April 6, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State men’s tennis team (16-1) takes to the road this weekend to face No. 66 Indiana Friday and No. 47 Penn State Sunday.

The match against the Hooisers will be the first match since the Buckeyes dissposed of No. 5 Illinois (5-2) April 2. The Illini loss was their first regular season conference loss since the 1997 season. The streak lasted 86 matches and included eight regular season Big Ten titles. Their only loss to a conference opponent during that streak was to Ohio State in the 2001 Big Ten Tournament Title Match. The recent Ohio State win vs. the Illini moved the Buckeyes to No. 4 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, released April 4. Also with the win, the Buckeyes claimed sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

At 16-1, Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2000-01 season. The Buckeyes won 17 of their first 18 matches during that campaign and finished with a 25-4 record. OSU’s 16-1 start this year includes a nine match win streak to start the season.

The Buckeyes’ No. 4 ranking is the highest reached by the program in school history. The previous high was No. 6, a spot OSU attained in the March 21 rankings this year.

The Buckeyes own wins vs. eight Top 50 teams this year. The lone loss was a 5-2 setback at No. 15 Notre Dame. Wins this year have come against No. 5 Illinois (5-2), No. 17 VCU (4-2), No. 19 LSU (6-1), No. 20 Kentucky (4-3), No. 24 Florida State (4-1), No. 33 Tennessee (5-2), No. 46 Minnesota (5-2) and No. 44 Oklahoma (6-1). The Buckeyes also own a victory vs. No. 56 Virginia Tech (6-1).

Indiana is 13-7 on the year and 2-3 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers had an eight-match win streak snapped over the weekend with a 4-3 loss to Northwestern. Indiana posted wins over North Florida, Colgate, South Florida, Army, Central Florida, Vincennes, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Indiana is led by Dmytro Ishtuganov. Ishtuganov is 18-12 overall and is 11-8 at the No. 1 singles spot. David Bubenicek has a dual match record 12-6, with six wins coming at No. 2 singles.

Ishtuganov teams with Dara McLoughlin to form the team’s No. 1 doubles tandem. The pair is 10-7 at No. 1 doubles.

The Hoosiers are led head coach Ken Hidinger, who has coached at the school for the last 21 years.

Indiana holds a 39-37 all-time record vs. Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes have a five-match win streak against the Hoosiers. The last Indiana victory over Ohio State came in the 1999-00 season.

Penn State has a record of 13-2 and 3-2 in the Big Ten. They are led by their only ranked singles player, Mark Barry. Barry made his debut into the ITA singles poll this week at No. 110. Barry has a record of 10-2 this spring and has posted victories over No. 51 Christian Tempke of Northwestern and No. 85 Arvid Puranen of Virginia Tech. Barry combines with freshman Adam Slagter to form the No. 78 doubles team in the country. The pair is 12-2 this season.

Ohio State holds the all-time lead over Penn State 13-5. The Buckeyes have won the last seven meetings. The last PSU victory against Ohio State came during the 1998-99 campaign.

Then-No. 6 Ohio State opened home Big Ten play with a pair of victories over Purdue (7-0) and No. 5 Illinois (5-2) April 1 and 2, respectively.

Senior Ross Wilson was named the Big Ten Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week April 5. It is the first weekly conference award for Wilson, who is 17-5 on the year in singles. He is the second-consecutive Buckeye to claim the weekly award and the third overall this season.

Wilson won both his singles matches last weekend. The first came April 1 against Purdue’s Jarred Leibner 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Wilson then beat Illinois’ Marc Spicijaric 6-3, 6-3 to help the Buckeyes down the No. 5-ranked Illini Sunday.

Wilson teamed with classmate Scott Green to win two matches at No. 1 doubles as well. Green and Wilson are currently ranked as the No. 2 doubles team in the country. The duo is 21-2 on the year and 15-1 in dual competition. Green and Wilson beat Eric Hodgman and Kelubia Mabatah of Purdue, 8-0. The pair then disposed of Illinois’ No. 25 tandem of Ryler DeHeart and Ruben Gonzalez (8-3) Sunday.

Junior Chris Klingemann was named the Big Ten Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week March 29. It was the first weekly conference award for Klingemann, who is 17-5 on the year in singles.

Klingemann piloted the Buckeyes’ shutout over Iowa March 24 with a three-set victory against Bart Van Monsjou. He followed that performance with an upset win over Minnesota’s 60th-ranked D.J. Geatz in three sets to clinch OSU’s second-consecutive league win March 26 in Minneapolis.

In doubles competition, Klingemann teamed with Devin Mullings at No. 3 doubles against the Hawkeyes to beat Christian Bierich and Aaron Schaechterle, 8-4. The OSU tandem moved up to No. 2 doubles against the Gophers and took care of Minnesota’s Adrien Debreyne and Raoul Schwark, 8-3.

Freshman Steven Moneke was named the Big Ten Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week March 6. It is the first weekly conference honor for Moneke, who is 13-6 on the year.

Moneke recorded the match-clinching victory for the Buckeyes at Florida State March 4 when he defeated Chris Westerhof, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 4 singles.

Ohio State has won 38-consecutive home matches. The streak extends back to the 2003 season.

Ross Wilson earned his 102nd doubles win Feb. 26 to become the Buckeyes’ all-time career leader. Wilson now has 107 career victories. Owning a 24-3 doubles record this year, Wilson has teamed with classmate Scott Green to compile a 21-2 mark. Green has 106 career wins to rank second all-time in OSU career doubles wins. Green is 24-3 this year with Wilson (19-2) and Dominic Ozanne (5-1).

The OSU tandem of seniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 2 in the ITA Division I doubles polls released April 4. Green and Wilson are 15-1 in dual matches this season. The duo posted a fall tournament record of 6-1. Green and Wilson became only the third doubles team in NCAA history to win three national championships. The Buckeye combination claimed the 2004 Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships and both the 2004 and 2005 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The back-to-back indoor titles are a first in the 27-year history of the event.

The Buckeyes have three singles players ranked in the Top 85. Bryan Koniecko is No. 49 nationally, followed by Chris Klingemann at No. 76 and Devin Mullings at No. 83. Klingemann has won five-consecutive matches at the No. 1 singles spot to give him a record of 17-5. Mullings has a record of 18-9 while Koniecko is 16-10 in his rookie season.

Ohio State is 301-357-2 vs. Big Ten Conference opponents. The Buckeyes have winning records against Iowa (26-21), Penn State (13-5) and Purdue (64-18).

The Buckeyes travel to Michigan State April 15 before taking on Michigan April 16. The Buckeyes next home match is against Northwestern April 22.