Feb. 27, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – – The No. 12 Ohio State men’s tennis team (6-5, 0-0 Big Ten) defeated No. 42 Alabama, 4-3, Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 6-5 overall this season, while the Crimson Tide fell to 5-4 overall.

Ohio State jumped ahead 1-0 in the match score as the squad swept Alabama on all three doubles courts. OSU has won the doubles point in eight-of-11 matches this season. The junior duo of Scott Green (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales), ranked No. 1 in the Feb. 22 ITA Division I doubles poll, finished first for the Buckeyes. Green and Wilson topped Luigi D’Agord and Eric Molnar, 8-4, at the No. 1 spot.

Sophomore Joey Atas (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) and freshman Drew Eberly (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) clinched the doubles point for Ohio State after an 8-6 performance against Jordie Kindervater and Billy Mertz. The OSU pair of Dennis Mertens (So., Braaschatt, Belgium/Koninkiljk) and Devin Mullings (So., Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prepatory) wrapped up the doubles portion with a 9-8 tiebreak win over RJ Murray and Sammy Struyf at the No. 2 position.

In singles action, Mullings, ranked No. 56, finished first on the No. 2 court with a 6-0, 6-0 win over No. 99 Joseph Jung. Alabama’s Molnar put the squad’s first point on the board after he defeated OSU’s Green in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6.

Sophomore Buckeye Atas, ranked No. 74, added Ohio State’s third point after he upset No. 46 D’Agord, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, at No. 1. That marked Atas’ second win against a higher ranked opponent this weekend. In OSU’s shutout over No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth Friday, Atas defeated 11th-ranked Arnaud Leclorec.

Junior Wilson clinched the match for the Buckeyes as he handed Alabama’s Andrew Felsenthal a 6-2, 6-0 loss at No. 5.

Alabama recorded its final two points at the Nos. 3 and 6 positions. Javier Bes ousted Ohio State’s Chris Klingemann (So., Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent) in three sets, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 3. Junior Buckeye Mertens fell, 9-8, in his one-set tiebreak match against Mertz at the No. 6 spot.

Up next, Ohio State returns to action March 21 on their spring break trip to face Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Vanderbilt March 23 in Nashville, Tenn. The Buckeyes are back at home March 26 and 27 as the squad opens Big Ten play against Iowa and Minnesota in Columbus.

No. 12 Ohio State 4 No. 42 Alabama 3

Singles- 1. #74 Joey Atas (OSU) def. #46 Luigi D’Agord (UA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 2. #56 Devin Mullings (OSU) def. #99 Joseph Jung (UA) 6-0, 6-0 3. Javier Bes (UA) def. Chris Klingemann (OSU) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 4. Eric Molnar (UA) def. Scott Green (OSU) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 5. Ross Wilson (OSU) def. Andrew Felsenthal (UA) 6-2, 6-0 6. Billy Mertz (UA) def. Dennis Mertens (OSU) 9-8 Order of finish: 2, 4, 1, 5, 3, 6

Doubles- 1. #1 Green/Wilson (OSU) def. D’Agord/Molnar (UA) 8-4 2. Mertens/Mullings (OSU) def. RJ Murray/Sammy Struyf (UA) 9-8 3. Atas/Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Mertz/Jordie Kindervater (UA) 8-6 Order of finish: 1, 3, 2