimed the award, the most in Big Ten history. Steven Moneke was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week March 26. Sophomore Justin Kronauge has won the weekly laurel twice this season (Feb. 13 and March 12). Senior Drew Eberly earned the honor Feb. 20. Before Eberly and Kronauge garnered the accolades, freshman Matt Allare captured the honor Feb. 6, marking three-consecutive weeks a Buckeye has garnered the weekly award.

Head coach Ty Tucker has the led the Buckeyes to 20 or more wins in eight of his nine complete seasons at Ohio State. Last year marked a record-breaking year for the Buckeyes as they compiled 30 wins for the first time in school history. The team finished 30-2.

Ohio State sophomore Justin Kronauge, the 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is the top-ranked Buckeye singles player in the nation at No. 17. In addition to Kronauge, juniors Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke are ranked Nos. 18 and 33, respectively. Senior Drew Eberly comes in at No. 112.

The Buckeyes also have two doubles teams ranked in the national Top 25. Eberly and Kronauge come in at No. 5. Freshman Matt Allare and sophomore Mike O’Connell are ranked No. 25.

Ohio State extended its home win streak to 68 matches after winning all three of its matches last weekend. The Buckeyes downed Northwestern (7-0) and Toledo (4-0) April 4. Ohio State then beat No. 35 Wisconsin (6-1) April 6.

The winning streak dates back to the 2003 season beginning with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6. In 2007, for the fourth-consecutive season, Ohio State went undefeated at its home courts, going 15-0. The Buckeyes are 11-0 at home this season.

The Buckeyes return to Columbus for their final regular season home series of the season. Ohio State will host No. 47 Penn State and No. 15 Michigan April 19 and 20, respectively.