Feb. 18, 2007

CHICAGO – The No. 2 Ohio State men’s tennis team beat seventh-seeded Baylor by a 4-2 score Saturday at the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago. The match was won when the Buckeyes sealed the second set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles. OSU has opened the season with nine consecutive wins for the second year in a row. The Buckeyes began 9-0 last season.

With the win, Ohio State claimed its first ever victory over the Bears. OSU improves its all-time record against Baylor to 1-1, who is now 7-2 on the year.

Ohio State has outscored its opponents this season 53-3. Opposing teams have managed to take only 15 of a possible 130 singles sets from OSU.

Ohio State began the match by winning the doubles point, a feat it has performed in 37 of its last 39 matches dating back to last season. Ohio State’s No. 22-ranked doubles pair of Chris Klingemann (Sr./Sr., Bradenton, Fla./Texas Tech Independent) and Devin Mullings (Sr./Sr., Freeport, Bahamas/Ft. Lauderdale Preparatory) beat Lars Poerschke and Matija Zgaga 8-3 at the No. 2 doubles spot.

In singles, four sets were determined by tiebreakers with OSU claiming three. No. 69 Justin Kronauge (Fr./Fr., Dayton, Ohio/Centerville) beat Dominik Mueller 7-6, 6-3 at the No. 5 singles spot to improve to 13-4 on the year. Kronauge won his first set tie-breaker by a 15-13 score. No. 42 Mullings won his match at the No. 3 spot to improve to 18-3 on the season. No. 64 Drew Eberly (Jr./Jr., Lake Forrest, Ill./Lake Forrest) clinched the match when he downed Dennis Lukacs at the No. 6 singles spot 7-6, 7-6. Eberly won the second set tie-breaker 7-3 and is now 10-3 on the year. No. 62 Bryan Koniecko (So./So., Long Island, N.Y./Syosset) lost his match at No. 1 singles to No. 17 Michal Kotka 6-1, 3-6, 3-6. The loss was Koniecko’s first of the season in dual play. No. 46 Klingemann lost his match at No. 4 singles to Matija Zgaga 6-4, 1-6, 2-6. Klingemann is now 17-4 on the year.

Mullings was pleased with the way the Buckeyes played on the day.

“I think we did really well,” Mullings said. “Doubles was exceptional. I played really well with Chris (Klingemann) at No. 2 doubles, so we got off to a good start. I thought Justin Kronauge played great, he got it done today. Beating Baylor is a huge accomplishment. They won this tournament two years ago and they won NCAA’s also. So they are a prestigious team and it is a good win for the Buckeyes.”

Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, was happy to make the semifinals.

“It was a great win for Ohio State tennis,” Tucker said. “Yesterday we beat Stanford, then to be able to beat Baylor today, who is arguably the best team in college tennis the last 10 years is great for the program. Our guys kept fighting and scrapping and we were able to start off well in singles and doubles very well and get out to a decent lead. When we lost the momentum, guys stepped up and stopped the bleeding pretty quickly.”

The Buckeyes will face either the No. 3 seed and seven time champion UCLA or the No. 6 seed and 2003 and 2004 champion Illinois at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Midtown Tennis Club with a spot in the final up for grabs.

No. 2 Ohio State 4, No. 5 Baylor 2

Singles Results

1. No. 17 Michal Kotka (BU) def. No.62 Bryan Koniecko (OSU/13-5) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3

2. No. 56 Lars Poerschke (BU) led. No. 1 Steven Moneke (OSU/24-5) 7-6, 1-6, 4-1

3. No. 42 Devin Mullings (OSU/18-3) def. Matt Brown (SB) 6-4, 6-2

4. Matija Zgaga (BU) def. No. 46 Chris Klingemann (OSU/17-4) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

5. No. 69 Justin Kronauge (OSU/13-4) def. No. 53 Dominik Mueller (BU) 7-6, 6-3

6. No. 64 Drew Eberly (OSU/10-3) def. No. 66 Dennis Lukacs (BU) 7-6, 7-6

Order of Finish: 5, 1, 3, 4, 6

Doubles Results

1. Drew Eberly/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 44 Matt Brown/David Galic (BU) 8-6

2. No. 22 Devin Mullings/Chris Klingemann (OSU) def. Lars Poerschke/Matija Zgaga (BU) 8-3

3. Steven Moneke/Bryan Koniecko (OSU) led Dominik Mueller/Michal Kokta (BU) 7-3

Order of Finish: 2, 1