Scarlet and Gray extend home win streak to 77-consecutive matches

COLUMBUS, Ohio The first-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team has advanced to the 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championships after defeating No. 30 Virginia Tech, 5-2, Sunday at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The Buckeyes will now travel to Chicago, Ill., Feb 13-16, for the 2009 team indoor championships, facing competition from the nation’s top collegiate teams.

With the win, the Buckeyes also extend their home win streak to 77-consecutive matches dating back to the 2003 season and improved to 7-1 all-time against the Hokies.

“It was good to see us play a couple of tough matches,” Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We are winning matches against pretty good teams, but we’re not playing our best. We have a tough road trip ahead of us and we are still in the stages of finding the right lineup.”

The highlight of the match was the doubles performance by both teams. After No. 41 Balazs Novak and Mike O’Connell lost 8-6 to Yoann Re and Patrick Daciek in No. 3 doubles, the Buckeyes remained focused. In No. 1 doubles, Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke evened the tides with an 8-3 victory against No. 20 Nicolas Delgado de Robles and Luka Somen. As partners, Koniecko and Moneke are 6-1 on the season. 

Just seconds later, the tennis gallery stood on its feet as the Buckeyes were one shot away from claiming the doubles point at the No. 2 spot. Matt Allare and Justin Kronauge made a fierce comeback in the late stages of the match after Allare lobbed a perfect ball over the heads of Hokies Brandon Corace and Pedro Graber to tie the match at 7-all. The Buckeye duo surged on to win its fifth-consecutive doubles match with a 9-7 victory.

Allare and Kronauge improved to 9-1 on the season, which registers in as a team-high in doubles wins for the Buckeyes. 

In singles, Allare claimed the first singles point, downing Virginia Tech’s Patrick Daciek 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. Allare is now 8-2 overall in singles this season and holds a perfect 3-0 record when playing at the No. 6 spot. The Hokies soon posted their first point on the scoreboard as No. 6 Kronauge dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision to Yoann Re, cutting the Buckeye lead, 2-1. 

Ohio State’s 5-2 victory was secured with back-to-back wins at Nos. 1 and 3 singles. Koniecko, the country’s top-ranked singles player, defeated Delgado de Robles 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, while classmate and No. 3-ranked Moneke took down Graber 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. Koniecko improves to 14-1, while Moneke is 14-3 on the season. With his two wins this weekend, Koniecko has won 13-consecutive singles matches.

Novak defeated Somen 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 4 singles and is now 12-3 in singles. In No. 5 singles, Shuhei Uzawa lost to Virginia Tech’s Corace 7-6 (10-7), 6-4 after dropping a first set tiebreaker. 

Ohio State will return to dual action next weekend as the Buckeyes head on the road for a tough road swing. The squad faces No. 19 North Carolina and No. 27 Wake Forest Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, respectively.

Tennis Match Results
No. 30 Virginia Tech 2, No. 1 Ohio State 5
Feb. 1, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center

1. No. 1 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Nicolas Delgado de Robles (VT) 6-4, 6-0
2. Yoann Re (VT) def. No. 6 Justin Kronauge (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
3. No. 3 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. No.100 Pedro Graber (VT) 6-3, 6-2
4. No. 38 Balazs Novak (OSU) vs. Luka Somen (VT) 6-4, 6-0
5. Brandon Corace (VT) def. No. 77 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) – 7-6 (10-7), 6-4
6. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Patrick Daciek (VT) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5

1. Bryan Koniecko/Steven Moneke (OSU) vs. No. 20 Nicolas Delgado de Robles/Luka Somen (VT) – 8-3
2. Matt Allare/Justin Kronauge (OSU) vs. Brandon Corace/Pedro Graber (VT) 9-7
3. Yoann Re/Patrick Daciek (VT) def. No. 41Mike O’Connell/Balazs Novak (OSU) – 8-6
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2