Feb. 8, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 28 (ITA results Feb. 5) Ohio State men’s tennis team took its first loss of the 2003 season, after a 5-2 decision against the No. 1-ranked UCLA Bruins Friday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Buckeyes fall to 5-1 on the 2003 season.

“We thought that we had a chance to beat the No. 1 team in country,” Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, said. “You do not get candy for a loss, though our guys did play a tough match against UCLA.”

UCLA claimed the No. 2 doubles position and the Buckeyes rallied to pull out a win at the No. 3 position. Brenton Contini (Jr., Dover, Ohio) and Vince Ng (Sr., Broadview Heights, Ohio) won 8-6 over UCLA’s Rodrigo Gilli and Chris Surapol. The Ohio State duo of Scott Green (Fr., North Canton, Ohio) and Jeremy Wurtzman (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) almost helped claim the doubles point off of UCLA’s No. 39 Tobias Clemens and Lassi Ketola, though they fell, 8-5.

In singles action, UCLA went ahead 2-0 following Conor Casey’s (Jr., Ontario, Canada) 6-2, 6-0 loss to UCLA’s Lassi Ketola at the No. 4 spot. Dennis Mertens (Fr., Braaschaat Belgium) lost to give the Bruins their third consecutive point to No. 38 Erfan Djahangiri, 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 3 position. No. 45 Ng came back for the Buckeyes and posted a 7-6 (4), 6-2, victory at the No. 2 singles position over UCLA’s Rodrigo Grilli.

No. 7 Wurtzman nearly claimed a three-set match in a tiebreaker against UCLA’s No. 12 Tobias Clemens. Wurtzman fell, 6-0, 7-6 (4) giving UCLA the win. Contini cut the deficit for the Bucks to 5-2 after a victory over UCLA’s Chris Surapol, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

“It is not going to get any easier this weekend,” Tucker said. “We have a strong road schedule against Alabama and Vanderbilt.”

The Buckeye squad is back in action on the road this weekend. Ohio State travels Friday for a 6 p.m. match against No. 18 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Sunday the team heads to Nashville, Tenn., to take on the No. 25-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores.

#1 UCLA 5 #28 Ohio State 2

Singles- 1) #12 Tobias Clemens (UCLA) def. #7 Jeremy Wurtzman 6-0, 7-6 (4) 2) #45 Vince Ng (OSU) def. Rodrigo Grilli 7-6 (4), 6-2 3) #38 Erfan Djahangiri (UCLA) def. Dennis Mertens 6-2, 6-1 4) #40 Chris Lam (UCLA) def. Kevin McLean 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 5) Lassi Ketola (UCLA) def. Conor Casey 6-2, 6-0 6) Brenton Contini (OSU) def. Chris Surapol 6-3, 2-6, 6-1

Doubles- 1) #39 Clemens/Ketola (UCLA) def. Green/Wurtzman 8-5 2) Djahangiri/Francis (UCLA) def. Casey/Mertens 8-4 3) Contini/Ng (OSU) def. Grilli/Surapol 8-6