Feb. 26, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State men’s tennis team, 7-3, 1-0 in the Big Ten, looks to continue its home winning streak (7-0) in non-conference matches this weekend against Maryland and Cleveland State at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Friday in Jesse Owens West Recreation Center.

Ohio State is ranked No. 20 (Intercollegiate Tennis Association results Feb. 26) in the country and features players ranked at the national level. Junior Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked No. 13 in the nation and senior Vincent Ng holds the No. 65 position.The OSU tandem of junior Conor Casey and freshman Ross Wilson are tied at No. 60 in national doubles.

Next up, Ohio State plays host to Indiana State at noon, March 2 at the West Recreation Center.

The Maryland Terrapins, 2-1 on the season (as of Feb. 26), are under the direction of 13th season head coach Jim Liatta. Maryland features sophomore Troy Demers who remains undefeated after two matches at the No. 1 position in singles. The series lead is tied at 2-2 and in the last meeting in the 1988-89 season the Buckeyes surpassed the Terrapins, 4-3.

Cleveland State holds a 4-8 spring record (as of Feb. 26). The Vikings are a young squad comprised of senior, Adam Mercurio, five sophomores and two freshmen. The Vikings are at the helm of first year head coach, Brian Etzkin. The teams have met once in program history. The Buckeyes shut out CSU, 9-0, in 1985-86. BIG TEN PLAY COMMENCES
Ohio State opened Big Ten Conference play with a 7-0 shut out against Penn State Feb. 23. The Nittany Lions fell to 3-2 on the season with losses to Virginia Tech and Ohio State. The Buckeyes hold the series lead over PSU, 11-5. In the 2001-02 season, Ohio State swept the Lions, 7-0.

The Buckeyes upset the No. 14 Rams, 4-2, Feb. 22 at the West Recreation Center. The Buckeyes improved to 6-3 overall and extended its home winning streak to six. Virginia Commonwealth dropped to 9-3 on the season suffering losses to Washington and Duke. The Rams hold the series record, 7-3.

Ohio State claimed the doubles point and Jeremy Wurtzman and Vince Ng posted the two singles victories at the Nos. 1 and 2 slots. Freshman Ross Wilson clinched the crucial win for the Buckeyes after defeating VCU’s Francesc Lleal in a tiebreaker, 6-2, 0-6, (6-3), at the No. 6 slot. The freshman is off to a perfect 5-0 duals record with three wins at No. 6.

Ohio State dropped to 0-3 on the road after two defeats Feb. 14 and 16. No. 14-ranked Alabama downed the Buckeyes, 4-3, in a tight match. With the win, Alabama extended its winning streak to seven and the Buckeyes fell 5-2 overall and 0-2 on the road.

Following the close Alabama match, the Buckeyes suffered a 6-1 loss to Vanderbilt and dropped to 0-3 on the road. With the victory, the Commodores improved to 6-1 on the season and the Buckeyes fell to 5-3.

The Buckeyes suffered their first loss to No. 1-ranked UCLA Feb. 7 in Los Angeles, Calif. The Bruins handed Ohio State a 5-2 defeat. Senior Vince Ng posted Ohio State’s first singles point in a victory over UCLA’s Rodrigo Grilli, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The No. 27 Buckeyes had close matches and almost pulled an upset over the No. 1-ranked Bruins. Junior Brenton Contini cut the deficit to 5-2 after his singles win against UCLA’s Chris Surapol, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

The Buckeyes opened their season with a 5-0 record, the best start since the 1989 squad went 6-0. The team is perfect (7-0) at home on the 2003 season.

Ohio State shut out both Toledo and Butler, 7-0, in the home opener Jan. 22. On Jan. 26, the Buckeyes claimed a 6-1 decision over Notre Dame, giving Ohio State its first win over the Fighting Irish since 1989. Bob Bayliss, Notre Dame head coach, suffered his second loss to the Buckeyes after a 14-match winning streak against OSU. Wins over DePaul (6-1) and West Virginia (7-0) moved Ohio State’s record to 5-0.

