COLUMBUS, Ohio For the first time in program history the No. 3-seed Ohio State men’s tennis team advanced to the semifinals after defeating No. 6-seed Baylor, 4-1, Sunday at the 2009 NCAA Championships at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M University. The Buckeyes will play the winner of the Mississippi-UCLA quarterfinal match in the semifinals at 2 p.m. ET Monday. The second semifinal match will occur simultaneously as No.-8 seed USC (23-5) takes on No. 12-seed Texas (23-6).
Ohio State (35-1; 10-0 Big Ten) improves its winning streak to 27-consecutive matches this season. The Buckeyes snapped Baylor’s (26-6) 15-match winning streak and advanced to its first semifinal appearance after making it as far as the quarterfinals the last three seasons. Under head coach Ty Tucker, Ohio State is 21-9 in NCAA play with quarterfinal appearances in 2004, ’06, ’07, ’08 and ’09.
“Obviously it was a good day,” Tucker said. “It feels good for the seniors, to see them work so hard. They have been in three previous quarterfinals and this was their fourth quarterfinal. You start to wonder if you’re going to make it through to a final four and experience what that is like. Koniecko, Moneke, and Uzawa have been great leaders throughout the year. They came into the locker room today and said, We’ve got to get it done, we’ve got to get it done from the first point on.’”
Sophomore Balazs Novak claimed the victory for the Buckeyes at No. 5 singles. No. 74 Novak defeated No. 121 Attilla Bucko 6-0, 6-2, improving to 36-5 overall this season.
In doubles, the Buckeyes claimed the first point of the match with wins at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively. At No. 1 doubles, Justin Kronauge and Matt Allare upset No. 18 Jordan Rux and David Galic, 8-3, while Chase Buchanan and Steven Moneke defeated Julian Bley and Dominik Mueller, 8-5, at No. 3 doubles.
At No. 4 singles, the Bears found momentum as No. 124-ranked Mueller defeated No. 113 Allare 6-2, 6-3. The loss snaps Allare’s 28-match win streak and he is now 31-3 overall for the 2008-09 campaign.
However, just like against No. 25 Boise State in the Round of 16, the same three Buckeyes claimed singles wins against the Bears.
At No. 3 singles, No. 25-ranked Kronauge, a 2008 ITA All-American, improved to 39-7 overall after defeating Bley 6-1, 6-0, to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 advantage. No. 9 Moneke put the Buckeyes one match away from the quarterfinal victory after downing No. 45 Rux 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 singles. Moneke, a two-time ITA All-American (’07 and ’08), now has 140 singles victories in his career, which is a program best.
“It’s a great feeling to move on,” Moneke said. “When we win the doubles point, I think it gives us a big lead going into singles. We are still fresh mentally and physically, which is important when playing back-to-back matches in two days.”
Live stats and video for the semifinal match Monday is available at aggieathletics.com as the Buckeyes continue their quest for a national championship.
NCAA Division I Tennis Championships
May 17, 2009
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station Texas
#3 Ohio State 4, #6 Baylor 1
RECORDS: Ohio State 35-1; Baylor 26-6
1. (#3) Bryan Koniecko, OSU vs. (#4) Denes Lukacs, BU, 3-6, 4-3, DNF
2. (#9) Steven Moneke, OSU def. (#45) Jordan Rux, BU, 6-3, 6-1
3. (#25) Justin Kronauge, OSU def. Julian Bley, BU, 6-1, 6-0
4. (#124) Dominik Mueller, BU def. (#113) Matt Allare, OSU, 6-2, 6-3
5. (#74) Balazs Novak, OSU def. (#121) Attilla Bucko, BU, 6-0, 6-2
6. Chase Buchanan, OSU vs. Maros Horny, BU, 7-5, 2-1, DNF
1. Kronauge/Allare, OSU def. (#18) Galic/Rux, BU, 8-3
2. Uzawa/Koniecko, OSU vs. (#64) Horny/Lukacs, BU, 7-5, DNF
3. Buchanan/Moneke, OSU def. Bley/Mueller, BU, 8-5
ORDER OF FINISH: Doubles: 1, 3; Singles: 4, 3, 2, 5
NOTES: After being eliminated in the quarterfinals in each of the last three years, Ohio State advances to the semifinals and will face the winner between No. 2 Mississippi and No. 7 UCLA Monday at 2 p.m ET…OSU’s victory snaps Baylor’s 15-match winning streak…Baylor, which won the national championship in 2004, falls in the quarterfinals for the second-consecutive year.