Feb. 28, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 43 Notre Dame in a tight 4-3 decision Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 9-2 overall (0-0 in Big Ten play) and picked up their second-consecutive victory over the Irish in the all-time series. Notre Dame fell to 7-4 on the spring season.

Notre Dame topped Ohio State in the doubles portion to take a 1-0 lead. This was the second time in 11 matches that the Buckeyes dropped the doubles point. The OSU pair of Brenton Contini (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) and Dennis Mertens (So., Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) wrapped up first after taking an 8-2 match over Notre Dame’s Barry King and Paul Hidaka. Contini is ranked in the Top 10 in all-time career singles wins at Ohio State with 67 victories.

The sophomore duo of Scott Green (So., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (So., Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales), ranked No. 19 in the country, fell 9-7 at the No. 2 spot to Luis Haddock and Matthew Scott. The doubles point came down to the No. 1 position where Notre Dame’s Brent D’Amico and Ryan Keckley triumphed in an 8-6 victory over Ohio State’s 26th-ranked pair of Jeremy Wurtzman (Sr., Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy/Florida) and Joey Atas (Fr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall). Wurtzman and Atas suffered their first loss at the No. 1 position this season.

In singles action, freshman Devin Mullings (Fr., Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Prep) tied the match score, 1-1, as he finished his singles match first. Mullings defeated King, 6-2, 7-5, at the No. 4 spot. With the match win, Mullings tallied his eighth victory in season duals. Atas, ranked No. 50, suffered just his second singles loss of the season while playing nine matches at the No. 2 position for the Buckeyes. Atas, the only freshman in Ohio State history to receive a season ranking, fell, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, to D’Amico.

Wilson tied the match, 2-2, after picking up his sixth season duals win this year. Wilson came back from a 6-2 first set loss and defeated Keckley in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Chris Klingemann (Fr., Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent) was defeated at the No. 3 spot by Bass, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Wurtzman, the No. 2 singles player in the country, triumphed, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, at the No. 1 spot over Notre Dame’s Scott. Wurtzman’s win put the Buckeyes even with the Irish at 3-all in the match score.

Mertens clinched the Buckeyes ninth duals win, as he pulled through with a three-set victory over Eric Langenkamp. Mertens handed Langenkamp just his third duals loss of the season after a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-2 decision at No. 6.

Ohio State is back in action in its first Big Ten match of the season March 14. The Buckeyes travel to face Penn State in State College, Pa. Match time is scheduled for noon. Last season, the Buckeyes shut out the Nittany Lions, 7-0.

No. 12 Ohio State- 4
No. 43 Notre Dame- 3

1) No. 2 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. Matthew Scott (ND), 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
2) Brent D’Amico (ND) def. No. 50 Joey Atas (OSU), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3) Stephen Bass (ND) def. Chris Klingemann (OSU), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
4) Devin Mullings (OSU) def. Barry King (ND), 6-2, 7-5
5) Ross Wilson (OSU) def. Ryan Keckley (ND), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
6) Dennis Mertens (OSU) def. Eric Langenkamp (ND), 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-2

Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 3, 1, 6

1) D’Amico/Keckley (ND) def. No. 26 Atas/Wurtzman (OSU), 8-6
2) Haddock/Scott (ND) def. No. 19 Scott Green/Wilson (OSU), 9-7
3) Brenton Contini/Mertens (OSU) def. King/Paul Hidaka (ND), 8-2

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1