Feb. 14, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The second-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis team will put its 7-0 record on the line when it travels to Chicago for the 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship, Feb. 16-19. The Buckeyes will open the event against 15th seeded Stanford in the first round 3 p.m. (CT), Friday. The Buckeyes defeated Butler, Xavier, No. 18 Washington, No. 13 Florida State, and Toledo each by a 7-0 score to open the season. OSU then traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., and topped Tennessee 4-0. Ohio State beat No. 37 Kentucky by a 6-1 score Monday. Under head coach Ty Tucker, OSU has opened the season with seven-consecutive wins for the second year in a row. The Buckeyes began the campaign 9-0 last season.

Ohio State remained at No. 2 nationally in the latest FILA Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll released Feb. 13. The second-place ranking is the highest by the Buckeyes in school history. The previous high was No. 3, a spot Ohio State attained in the preseason rankings this year.

Opponents have managed to take only a single point from the Buckeyes. All but one win (Kentucky 6-1) came by way of a shutout. Opponents have managed only nine of a possible 98 singles sets from OSU.

Stanford is 0-4 so far this season. All the Cardinal losses have come to some of the top ranked teams in the country. Stanford lost to No. 16 Boise State (5-1), at No. 13 USC (5-2), at No. 6 UCLA (7-0), and at No. 5 Baylor (7-0). Stanford advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2006 NCAA Championship where the Cardinal lost 4-3 to Baylor. Stanford finished the year at 18-4. Matt Bruch was named the 2006 ITA Rookie of the year, the 2006 ITW West Region Rookie of the year and won the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament. He also was selected as an All-American and was named First Team All-Pac-10. He finished with a 30-9 record and went 11-5 in dual match play.

The 2007 USTA/ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship includes 16 of the top teams in the nation. Defending their title is top-ranked Georgia, who claimed the No. 1 seed, while Ohio State, UCLA, Virginia and Mississippi rounded out the No. 2-5 seeds, respectively. No. 6 seed Illinois, is in front of the 2005 champion No. 7 Baylor. No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 9 and defending NCAA champion Pepperdine round out the bracket. No. 10 Duke, No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 12 Boise State, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 Miami, No. 15 Stanford and No. 16 Penn finish the field. UCLA and Stanford are the only other two teams in the draw that have won the crown this decade. The Cardinal claimed the title in 2000 and 2003, while the Bruins were crowned champions in 2001.

The championship has given a strong indication as to who will dominate college tennis for the rest of the year. Fourteen of the teams who competed in the title match over the 32-year history of the event have gone on to win the NCAA title, including four times in the last nine years (Illinois 2003, Stanford 1998 and 2000, Pepperdine 2006). Stanford leads all schools in the competition with 12 Indoor titles, UCLA is next in line with seven and Illinois, California, Pepperdine, SMU and USC each have two. Baylor captured its only championship in 2005. Georgia won the event last year to round out the only teams to take home the trophy in the history of the ITA’s oldest tournament.

The 2007 National Men’s Team Indoor Championship is set to kick off at 10 a.m. Friday at the Midtown Tennis Center in Chicago with No. 4 Virginia facing No. 13 Texas and No. 3 Mississippi taking on No. 12 Boise State.

Ohio State has a 56-113 record against the participating teams in the tournament. OSU is 0-9 vs. Georgia, 1-1 vs. Pennsylvania, 21-26 vs. Notre Dame, 0-1 vs. Pepperdine, 3-0 vs. Virginia, 0-4 vs. Texas, 0-2 vs. Mississippi, 2-0 vs. Boise St., 0-1 vs. UCLA, 1-10 vs. Miami (Fla.), 28-53-1 vs. Illinois, 0-1 vs. Oklahoma St., 0-4 vs. Duke, 0-1 vs. Baylor and 0-2 vs. Stanford for a total of 56-113.

The Buckeyes moved up to No. 2 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll released Feb. 13. In addition to the high team rating, the Buckeyes also boast six singles players among the Top 70 in the country (as of Jan. 9). Sophomore Steven Moneke is the top-ranked singles player. In addition to Moneke, seniors Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann opened the season ranked Nos. 42 and 46, respectively. Sophomore Bryan Koniecko, the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is 62nd. Junior Drew Eberly comes in at No. 64 and freshman Justin Kronauge is No. 69. Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann combine to form the No. 22 doubles team in the nation. The pair is 12-4 on the year.

Ohio State extended its home win streak to 45 matches by winning its first five matches of the season against Butler (7-0), Xavier (7-0), No. 18 Washington (7-0), No. 13 Florida State (7-0) and Toledo (7-0) respectively. The Buckeyes won their 12 home competitions last season. The 2006 season marked the third-consecutive year in which the Buckeyes won all their home matches. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season starting with a 5-2 victory over Purdue April 6.

The Buckeyes are coming off a record-setting 2005-06 campaign in which they set several school record. The Buckeyes set high marks with the best dual record in school history (28-2), the longest win streak (19) and the best winning percentage (.933). The squad equaled its best showing in NCAA tournament play by advancing to the quarterfinals before dropping its final match of the season to Texas.

Sophomore Steven Moneke had a successful fall season. He won the 2006 ITA Midwest Regionals in October on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Moneke defeated Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the championship match to win the competition. He then advanced to the title match of the 2006 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship in Columbus. Moneke lost to defending champion and No. 1-seed Ben Kohlloeffel of UCLA by scores of 6-0, 6-4. Moneke finished the fall season 17-4, including winning 12 out of his last 14.

OSU travels Baton Rouge, La., to face No. 20 LSU. The Buckeyes return home to open Big Ten play against Indiana March 3.