May 20, 2004
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s tennis team (25-4 overall, 11-2 Big Ten) opens play in the 2004 NCAA Round of 16 Men’s Tennis Team Tournament at 9 a.m. CDT (10 a.m. EDT) Saturday against Virginia (24-3). The Buckeyes and Cavaliers travel to the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., for the start of the tournament. The winners of the OSU vs. Virginia match and the Baylor vs. Rice battle will square off in quarterfinal action at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Buckeyes’ first practice will take place from 9:30-11 a.m. Friday.
OSU MAKES SECOND STRAIGHT SWEET 16 APPEARANCE
Ohio State upset No. 15 North Carolina, 4-3, in second round action at the 2004 NCAA Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C. With the win, the Buckeyes will make their second-consecutive NCAA Round of 16 appearance. Last season, Ohio State defeated Kentucky, 4-3, to advance to the Sweet 16. In first round action at the 2004 NCAA Championships, the squad shut out South Carolina, 4-0.
NCAA EVENT BECOMING A REGULAR STOP FOR BUCKEYES
Ohio State received word May 5 it had made the NCAA men’s tennis team tournament for the fifth-consecutive season while watching the nationally-televised selection show on ESPNews. Head coach Ty Tucker, who has guided the Buckeyes to all five postseason NCAA events in school history, and his squad knew they would make the 64-team field. The only question was the starting locale. With Chapel Hill, N.C., as the backdrop, the Buckeyes shutout South Carolina, 4-0, in first round action and upset their host No. 15 North Carolina, 4-3, to advance to the Round of 16. OHIO STATE NCAA HISTORY
Tucker’s first team in Columbus in 1999-00 also marked the beginning of Ohio State’s current string of NCAA team tournament appearances. The Buckeyes defeated Boise State in round one (4-3) before falling to Texas (4-1). Another first round victory came in 2001 vs. VCU (4-3) with Tennessee taking down the Buckeyes 4-1 in the second-round match. Vanderbilt, who finished second in the 2003 NCAA Championships, won a hard-fought 4-3 match in round one of the 2002 Tournament. Ohio State’s best showing, since this season, was last year when the Buckeyes made the Round of 16 following a 4-0 win over Arkansas and a 4-3 victory vs. Kentucky. California prevailed 4-0 in the Round of 16 to end the Buckeyes’ run a year ago.
BUCKEYES IN NCAA TOURNAMENT
W, 4-3 vs. Boise State- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Texas- Second Round
W, 4-3 vs. Va. Commonwealth- First Round
L, 1-4 vs. Tennessee- Second Round
L, 3-4 vs. Vanderbilt- First Round
W, 4-0 vs. Arkansas- First Round
W, 4-3 vs. Kentucky- Second Round
L, 0-4 vs. California- Round of 16
W, 4-0 vs. South Carolina- First Round
W, 4-3 vs. North Carolina- Second Round
BUCKEYES VS. THE 2004 NCAA FIELD
The Buckeyes played in 10 matches during the regular season against eight teams that made the 2004 NCAA field. Ohio State played one stretch of five-consecutive matches and six of seven overall vs. NCAA squads from Feb. 1-Feb. 28. The streak began with a loss to Georgia followed by wins over Clemson, Vanderbilt and Alabama. VCU downed the Buckeyes before a win over Notre Dame. Ohio State has faced 44 of the 2004 64-team NCAA field at one time or another in the history of men’s tennis at OSU. The Buckeyes are 112-216-2 all time vs. teams in the 2004 NCAA field.
PROBABLE OSU NCAA LINEUP Doubles Rcd. No. 1 Jeremy Wurtzman/Joey Atas 25-6 No. 2 Scott Green/Ross Wilson 26-14 No. 3 Brenton Contini/D. Mertens 13-10
Singles: Rcd No. 1 Jeremy Wurtzman 39-3 No. 2 Joey Atas 25-9 No. 3 Chris Klingemann 15-8 No. 4 Devin Mullings 23-5 No. 5 Ross Wilson 21-10 No. 6 Dennis Mertens 31-8
Virginia (24-3) advanced to its first-ever national championship appearance after the Cavaliers defeated American, 4-0, and Mississippi State, 4-2, to earn a berth into the Sweet 16. Ranked No. 10 by the ITA after winning its first ACC championship with a 4-3 victory over Clemson, Virginia is making its sixth NCAA appearance and its first since 2001. Sophomore Doug Stewart was selected for the 2004 NCAA Singles Championship and the tandem of Nick Meythaler and Rylan Rizza were selected in the 32-team doubles field. The Cavaliers are at the helm of third-year head coach Brian Boland.
Baylor (28-2), ranked No. 2 nationally and the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will participate in its seventh straight NCAA tournament and its third straight Round of 16 appearance. The Bears are led by second-ranked Benedikt Dorsch, No. 15 Benjamin Becker, No. 98 Matias Marin, No. 113 Matija Zgaga, and No. 119 Ivor Lovrak. Becker leads the team in singles wins with a 35-9 record while Dorsch follows with a 31-6 mark and Zgaga checks in at 30-6. The Bears are at the helm of head coach and Director of Tennis Operations Matt Knoll.
Rice (24-3) shut out Lousiana State, 4-0, to advance to its first Round of 16 appearance since the NCAA initiated the dual-match, single-elimination team championship in 1977. In first round action, the Owls defeated South Alabama, 4-1. The Owls are under the direction of seventh-year head coach Ron Smarr. The squad is led by the No. 1-ranked doubles tandem of Richard and William Barker. Robert Searle and William Barker received bids to the 2004 NCAA Singles Championship.
