Moneke, Kronauge join Koniecko as unanimous All-Big Ten selections

COLUMBUS, Ohio Bryan Koniecko, a senior tri-captain on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, garnered his second-consecutive Big Ten Athlete of the Year honor while head coach Ty Tucker earned his fourth-consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year laurel Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich. Joining Koniecko on the 2009 All-Big Ten Team were Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge. Senior tri-captain Ty Schaub received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State. 

With the athlete of the year honor, Koniecko became the first Buckeye and just the third Big Ten student-athlete to earn the conference’s top honor in back-to-back seasons. A season ago, the Long Island, N.Y., native became just the second Ohio State men’s tennis player to receive the accolade, joining Vince Ng who received the award in 2003. Currently ranked third in the nation by the ITA, Koniecko was a perfect 10-0 in singles as well as doubles play during the Big Ten season. In the 2008-09 season, the four-time All-Big Ten honoree set the Ohio State all-time program record for career doubles win with 119 victories and tops the school’s all-time combined career wins list with 245 (126, 119). The two-time ITA All-American is only the eighth student-athlete in the conference to win both Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2006) and Athlete of the Year laurels.

In his 10th season at the helm, Tucker captured his fifth career Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, leading the Buckeyes to another perfect 10-0 ledger in league action. The Scarlet and Gray, currently ranked third in the country, have won the Big Ten regular season title four times in a row dating back to 2006. Tucker’s squad has recorded 49-consecutive Big Ten wins, amassing 100 victories overall in its last 105 conference contests, including the postseason. In 10 years of work, the Zanesville, Ohio, native and former Buckeye has recorded a 108-16 conference ledger. Previously, Tucker was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2001, ’06, ’07 and ’08.

Moneke, a senior tri-captain and two-time ITA All-American, garnered his third unanimous All-Big Ten selection. The Alten-Busick, Germany, native went 10-0 in league singles action for the third-consecutive season. In his senior campaign, Moneke took over the top spot on the career singles wins list in the Ohio State record book, collecting 135 career singles victories, passing Ng (132). He currently is fifth with 96 career doubles wins while holding second on the all-time combined wins list with 231 (135, 96).

Kronauge, a junior from Dayton, Ohio, and graduate of Centerville High School, earned his second-consecutive unanimous All-Big Ten selection after receiving the honor in 2008. The 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year posted an 8-1 singles and doubles ledger in conference play this season. A 2008 ITA All-American, Kronauge owns a 9-1 record in his last 10 matches and has won a total of 60 matches in singles and doubles action as a junior. The Academic All-Big Ten honoree is currently fifth on the all-time combined wins list with 197 victories (104, 93).

The Conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The 11 student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the Conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.

Schaub, a senior tri-captain from Lexington, Ohio, was Ohio State’s Sportsmanship Award winner for men’s tennis. Schaub has been an influential member of the Buckeye senior class, along with Koniecko and Moneke, that has guided Ohio State to four-consecutive league regular-season titles and No. 1 seeds at the Big Ten tournament. The 2009 class enters its final postseason with a 121-7 overall record (.945).

Athlete of the Year                                                                            
Bryan Koniecko, Ohio State

Coach of the Year
Ty Tucker, Ohio State

Freshman of the Year
Dennis Nevolo, Illinois                                             

2009 All-Big Ten Team
Roy Kalmanovich, ILL
Dennis Nevolo, ILL
Marc Spicijaric, ILL
Lachlan Ferguson, IND
Christian Bierich, IOWA
Ishay Hadash, MINN*
Tobias Wernet, MINN
Steven Moneke, OSU*
Bryan Koniecko, OSU*
Justin Kronauge, OSU*
Moritz Baumann, WIS*
Marek Michalicka, WIS
*unanimous selection

2009 Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Marek Czerwinski, ILL
Stephen Vogl, IND
Christian Bierich, IOWA
Jason Jung, MICH
Scott Rasmussen, MSU
Sebastian Gallego, MINN
Alex Thams, NU
Ty Schaub, OSU
Adam Slagter, PSU
Slavko Bijelica, PUR
Marek Michalicka, WIS