Vince Ng, a senior from Broadview Heights, Ohio, is 10 singles wins away from setting the Ohio State record for career singles wins. Ng has a 2002-03 individual record of 26-4, suffering his two losses in preseason tournament action and recently at Alabama and Vanderbilt duals. Roger Smith (Ohio State, ’86) currently holds the record with 126 singles wins. Ng has a career singles record of 117-42 to date.

Junior Brenton Contini has a 2003 duals record of 7-0. Contini is 1-0 at the No. 4 position, 4-0 at the five, 2-0 at six and did not finish the Feb. 22 match against Virginia Commonwealth’s Daniel Casquero at the No. 5 spot. He holds an overall 2002-03 record of 10-4. Contini has a career singles record of 29-13 and holds a career duals record of 11-1.

Freshman Ross Wilson is off to a perfect start in duals with a 5-0 record. Wilson tallied three wins at the No. 6 position and posted victories at positions four and five.

The 2002-03 season is Ty Tucker’s fourth year as the men’s tennis head coach. Tucker has a career and Ohio State record of 65-20 and a 28-9 record in the Big Ten Conference.

With at least eight matches against Top 25 opponents, Tucker expects his team to be ready to compete.

“Our schedule is one of the strongest since I have been here, “Tucker said. “We are going to have to improve every month, every week and every day.”

Marc Wurtzman, a 1998 graduate of The Ohio State University, is in his first year as the OSU men’s tennis assistant coach. For the past two seasons, Wurtzman held the position of assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. Wurtzman is happy to be back at his alma mater and plans on building his resume at Ohio State.

“I have high goals and came here to better my career,” Wurtzman said. “The main reason I came here is for a chance at a Big Ten title. The team and the coaching staff really get the job done here.”

In the Feb. 26 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I national rankings, junior Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked No. 13 in singles.

Senior co-captain Vince Ng is ranked at the No. 65 singles position. The Buckeye men’s tennis team is ranked No. 20 in the country in the current (Feb. 26) ITA poll.

Vince Ng, claimed the Milwaukee Tennis Classic title Jan. 11 in Milwaukee, Wis. Ng defeated five opponents in the men’s open singles tournament (64 players). Ng claimed the coveted Big Ten Indoors title Nov. 18 in Minneapolis, Minn. Ng has an 18-2 tournament record in the 2002-03 season. He won 17-consecutive matches since his run and at the Big Ten Indoors in November and recently suffered his first two losses at Alabama and Vanderbilt.

OSU junior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman Scott Green advanced to the semifinals round in doubles action Jan. 18, at The Met/Rice University Indoor Tennis Tournament in Houston, Texas. The duo defeated Rice’s Matthias Mathaes and Robert Searle, 9-7 in the first round of 16 pairs. In quarterfinals action, Wurtzman and Green sealed a victory over Ryan Haymond and Alistair Jenkins from Texas, 8-6. The pair concluded their tournament run in the semifinals with a loss to Rice’s Richard and William Barker, 8-5.

Wurtzman, the No. 1 seed at the Rice Invite, defeated two opponents and advanced into the quarterfinals. In the first round, Wurtzman defeated Cesar Vargas of Nebraska, 6-2, 6-4. He claimed a victory in the second round of 16 players over Texas’ Roger Gubser, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. William Barker of Rice, the No. 5 seed, defeated Wurtzman, 6-2, 6-2, in quarterfinals action.

OSU junior Conor Casey and freshman Ross Wilson advanced to the quarterfinal round in doubles action. In the round of 16, the duo defeated Rice’s Tony Haerle and Cody Jackson, 8-3. Casey and Wilson ended their run with a quarterfinals loss to Texas A&M’s Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic, 8-5.

Buckeyes Casey, Green, Dennis Mertens and Wilson all suffered a loss in the first round (32-players) of singles action, Jan. 17, at the Rice Invite.

Jeremy Wurtzman, a junior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, competed in the 2002 National Intercollegiate Indoors, Nov. 7-10, in Dallas, Texas. The National Intercollegiate Indoors featured the top 32-ranked players in the country. Wurtzman, ranked No. 21 at the time, came home with a semifinals appearance where he fell to Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Dorsch went on to claim the 2002 tournament title.