Ty Tucker was named the 2004 Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, the regional committee announced May 17. Senior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman Joey Atas also were honored. Wurtzman was selected as the 2004 Midwest Region IV Senior Player of the Year and Atas was named the 2004 Midwest Region IV Rookie of the Year.
OHIO STATE AT THE BIG TEN TOURNEY
At the 2004 Big Ten Championship, Ohio State received the No. 2 seed and a first round bye. The Buckeyes then beat Wisconsin and Minnesota by 4-0 scores before falling to No. 1 Illinois 4-1. Jeremy Wurtzman, ranked No. 3 nationally, avenged an early season loss to No. 1 Brian Wilson at No. 1 singles in the title match, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
SECOND IN BIG TEN REGULAR SEASON
The Buckeyes finished the 2004 regular season second in Big Ten play with a 9-1 mark. Their only conference loss was a 4-3 decision at Illinois April 11. Ohio State had three shutouts against Big Ten opponents Purdue, Wisconsin and Iowa. Overall, the Buckeyes concluded the regular season with a 21-3 record.
HOME SWEET HOME
Ohio State closed its home schedule with a shutout over Wisconsin April 18. The Buckeyes remained undefeated at home with 14 victories in the 2004 season. The squad extended its home win streak to 17 matches. The streak dates back to the 2003 season after a 5-2 win over Purdue April 6.
Ohio State captured its 14th shutout of the season as the squad defeated South Carolina May 15 at the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes swept Xavier, Cleveland State, DePaul, Toledo, Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina, Purdue, Indiana State, Youngstown State, Wisconsin and Iowa in 2004 duals action before sweeps of Wisconsin and Minnesota in the league tournament and South Carolina in first round NCAA action.
4-4 AGAINST TOP 25
Ohio State is 4-4 against Top 25 opponents in the 2004 season. The Buckeyes upset No. 8 Vanderbilt, 4-3, and defeated No. 17 Alabama, 6-1, and No. 24 Clemson, 6-1. The squad then upset No. 15 North Carolina in second round action at the NCAA tourney. The four losses came at No. 1 Illinois, 4-3 and 4-1, No. 21 Georgia, 5-2, and No. 12 Virginia Commonwealth, 5-2.
HIGHEST TEAM RANKING
The Buckeyes received the No. 11 ranking in the ITA Division I team poll released March 16. Currently, Ohio State is ranked No. 17 (May 3 computer polls). The No. 11 ranking was the squad’s highest ranking in program history.
OSU LEADS IN DOUBLES POINT
The Buckeyes have claimed the doubles point in 24-of-29 matches this season. Ohio State is 22-2 in matches after capturing the doubles point. Their losses after securing the doubles point were a 5-2 decision at Georgia and a 4-3 loss at Illinois.
FIRST TOP 10 WIN
Head coach Ty Tucker and the Buckeye squad secured their first Top 10 win after they upset No. 8 Vanderbilt 4-3 Feb. 13 in Columbus, Ohio. That marked the first Top 10 win for the program since Tucker’s arrival in the 2000 season.
TUCKER CLAIMS 100TH
Ty Tucker captured his 100th career win in five years at the helm of the Buckeye program after the squad downed Northwestern, 5-2, April 16. Tucker holds a 107-31 overall record and is 49-13 in Big Ten play.
WURTZMAN NO. 3
Buckeye senior Jeremy Wurtzman is ranked No. 3 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I singles polls May 3. Illinois’ Brian Wilson is positioned at No. 1 and Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch holds the No. 2 spot. Wurtzman, who beat Wilson most recently at the Big Ten tournament, is 25-2 in duals while playing 27 matches at the No. 1 position. He held the No. 1 spot in the individual rankings from Jan. 13 to Feb. 24 and fell to the No. 2 spot from Feb. 24 to March 23. He was then ranked No. 1 from March 23 through April 20. Wurtzman posts a 129-43 career singles record, including 105 wins in three years as a Buckeye. His 105 victories at Ohio State place him at the No. 6 spot in the program’s record book.
ATAS RECEIVES VOTES
Freshman Joey Atas received the No. 50 spot in the ITA singles rankings Feb. 24. He became the first Buckeye freshman to receive a singles ranking in program history. Atas is 20-6 in duals action this season and has 14 wins at the No. 2 position. He defeated two ranked opponents including No. 27 Matthew Lockin of Vanderbilt and No. 31 Nathan Thompson of Clemson. Atas is not ranked in the latest May 3 individual polls.
CONTINI MOVES TO NO. 5
Senior co-captain Brenton Contini shares the No. 3 spot in all-time career doubles wins at Ohio State with 78. He is tied with former Buckeyes Roger Smith (1983-86) and Derek DeFalco (1997-01). Contini has posted a 78-35 doubles mark in four years at Ohio State. Stephen Miguel (1987-90) holds the record at OSU with 85 wins.
DOUBLES TEAM NO. 25
The Ohio State tandem of Jeremy Wurtzman and Joey Atas are 25-6 this season and hold the No. 25 spot in the ITA Division I doubles rankings (May 3). Wurtzman and Atas have 17 wins while playing the No. 1 doubles position for the Buckeyes and are 12-1 against Big Ten opponents.