Feb. 4, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s tennis, 4-1 this season, plays host to No. 24 Clemson at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Clemson, 5-1 this season, is under the direction of head coach Chuck Kriese. Kriese holds a 508-291 career record in 25 years at the helm of the Tiger program. This season, Clemson has posted wins over UC-Irvine, Charleston, The Citadel, Anderson College and Liberty. The Tigers’ only loss was to No. 6 UCLA. Ohio State and Clemson have split the all-time series, with one win each. The last meeting came during 2000-01 season where the Buckeyes defeated the Tigers, 6-1.

Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, is entering his fifth season at the helm of the Buckeye program. Tucker has a career mark of 86-28 and is 37-10 in Big Ten play. He coached Ohio State to one of its best seasons ever in 2003, as the squad went 22-7 overall and 10-2 in conference action. The Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten in regular season play and third at the tournament. Ohio State received its fourth-consecutive bid to the NCAA Championship where they saw action in the Round of 16. The team finished the season ranked No. 17.

Ohio State captured its fourth-consecutive 7-0 shutout after wins over Toledo and DePaul Jan. 30 in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes defeated Xavier and Cleveland State Jan. 23 in their season opener. The 7-0 victory over DePaul marked the first time in program history the Buckeyes opened the season with four consecutive shutouts.

The Buckeyes fell, 5-2, Feb. 1 to No. 21 Georgia in Athens, Ga. Ohio State was able to take the doubles point after the OSU tandem of Joey Atas and Dennis Mertens pulled out a 9-7 at No. 3. Atas posted Ohio State’s second and final point at the No. 3 singles spot. The loss to the Bulldogs was the first of the season for OSU. WURTZMAN RANKED NO. 1
Buckeye senior Jeremy Wurtzman received the No. 1 spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll, released Jan. 13.

Wurtzman claimed the ITA National Indoor title Nov. 9 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Midwest Regional crown Oct. 28 in East Lansing, Mich. He defeated three of the Top 10 players in the country at the national indoors. The next individual rankings will be released Feb. 24.

Freshman Buckeye Joey Atas is 5-0 in singles and 5-0 in doubles play this season. Atas has posted three wins at the No. 2 singles postion and one each at Nos. 3 and 4. The doubles tandem of Atas and senior Jeremy Wurtzman are ranked No. 21 in the preseason and are 3-0 in dual action. Atas and Dennis Mertens hold a 2-0 mark this season in doubles.

Chris Klingemann, a native of Brandenton, Fla., joined the 2003-04 Buckeyes and began classes at Ohio State Jan. 26. He competed with the squad against Toledo and DePaul Jan. 30 and won both matches at the No. 3 spot. Klingemann is 2-1 in duals with one loss coming at the No. 2 position against Georgia Feb. 1.

Senior co-captain Brenton Contini is tied with former Buckeye Bob Wellstein (1997-01) at the No. 12 spot in all-time career doubles wins at Ohio State. He posts a 63-31 doubles mark in three years as a Buckeye. Stephen Miguel (1987-90) holds the record at OSU with 85 wins.

Ty Tucker, head coach, has never lost a season opener since his arrival in the 1999-2000 season. The Buckeyes defeated Xavier and Cleveland State by 7-0 shutouts Jan. 23 in Columbus, Ohio.

Freshmen Joey Atas and Devin Mullings made their Buckeye debut at the Nos. 2 and 3 singles postions Jan. 23 against Xavier and Cleveland State. Atas and Mullings went undefeated that weekend and posted two wins each.

In doubles, Jeremy Wurtzman and newcomer Joey Atas are ranked No. 21. Wurtzman and Atas went 6-2 in 2003 fall tournament play and claimed the doubles consolation title Oct. 11 at the ITA All-American Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The OSU tandem of Scott Green and Ross Wilson hold the No. 38 doubles spot. Green and Wilson went 8-4 in fall tournament action and advanced to the semifinal round Oct. 26 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing, Mich.

The Buckeyes have six returning lettermen this season including seniors Jeremy Wurtzman, Brenton Contini and Ben Kirksey.

Wurtzman was 14-1 in 2003 fall tournament play. During the fall, Wurtzman extended his career singles record to 104-41, including a 24-16 record as a freshman at Florida. Contini went 3-3 in fall tournament play and extended his career singles mark to 40-23. Kirksey posts a 27-19 (as of Feb. 6) singles record in three years as a Buckeye.

Ohio State will play host to No. 4 Vanderbilt Friday, Feb. 13 and No. 18 Alabama Saturday, Feb 14. Both matches are scheduled for 3 p.m. at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus, Ohio.