COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the championship match of the 2010 ITA Division I Men’s Kick-Off Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s team defeated No. 35 Tulsa, 7-0, Sunday at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. With the victory, the Buckeyes are headed to the field of 16 at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 12-15 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

The Buckeyes’ advancement to the tournament marks the fourth-consecutive year they have earned a spot at the event.

Ohio State has now won a school-record 93-consecutive home matches dating back to the 2003 season. Under 11th-year head coach Ty Tucker, the Buckeyes are 2-1 against teams from Conference USA. It was the first meeting between Ohio State and Tulsa.

Junior Balazs Novak helped lead the Buckeyes to victory after finishing first with wins in both matches in singles and doubles.

“It was a tough match and I was happy I could get it done first for my team,” Novak said. “I think if the team gets fired up we can be successful in the National Team Indoors. I think Dino and I have a good vibe between each other and I think that showed today in doubles.”

The Buckeyes began the match by claiming a competitive doubles point. At No. 3, freshman Dino Marcan and Novak defeated Rusty Turpin and Grant Ive, 8-4. The Buckeye duo is now perfect on the season, going 6-0 overall.

Juniors Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa followed with an 8-6 comeback win against Alastair Barnes and Marko Ballok at No. 2. The Ohio State pair broke serve on the last game to improve to 4-3 overall.

At No. 1, the decision would come from a tiebreaker. Senior co-captain Justin Kronauge and sophomore Chase Buchanan won 8-7 (7-5) over Ashley Watling and Philip Stephens to give the Buckeyes a perfect 3-0 record in doubles competition. Ohio State has won the doubles point in each of its first four matches of the year.

In singles, Novak cruised to a straight set 6-3, 6-3 victory against Ive at No. 5. With the win, the native of Budapest, Hungary, became the first Buckeye to reach the 10-win mark for the 2010 season. He is now 10-3. Following Novak’s solid performance was Allare at court No. 6, who won 7-6, 6-2 against Tristan Jackson after winning a first-set tiebreaker, 7-5. Allare improved to 5-2 this season, claiming his 60th career win as a Buckeye.

At No. 1, Buchanan sealed the invitation for his team, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 against Stephens. He is now 3-0 at the top of the singles lineup. Kronauge added another key win to his impressive stats after defeating No. 21 Watling 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 at No. 2. Kronauge is 4-0 at the second singles position this year.

Uzawa, who is thirty-fourth in the ITA national rankings, completed the shutout after dropping his first set against Ballok. Uzawa won 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (13-11) in a third-set super tiebreaker at No. 4. The native of Chiba, Japan, now has 10 wins in singles, tying Novak for the team-high.

The Buckeyes return to action next weekend, welcoming No. 17 Pepperdine at 5 p.m. Feb. 5 and No. 28 North Carolina at noon Feb. 7 at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.

2010 ITA Division I Men’s Kick-Off Weekend

Championship Match

No. 3 Ohio State 7, No. 35 Tulsa 0
The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center
Jan. 31, 2010, 12:30 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio

1. No. 103 Chase Buchanan (OSU) def. Philip Stephens (TLS) – 6-4, 6-4
2. Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. No. 21 Ashley Watling (TLS) -7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. Dino Marcan (OSU) def. Alastair Barnes (TLS) – 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. No. 34 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Marko Ballok (TLS) – 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (13-11)
5. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Grant Ive (TLS) – 6-3, 6-3
6. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Tristan Jackson (TLS) – 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 3, 2, 4

1. Chase Buchanan/Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Ashley Watling/Philip Stephens (TLS) – 8-7 (7-5)
2. Matt Allare/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Alastair Barnes/Marko Ballok (TLS) – 8-6
3. Dino Marcan/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Rusty Turpin/Grant Ive (TLS) – 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

Match Notes:
Tulsa 6-2; National ranking #35
Ohio State 4-0; National ranking #3
2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Official: Vince Solomon, T-3:30

No. 30 Notre Dame Defeats No. 51 New Mexico, 4-1, in Consolation Match

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 30 Notre Dame downed No. 51 New Mexico, 4-1, Sunday in the consolation match of the 2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend at The Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center. The Fighting Irish won the doubles point to begin the morning session and finished with three single wins before play ended.

At No. 1 doubles, Casey Watt and Tyler Davis defeated Phil Anderson and Carl Ho to claim an early 1-0 advantage against the Lobos. In singles, No. 18 Watt cruised pass Ho at No. 1 in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, to give the Fighting Irish their third victory of the 2010 season.

2010 ITA Division I Men’s Kick-Off Weekend
Consolation Match

University of New Mexico vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 31, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(Varsity Tennis Center)

#30 Notre Dame 4, #51 University of New Mexico 1

Singles competition
1. #18 Casey Watt (ND) def. Carl Ho (NM) 7-5, 6-2
2. #93 Stephen Havens (ND) def. Jadon Phillips (NM) 6-4, 6-2
3. #74 Blas Moros (ND) vs. Ben Dunbar (NM) 6-7 (7-9), 3-4, unfinished
4. Phil Anderson (NM) def. Michael Moore (ND) 6-0, 6-1
5. David Anderson (ND) def. Joe Wood (NM) 6-0, 6-4
6. Samuel Keeton (ND) vs. Conor Berg (NM) 6-4, 3-6, 4-2, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Tyler Davis/Casey Watt (ND) def. Phil Anderson/Carl Ho (NM) 8-6
2. Stephen Havens/Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Ben Dunbar/Jadon Phillips (NM) 8-6
3. Spencer Talmadge/David Anderson (ND) def. Joe Wood/Conor Berg (NM) 8-5

Match Notes:
University of New Mexico 1-2; National ranking #51
Notre Dame 3-2; National ranking #30
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,2,5,1)
2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Official: Vince Solomon  T-3:00