Oct. 1, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio- – The Ohio State men’s tennis team opens fall tournament play Friday in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championship at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. The tournament, the first of three national championships for singles and doubles during the 2004-05 season, will run Oct. 1-10.
TOURNAMENT BREAKDOWN The ITA All-American Championships include 256-singles player and 128-doubles team pre-qualifying tournaments played Friday-Sunday, which feed into 128-player and 64-doubles team qualifying tournaments Oct. 4-6. The 64-player, 32-doubles team main draw takes place Oct. 7-10. The singles tournament fields can run over 300 players, making it the largest collegiate event of the season and first national championship. The second is the ITA National Indoor Championship Nov. 4-7 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The last is the NCAA Championships in May.
BUCKEYES IN ACTION Singles- Pre-qualifying Round- Oct. 1-3 Drew Eberly Dominic Ozanne
Qualifying Round- Oct. 4-6 Joey Atas Chris Klingemann Dennis Mertens Devin Mullings
Doubles- Pre-qualifying Round- Oct. 1-3 Eberly/Dennis Mertens Mullings/Ozanne
Qualifying Round- Oct. 4-6 Atas/Klingemann
Main Draw- Oct. 7-10 Scott Green/Ross Wilson
LAST SEASON AT THE ALL-AMERICANS In doubles competition at the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the OSU pair of Joey Atas and former Buckeye Jeremy Wurtzman claimed the doubles consolation title after the duo won three matches in the consolation bracket and defeated a Mississippi tandem due to injury in the finals. Scott Green and Ross Wilson also advanced to the qualifying round of 16, but suffered an 8-6 loss to a Florida State team.
FRESH START Freshman Drew Eberly, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., will begin his OSU campaign at the ITA All-American Championships. Eberly led Lake Forest High School to the 2003 state title and was named first team all-state. He is ranked in the national Top 75 in the under 18 division and was ranked as high as No. 5 in the Midwest. Eberly made a Round of 16 appearance at the 2002 National Clay Court Championship and saw action in the Round of 32 at the boy’s Under-16 national hard court championships.
SOPHOMORES RANKED IN TOP 125 Sophomore Buckeyes Chris Klingemann, Joey Atas and Devin Mullings are ranked in the Top 125 of the ITA Division I preseason rankings. Klingemann is positioned at No. 90, Atas holds the No. 97 spot and Mullings is ranked No. 116
KEY RETURNEES Returning for Ohio State this season are juniors Scott Green, Dennis Mertens and Ross Wilson, and sophomores Joey Atas, Chris Klingemann and Devin Mullings. Coming off a redshirt season during his freshman campaign is Dominic Ozanne. Green started 29-of-31 matches in doubles and was 18-11 in duals competition. He had 12 wins at the No. 2 position with partner Wilson. The pair was ranked as high as No. 19 in the ITA doubles polls Jan. 24 and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the Midwest Region IV rankings. Mertens compiled his best season yet with a 32-9 overall singles record and had a 23-6 singles mark in duals action at the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 positions. He tied at the No. 11 spot in program history for season singles wins with 32 and went 9-2 against conference opponents in singles. Atas was named Big Ten freshman of the year, the first in Ohio State program history and was honored as the Midwest Region IV rookie of the year. He was ranked No. 50 in the ITA Division I Singles polls Feb. 24 and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the Midwest Region IV singles polls. Klingemann started at the No. 3 singles position in 19 matches for the Buckeyes and was 13-6 at the No. 3 singles spot. He compiled a 15-9 overall singles mark and went 7-4 against Big Ten opponents. Mullings started at the No. 4 singles spot for the Buckeyes and was 24-5 in season singles. He had a 19-5 mark at the No. 4 spot and was undefeated at the Nos. 2 and 3 singles positions with five wins combined. Mullings was 10-2 against Big Ten opponents.
RECAP OF THE 2004 SEASON Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, guided his 2004 Buckeye squad to its finest campaign in program history in 2004. Ohio State, 26-5 overall and 11-2 in Big Ten play, finished the regular season second in conference action and suffered its only conference losses to No. 1-ranked Illinois. At the 2004 Big Ten Championship, OSU fell to the Illini in the championship match to close tournament league play with a second place finish. Tucker is 108-32 overall and 49-13 vs. Big Ten competition during his five-year tenure with the Buckeyes. Tucker was named the Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, former Buckeye standout Jeremy Wurtzman took home the title of co-ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year and Joey Atas was named the Midwest Region IV Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Wurtzman, a three-time All-Big Ten selection, was named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America Team, the first All-American in Buckeye history since Tucker in 1991.
UP NEXT The Buckeye squad is back on the courts in fall tournament play Oct. 14-17 at the Hidden Duals in Ann Arbor, Mich.