Senior Tri-Captain Steven Moneke ties Vince Ng (1999-03) for first all-time on the career singles list with 132 

COLUMBUS, Ohio On a windy afternoon, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with a 6-1 victory over No. 11 Illinois Sunday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes have now won 17-consecutive matches and finish their road schedule with a perfect 12-0 record.

Ohio State (25-1; 8-0 Big Ten) is now 31-54-1 against Illinois (18-6; 7-1 Big Ten). However, under current head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes have won four-consecutive matches against the Illini, winning eight of the last nine meetings.

“Anytime you get a win against Illinois, especially in tough conditions with 20 mph winds, it’s great,” Tucker said. “It was a good effort by our guys today.”

Highlighting the competition was senior tri-captain Steven Moneke tying for the No. 1 spot in the program’s all-time wins list with former Buckeye Vince Ng (1993-03) with 132-career victories. Moneke, ranked eighth in the latest ITA polls, defeated No. 42 Kalmanovich in a third-set super tiebreaker 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 1-0 (12-10), at No. 2 singles. Moneke improves to 31-4 overall and 9-1 at No. 2 singles.

“It was pretty windy out there today and I thought we did a good job to clinch the double point early,” said Moneke, a two-time ITA All-American. “I was starting to think about the record at the end of the match and it’s great to be in the category with Vince Ng. It will be nice to possibly break the record at home next weekend.”

In doubles, Ohio State claimed its ninth-consecutive doubles point this season. Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa defeated Waylon Chin and Roy Kalmanovich, 8-0, at No. 3 doubles, improving to 13-1 overall in the first match win of the day. At the top of the lineup, No. 39 Moneke and Justin Kronauge gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 advantage against Illinois after defeating No. 49 Marek Czerwinski and Marc Spicijaric, 8-5. The Buckeye duo improves to 9-2 at No. 1 doubles. 

No. 18 Dennis Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse won the third doubles match for the Illini with an 8-7 win against Matt Allare and Chase Buchanan.

In singles, Koniecko, ranked fourth in the latest ITA polls, defeated No. 79 Spicijaric, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 1 singles. Koniecko is owns a team-high 32-4 record overall and is three wins shy of passing former Buckeye Roger Smith (1983-86) for third on the all-time wins list with 127 victories. 

No. 91 Balazs Novak, a native of Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, won his 16th-consecutive singles match after defeating Chin, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 4 singles. Novak improves to a career-high 30 wins (four losses) for the 2009 spring season.

Freshman Buchanan clinched the victory for the Buckeyes with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Roelofse, at No. 5 singles.

No. 100 Allare improved to 23-0 in dual-match for the 2009 spring season, winning in a third-set super tiebreaker against Czerwinski, 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4), at No. 6 singles. Allare has won 23-consecutive matches, which is a team-high, and is now 26-2 overall.

No. 39 Nevolo defeated No. 18 Kronauge in a third-set super tie breaker, 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9). The loss puts Kronauge at a 31-7 overall record.

The Buckeyes return to Columbus to finish out the 2008-09 regular season with three home matches next weekend. Ohio State welcomes Northwestern at 3 p.m. April 17 followed by a doubleheader beginning at noon April 19 against Wisconsin and Wright State. 

Tennis Match Final Results
No. 3 Ohio State 6, No. 11 Illinois 1
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex
April 12, 2009 at Urbana, Ill. 

1. No. 4 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. No. 79 Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 6-4, 6-1
2. No. 8 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. No. 42 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 1-0 (12-10)
3. No. 39 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. No. 18 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def.) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9)
4. No. 91 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Waylon Chin (ILL) 6-1, 6-1
5. Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. Ruan Roelofse (ILL) 6-1, 6-4
6. No. 100 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Marek Czerwinski (ILL) 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4)

1. No. 39 Justin Kronauge/Steven Moneke (OSU) def. No. 49 Marek Czerwinski/Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 8-5
2. No. 18 Dennis Nevolo/Ruan Roelofse (ILL) def. Matt Allare/Chase Buchanan (OSU) 8-7 (9-7)
3. Bryan Koniecko/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def.  Waylon Chin/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 8-0

Match Notes:
Ohio State 25-1 (8-0); National ranking #3
Illinois 18-6 (7-1); National ranking #11
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2 (Doubles); 1, 4 5, 6, 3, 2