COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 14 LSU 7-0, Sunday at The Ohio State University Indoor Varsity Tennis Center. Matt Allare claimed the victory for the Buckeyes at No. 4 singles, defeating Julien Gauthier 6-3, 7-5. Allare, a native of Mason, Ohio, improves to 13-2 in singles this season and his winning-streak to 10-consecutive matches.

The win marks the 79th-consecutive victory at home for the Buckeyes, which dates back to the 2003 season. The Buckeyes are now 6-0 at home for the 2008-09 campaign.

“It’s nice to beat a Top 15 team at home,” Allare said. “We played well today especially early on during doubles to get us off to a strong start. The win is a definite confidence booster for us.”

Ohio State (11-1; 0-0 Big Ten) evened the all-time series record against the Tigers to 5-5, winning the last five meetings. Under head coach Ty Tucker, all five victories against the Tigers have come under his Buckeye 10-year helm. He has dropped only one decision to LSU.

In doubles, it was evident the match against the Buckeyes would not be easy with the Tigers bringing two nationally-ranked doubles teams to the lineup.

At No. 1 doubles, Justin Kronauge and Steven Moneke battled tough against Michael Venus and Neal Skupski, who is ninth in the latest ITA doubles rankings. The Buckeye pair went up a break after the fifth game, but the Tigers’ aggressive play in the 10th game put them back even at 5-5 against the Scarlet and Gray. The Tigers took a crucial 6-5 lead and went on to win the first doubles match of the day, 8-5. Moneke and Kronauge fall to 4-2 on the season when paired together.

The Buckeyes, motivated to even the tides against the Tigers, began to increase a lead at No. 2 doubles with Scarlet and Gray pair Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa facing No.53 James Cluskey and Gauthier. Koniecko and Uzawa did not allow the Tiger pair to make a comeback after winning a break point in the fifth game and won the second doubles match, 8-3, improving the Buckeye duo’s record to 3-0 for the 2009 spring season.

The winner of the doubles point did not take long to decide as just seconds later Matt Allare and Balazs Novak defeated Tigers Mark Bowtell and Sebastian Carlsson, 8-5, claiming the 1-0 advantage for Ohio State. The Buckeye duo took an important 6-5 lead, winning a break point in the 11th game of the match. The win marks the third triumph for Allare and Novak and the Buckeye sophomores now have a perfect 3-0 record at No. 3 doubles.

The Buckeye’s lead increased to 2-0 against the Tigers after No. 4 Koniecko defeated Skupski in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, in No. 2 singles. Koniecko becomes the first Buckeye this season to hit the 20-win mark and is now 20-2 in singles.

At No. 1 singles, Moneke highlighted the singles event, competing against a Top 5 opponent. Moneke accomplished the upset against No. 5 Venus, the 2008 D’Novo All-American Singles Champion, winning 6-2, 6-3. Moneke improves to 20-3 in singles, winning 11-consecutive singles matches this season.
“I played a great match today because I was moving well through out the match,” Moneke said. “I was having fun out there which was the key of the match and I knew how to play against him after playing him last season. I had a good serve and forehand today and I think he was pretty tired at the end of the match.”

No. 23 Kronauge defeated Cluskey of LSU 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles and is now 19-6 overall with a perfect 5-0 record at No. 3 singles.

No. 63 Novak took down Carlsson at No. 5 singles winning 6-2, 6-4, while No. 82 Uzawa improved to 17-6 in singles, winning in a third-set tiebreaker 6-0, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4), against Bowtell at No. 6 singles.

The Buckeyes begin Big Ten dual action this upcoming week, traveling to West Lafayette, Ind., Feb. 26 to face Purdue.

Tennis Match Final Results
Louisiana State vs. Ohio State
Feb 22, 2009 at Ohio State
OSU Varsity Tennis Center

#3 Ohio State 7, #14 Louisiana State 0

1. #22 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. #5 Michael Venus (LSU)  – 6-2, 6-3
2. #4 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Neal Skupski (LSU) – 6-1, 6-3
3  #23 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. James Cluskey (LSU) – 6-2, 6-1
4. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Julien Gauthier (LSU) –  6-3, 7-5
5. #63 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Sebastian Carlsson (LSU)-  6-2, 6-4
6. #82 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) – 6-0, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 4, 3, 5, 6

1. #9 Neal Skupski/Michael Venus (LSU) def. Justin Kronauge/Steven Moneke (OSU) – 8-5
2. Bryan Koniecko/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. #53 James Cluskey/Julien Gauthier (LSU) – 8-3
3. Matt Allare/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Mark Bowtell/Sebastian Carlsson (LSU) – 8-5
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3

Match Notes:
Louisiana State 2-2; 0-0 SEC; National ranking #14
Ohio State 11-1; 0-0 Big Ten; National ranking #3
Official: Vince Solomon