May 17, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ty Tucker, Ohio State men’s tennis head coach, was named the 2004 Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, the regional committee announced Monday. Senior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman Joey Atas, members of the No. 17 Ohio State men’s tennis team, were also honored. Wurtzman was selected as the 2004 Midwest Region IV Senior Player of the Year and Atas was named the 2004 Midwest Region IV Rookie of the Year.

Tucker, 107-31 overall, 49-13 Big Ten, has guided his 2004 Buckeye squad to one of its finest campaigns in program history. Ohio State, 25-4 overall and 11-2 in Big Ten play, finished the regular season second in conference action and suffered their only conference losses to nationally-ranked No. 1 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.

Ohio State received its fifth-consecutive bid to the NCAA championships. Following two wins last weekend, the squad advanced to the Round of 16. The Buckeyes upset No. 15 North Carolina, 4-3, in a dramatic finish to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.

Wurtzman (Sr., Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy/Florida), a three-time All-Big Ten selection, is ranked No. 3 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I singles polls, May 3. He held the No. 1 spot in the individual rankings from Jan. 13 to Feb. 24 and fell to the No. 2 spot from Feb. 24 to March 23. He was then ranked No. 1 from March 23 through April. Wurtzman, selected as the No. 3 seed in the 2004 NCAA Singles Championship, is 25-2 in duals while playing 27 matches at the No. 1 position. Wurtzman posts a 129-43 career singles record, including 105 wins in three years as a Buckeye. His 105 victories at Ohio State placed him at the No. 6 spot in the program’s record book.

Atas (Fr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) was named the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the first in Ohio State program history. An All-Big Ten selection, Atas is 20-6 in duals action this season and has 14 wins at the No. 2 position. He defeated two top-ranked opponents in duals competition including No. 27 Matthew Lockin of Vanderbilt and No. 31 Nathan Thompson of Clemson. Atas received the No. 50 spot in the ITA singles rankings Feb. 24.

In doubles, Atas and Wurtzman received a bid to the 2004 NCAA Doubles Championship. The Buckeye duo, currently ranked No. 25 in the ITA doubles polls, defeated the nationally ranked No. 2 pair of Illinois’ Brian Wilson and Phil Stolt, April 11 in Champaign, Ill. Atas and Wurtzman post a 19-4 season duals record.