April 28, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 10 Ohio State men’s tennis team beat Wisconsin 4-0 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten men’s tennis tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. The Buckeyes improve to 23-1 on the year and have won 14-consecutive matches.

Against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes started by winning the doubles point. OSU has won the doubles point in each of its 24 dual matches this season. Buckeye seniors Ross Wilson (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) and 2006 Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree Scott Green (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover), the nation’s No. 1-ranked doubles team, defeated Nolan Polley and Jeremy Sonkin 8-4 at the No. 1 doubles spot to improve the OSU pair’s record to 28-2 and 22-1 in dual competition.

Ohio State clinched the match when freshman Steven Moneke (Alten-Busick, Germany) beat Felipe Bellido 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 4 single spot. With the win Moneke improved his singles record to 17-6 on the year. The 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Bryan Koniecko (Long Island, N.Y./Syosset) won his match at the No. 1 singles against Jeremy Sonkin 6-0, 7-5 to improve his season singles record to 21-12. Dennis Mertens (Sr. Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) was the other Buckeye to win his singles match on the day. He beat Brennen Phippen 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 5 singles spot. Mertens is now 26-6 in singles on the season.

Ty Tucker, the 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year, improved his conference tournament record to 9-5. The Buckeyes will face Michigan at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals. OSU defeated the Wolverines 7-0 April 16 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Tucker said the team needs to play well in the semifinals if the Buckeyes are to beat the Wolverines (12-10).

“We are going to have to play our best tennis if we are going to beat Michigan,” Tucker said. “They are a good team and we need to play well to beat them.”

Tucker said he was proud to receive the league’s annual coach of the year award Thursday, but felt his team should get all the credit.

“I have a good group of guys who love to play tennis and great assistant coaches too,” Tucker said. “They helped me win the award, but the one I really care about is the one we won last Sunday (the regular season 2006 Big Ten Championship). We have seen Illinois pose with the trophy the last few years so it was nice to finally get our picture taken with it (Thursday at the annual tournament banquet). To have the most players selected to the All-Big Ten team is great too.”

Ohio State had three members of the 2006 squad (Chris Klingemann, Devin Mullings and Koniecko) selected 2006 First Team All-Big Ten and also had the league’s freshman of the year (Koniecko). Koniecko also was the only freshman selected first team All-Big Ten.

No. 10 Ohio State 4, Wisconsin 0

1. No. 40 Bryan Koniecko (OSU/21-12) def. Jeremy Sonkin (UW), 6-0, 7-5
2. No. 114 Nolan Polley (UW) led No. 99 Chris Klingemann (OSU), 6-3, 2-3, abd.
3. Lachezar Kasarov (UW) led No. 118 Devin Mullings (OSU), 6-3, 2-3, abd.
4. No. 103 Steven Moneke (OSU/17-6) def. Felipe Bellido (UW), 6-3, 6-2
5. Dennis Mertens (OSU/26-6) def. Brennen Phippen (UW), 7-5, 6-2
6. Ross Wilson (OSU) vs. Gian Hodgson (UW), abd.
Order of finish: 1,5,4

1. No. 1 Green/Wilson (OSU/28-2) def. Polley/Sonkin (UW), 8-4
2. Bellido/Kasarov (UW) led Eberly/Koniecko (OSU), 7-5, abd.
3. Klingemann/Mullings (OSU/21-2) def. Bisnow/Phippen (UW), 8-4
Order of finish: 3,1