COLUMBUS, Ohio – As one of 15 schools hosting the 2010 ITA Division I Men’s Kick-Off Weekend, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated No. 51 New Mexico, 7-0, Saturday in the opening round of the national indoor qualifier at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The Buckeyes will now face the winner of the Tulsa/Notre Dame match at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in the championship.

The national indoor qualifier champion will be invited to compete in the field of 16 at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

Ohio State has now won a school-record 92-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2003 season. Under head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) are 40-2 (.952) when ranked No. 3.

Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge led the Buckeyes to victory, winning two matches in singles and doubles to continue his rise in the record books. With the doubles win, Kronauge needs one victory to become the sixth Buckeye in school history to hit the 100-win mark. In singles, the 2008 ITA All-American defeated Jadon Phillips in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. Kronauge is now in sole possession of fifth place on the all-time career singles wins list with 117 victories, passing former Buckeye Devin Mullings (2003-07).

“It was a good test for us today and New Mexico is a good team,” Kronauge said. “Tomorrow will be another challenge for us and we are looking for people to step up. We are excited to advance and to have a chance to play in the National Indoors.”

In doubles, Ohio State won two of three matches to claim the first point of the weekend. Kronauge and Buchanan were the first to finish at No. 1, winning 8-2 against Phil Anderson and Carl Ho. The Buckeye duo broke serve after the fifth game and never looked back. The pair improves to 5-3 overall.

At No. 3 doubles, an international tandem of Buckeyes claimed the doubles point. Junior Balazs Novak, a native of Budapest, Hungary, and freshman Dino Marcan, a native of Rijeka, Croatia, cruised to an 8-4 win against Joe Wood and Conor Berg. Marcan and Novak are now a perfect 5-0 on the year.

Juniors Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa dropped a tight match against Jadon Phillips and Ben Dunbar. The Buckeye pair lost 8-7 (6) at No. 2, surrendering its first loss in dual play of the season.

In singles, Novak followed Kronauge with a straight-set win of his own. Novak defeated Anderson 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 to improve to 9-3 overall. Novak has now collected 70 career singles wins, which is the second most career wins by an active member of the team. At No. 3, Uzawa, a native of Chiba, Japan, had no problems against Dunbar, winning 6-2, 6-2. Uzawa is 3-0 in dual action this year.

At the top of the lineup, Buchanan moved to 6-3 overall on the year following a 6-1, 6-3 performance against Ho. He is 2-0 this season at the top singles position. Moving down the lineup, sophomore Devin McCarthy made is third-career start for the Buckeyes. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native defeated Berg 6-3, 6-3, and is now an impressive 8-2 overall in his second year.

Allare rounded out play for Ohio State at No. 6 against Joe Wood in the longest match of the dual. After winning the first set, 6-1, and dropping the second, 7-6, Allare fought hard to win his fourth match of the year with a 6-4 third-set victory.

Check for live stats and updates for both the consolation and championship matches on Play will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Admission is free.

2010 ITA Division I Men’s Kick-Off Weekend

No. 3 Ohio State 7, No. 51 New Mexico 0
The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center
Jan. 30, 2010, 10 a.m.
Columbus, Ohio

1. No. 103 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. Carl Ho (NM) 6-1, 6-3
2. Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Jadon Phillips (NM) 6-3, 6-4
3. No. 34 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Ben Dunbar (NM) 6-2, 6-2
4. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Phil Anderson (NM) 6-2, 6-1
5. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Joe Wood (NM) 6-1, 6-7, 6-4
6. Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Conor Berg (NM) 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 3, 1, 6, 5

1. Chase Buchanan/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Phil Anderson/Carl Ho (NM) 8-2
2. Jadon Phillips/Ben Dunbar (NM) def. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 8-7 (6-3)
3. Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Joe Wood/Conor Berg (NM) 8-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

Match Notes:
University of New Mexico 1-1; National ranking #51
Ohio State 3-0; National ranking #3
2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Official: Vince Solomon, T-3:00 

No. 35 Tulsa upsets No. 30 Notre Dame, 4-3
Tulsa will play Ohio State in the championship match at 12:30 Sunday

, Ohio In the second match of the day, No. 35 Tulsa upset No. 30 Notre Dame in a 4-3 match that lasted more than four hours. Tulsa moves to 6-1 on the season, while Notre Dame falls to an even 2-2.

The score was even, 3-3, with court No. 3 deciding the outcome of the match. No. 95 Daniel Stahl and Alastair Barneswent to three sets, while both teams looked on. Barnes served for the match and won 3-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-4 against Stahl to advance his team to the championship match.

In doubles, Notre Dame won at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, to win the first point. At No. 2, Stephen Havens and Niall Fitzgerald won, 8-4, against Barnes and Marko Ballok, while David Anderson and Stahl won, 8-5, over Rusty Turpin and Grant Ive at No. 2. Tulsa failed to win the doubles point after Ashley Watling and Philip Stephens defeated Tyler Davis and Casey Watt, 8-4, to begin the match.

Tulsa will play Ohio State at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in the championship match at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. The winner will be invited to the field of 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 12-15 in Charlottesville, Va. Live stats and updates will be available at Admission is free.

#35 Tulsa 4, #30 Notre Dame 3

1. #18 Casey Watt (ND) def. Philip Stephens (TLS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. #21 Ashley Watling (TLS) def. #93 Stephen Havens (ND) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Alastair Barnes (TLS) def. #95 Daniel Stahl (ND) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
4. Marko Ballok (TLS) def. Niall Fitzgerald (ND) 6-0, 6-4
5. #74 Blas Moros (ND) def. Grant Ive (TLS) 6-2, 6-0
6. Tristan Jackson (TLS) def. Michael Moore (ND) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

1. Ashley Watling/Philip Stephens (TLS) def. Tyler Davis/Casey Watt (ND) 8-4
2. Stephen Havens/Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Alastair Barnes/Marko Ballok (TLS) 8-4
3. David Anderson/Daniel Stahl (ND) def. Rusty Turpin/Grant Ive (TLS) 8-5

Match Notes:
Tulsa 6-1; National ranking #35
Notre Dame 2-2; National ranking #30
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,1,6,2,3)
2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Official: Vince Solomon  T-4:00