In the first round of play, Wurtzman defeated Jean Simon of Texas, 7-6 (7), 6-3. In the event last year, Simon defeated Wurtzman in the round of 16. Wurtzman advanced to the second round of the National Intercollegiate Indoors where he was matched against Illinois’ Phil Stolt for the third time this season. He defeated Stolt, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (4) and placed himself into the quarterfinals. Wurtzman dominated No. 5 Alex Vlaski of Washington, 6-4, 6-4, in quarterfinals action, which advanced him to a semifinals match against Dorsch.

The men’s tennis team traveled to Madison Wis., for the ITA Midwest Regional IV Championship Oct. 24-29. Two Buckeyes advanced to the main draw of the event.

Junior Jeremy Wurtzman lost 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals to Phil Stolt of Illinois.

Wurtzman and Stolt faced-off in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the 2002 ITA All-American Tournament Oct. 11. Stolt defeated Wurtzman in round three of the main draw, 7-5, 6-3.

Wurtzman left Madison with an impressive 4-1 record.

OSU senior Vince Ng automatically qualified for the main draw of the tournament. Ng closed out his tournament action with a loss in the second round to Matt Baccaranni of Ball State 7-6 (5), 7-5.

OSU junior Brenton Contini was defeated in the first round by Johnny Berrido of Louisville, 6-4, 6-4.

The duo of Contini and Wurtzman won their first round in the doubles main draw. The OSU pair lost in round three to Thomas Haug and Avery Ticer from Minnesota, 8-6.

The men’s tennis team traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the ITA All-American Championship Oct. 4-13. Two Buckeyes advanced to the main draw of the event. Jeremy Wurtzman automatically advanced to the main draw as the No. 14 seed. He played his wayto the Final 16 and finished with a record of 2-1 following a 7-5, 6-3 loss against Big Ten foe, Phil Stolt of Illinois. Vince Ng rallied to the main draw with six victories in preliminary action. His winning streak ended in the first round of the main draw as he fell to Baylor’s Matias Marin, 6-1, 6-1.

Brenton Contini lost in the second round of the preliminary event to Mississippi’s Patrick Chucri, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4. Sophomore Kevin McLean lost to Dino Mancarella of UAB, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round and freshman Scott Green lost to Oregon’s Sven Swinnen, 6-2, 6-4.

In the second round of the doubles draw, the Buckeye duo of McLean and Ng lost to Roger Gubser and Drew Hoskins of Texas, 8-2. Contini and Green lost, 8-1, in the first round of the doubles draw to the Florida duo of Janne Holmia and Trey Johnson.

Dennis Mertens from Braaschaat, Belgium, signed the NCAA National Letter of Intent to play as a freshman for the men’s tennis team at The Ohio State University. Mertens plans to major in international business at Ohio State.

“In Belgium, you have to choose between academics and tennis,” Mertens said. “I chose Ohio State because I can focus on both my studies and tennis.”

Mertens has a career high junior world-rank of No. 135 in singles and No. 20 in doubles. He is ranked nationally in Belgium at No. 2 singles in juniors and is No. 1 doubles in juniors. Mertens has 12 singles tournament wins and nine of 11 doubles tournament wins in Belgium.

Phil Metz, a senior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, took the 2002 fall quarter off. Metz competed in national professional tennis tournaments as an amateur and returned to Ohio State to begin winter quarter and the 2002-03 season.

The professional tennis league is comprised of four levels beginning with satellites and futures, continuing up to challengers and ATP tennis (televised professional matches). Metz contended as an amateur in the futures level, matched against and defeating world-ranked tennis players.

Buckeye senior Vince Ng has been selected co-captain for the 2002-03 season.

Tucker said Ng is the hardest working student-athlete at Ohio State.

“Vince leads by example,” Tucker said. “He is on the Presidential Scholarship, he is an Academic All-American and he is on pace to set the record for career singles wins at Ohio State. How could I not select him as captain?”

Phil Metz, a senior on the Ohio State men’s tennis team, was appointed co-captain for the 2002-03 season. Tucker said he will rely upon Metz and senior co-captain Vince Ng to lead the Buckeye team to a successful 2002-03 season.

Metz, a native of Mentor, Ohio, is a three-year letter winner at Ohio State and currently holds a career record of 85-34 in singles.