Feb. 14, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 16 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 17 Alabama, 6-1, Saturday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus, Ohio. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 7-1 this season and the Crimson Tide fall to 2-1. Ohio State is 3-1 against Top 25 opponents in the 2004 season. The Buckeyes defeated No. 24 Clemson, No. 8 Vanderbilt and No. 17 Alabama. Their only Top 25 loss was a 5-2 decision at No. 21 Georgia.

The Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead after clinching the doubles point in a tight match at the No. 2 spot. The OSU pair of Joey Atas (Fr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) and Dennis Mertens (So., Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) fell, 8-6, to Alabama’s Eric Molnar and RJ Murray. Atas and Mertens put three-consecutive points on the board after a 7-3 deficit. At the No. 1 spot, Buckeyes Scott Green (So., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (So., Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales), ranked No. 38 in the country, defeated No. 13 Chris Gostek and Stephen Mitchell. Green and Wilson won the tiebreak set, 7-4, which put Ohio State and Alabama even at one. All eyes turned to the No. 2 court where the senior pair of Jeremy Wurtzman (Sr., Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy/Florida) and Brenton Contini (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) battled Christian Broderson and Joseph Jung. The Crimson Tide came back from a 6-2 deficit and pushed the match point into a tiebreak set. Contini and Wurtzman secured the doubles point in an 11-9 win.

The Buckeyes have won the doubles point in all eight matches this season.

In singles action, the freshmen pulled through for the Buckeye squad. Chris Klingemann (Fr., Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech) closed out his match at the No. 3 court with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alabama’s Broderson. Atas remained undefeated in 2004 singles as he defeated Gostek, 6-3, 7-5. Atas, playing the No. 2 spot for Ohio State, has quality wins over top opponents including the No. 27 (Matthew Lockin, Vanderbilt) and No. 31 (Nathan Thompson, Clemson) players in the country. Devin Mullings secured the Buckeye victory after a 7-5, 7-5 win over Jung at the No. 4 position.

Wurtzman, the No. 1 player in the country, defeated No. 63 Mitchell, 7-5, 7-6 (1-0), at the No. 1 spot. Wurtzman improved his duals record to 7-1 while playing all eight matches at the No. 1 position for Ohio State.

Wilson and Mertens finished their matches in tiebreak sets. Wilson defeated Murray, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8) and Mertens fell to Alabama’s Molnar, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (9).

Next up, Ohio State travels to face No. 12 Virginia Commonwealth at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20 in Richmond, Va. The Buckeyes are back on the road at No. 57 Virginia Tech Sunday, Feb. 22 in Blacksburg, Va.

No. 16 Ohio State – 6 No. 17 Alabama – 1

Singles- 1) #1 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. #63 Stephen Mitchell (UA) 7-5, 7-6 (1-0) 2) Joey Atas (OSU) def. Chris Gostek (UA) 6-3, 7-5 3) Chris Klingemann (OSU) def. Christian Broderson (UA) 6-0, 6-2 4) Devin Mullings (OSU) def. Joseph Jung (UA) 7-5, 7-5 5) Eric Molnar (UA) def. Dennis Mertens (OSU) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (9) 6) Ross Wilson (OSU) def. RJ Murray (UA) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8)

Doubles- 1) #38 Scott Green/Wilson (OSU) def. #13 Gostek/MItchell (UA) 9-8 (1-0) 2) Brenton Contini/Wurtzman (OSU) def. Broderson/Jung (UA) 9-8 (9) 3) Molnar/Murray (UA) def. Atas/Mertens (OSU) 8-6