May 1, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 seed Ohio State men’s tennis team shut out the No. 3 seed Minnesota, 4-0, Saturday in the semifinal round at the 2004 Big Ten Championship in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes (23-3 overall, 11-1 Big Ten) will face nationally-ranked No. 1 Illinois at noon Sunday in the championship match. Ohio State will look for its second Big Ten Championship title in five years, the last crown coming in the 2001 season when the squad defeated Illinois, 4-2. Illinois (27-0 overall, 12-0 Big Ten) is on a 38-conference-match win streak and an NCAA record 59-overall-match win streak. In 2004 duals, the Buckeyes fell to the Illini, 4-3, April 11.

The Buckeyes took the doubles point after wins on the Nos. 1 and 2 courts. At the No. 1 position, Jeremy Wurtzman (Sr., Rochester, N.Y./Brickhouse Academy/Florida) and Joey Atas (Fr., Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) remained undefeated against Big Ten opponents with 12 victories as they defeated Andres Osorio and Chris Wettengel, 8-6. The OSU sophomore duo of Scott Green (So., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Ross Wilson (So., Toledo, Ohio/Toledo St. Francis de Sales) clinched the doubles point after a 9-8 (3) decision over Minnesota’s Clay Estes and Aleksey Zharonov. The match at the No. 3 spot was left abandoned with the OSU pair of Brenton Contini (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) and Dennis Mertens (So., Braaschaat, Belgium/Koninkiljk) leading, 6-4.

In singles action, the Buckeyes defeated the Gophers on the Nos. 1, 3 and 5 courts, while the other matches were left abandoned with OSU leading. Wurtzman, the No. 4 singles player in the nation, wrapped up first with a 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 56 Zharinov. Atas followed as he knocked off Avery Ticer, 6-1, 6-2. Wilson topped his Minnesota opponent Estes, 6-4, 6-2, for the Ohio State match win.

No. 2 Seed Ohio State- 4, No. 3 Seed Minnesota- 0

1. No. 4 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) def. No. 56 Aleksey Zharinov (UM), 6-4, 6-0
2. Chris Klingemann (OSU) vs. No. 69 Chris Wettengel (UM), 6-2, 3-3 (abd)
3. Joey Atas (OSU) def. Avery Ticer (UM), 6-1, 6-2
4. Devin Mullings (OSU) vs. Andres Osorio (UM), 6-2, 3-2 (abd)
5. Ross Wilson (OSU) def. Clay Estes (UM), 6-4, 6-2
6. Dennis Mertens (OSU) vs. Dusan Tabak (UM), 7-5, 2-0 (abd)
Order of finish: 1, 3, 5

1. No. 32 Atas/Wurtzman (OSU) def. Osorio/Wettengel (UM), 8-6
2. Scott Green/Wilson (OSU) def. Estes/Zharinov (UM), 9-8 (3)
3. Brenton Contini/Mertens (OSU) vs. Tabak/Ticer (UM), 6-4 (abd)
Order of finish: 1, 2