April 19, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State men’s tennis team (20-1) returns home this weekend to face No. 61 Northwestern Saturday and Wisconsin Sunday in its final regular season home matches.

The Buckeyes have won eight Big Ten matches in a row, and 14 of its last 15 regular season conference matches. OSU currently sits atop the Big Ten standings with a one-game lead over Illinois. The Buckeyes beat the Illini earlier this season. Ohio State is riding an 11-match win streak.

At 20-1, Ohio State is off to its best start in program history. The Buckeyes have won 20 of their first 21 matches this season, bettering the 18-1 opening record of the 2000-01 season. The Buckeyes finished with a 25-4 record that season. OSU’s 20-1 start this year includes a nine-match win streak to start the season and its current 11-match win streak.

With two matches remaining and a one game lead over Illinois and Minnesota, OSU can clinch at least a share of the regular season Big Ten title with a win over Northwestern Saturday and can clinch the outright title with a win over Wisconsin Sunday. The title would be the Buckeyes fifth in conference history. The last title for the Buckeyes came in 2001 when OSU beat Illinois in the Big Ten tournament championship game. The championship would be Ty Tucker’s second in seven years as head coach of the Buckeys. Tucker has an overall record of 145-42 and is 67-15 in the Big Ten. DOUBLES RANKED NO. 1
The OSU tandem of seniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I doubles polls released April 18. Green and Wilson are 19-1 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.

Northwestern is 11-9 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats dropped their last decision in Big Ten play. NU lost to No. 5 Illinois 6-1, but the match was much closer than the final score indicated. Adam Schaechterle and Matt Christian beat the Illini’s doubles team of Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe, the nations No. 3 ranked doubles team. Then Christian Tempke came within a point of upsetting No. 3 Ryler DeHeart at the No. 1 singles spot.

Tempke leads the Wildcats with a 17-13 singles record on the season. Tempke is ranked No. 67 in the latest ITA poll released April 18.

The Wildcats are led by head coach Paul Torricelli, now in his 23rd year at Northwestern.

Northwestern holds the all-time lead over Ohio State 43-35. However, the Buckeyes have won six out of the last seven between the schools.

Wisconsin is 10-10 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. The three conference wins is the most since 2001. Wisconsin finished 2-8 the last four seasons.

Jeremy Sonkin leads the Badgers with a 15-5 record, and is 8-2 at home this season. Sonkin was named Co-Big Ten player of the week along with OSU’s Devin Mullings April 12.

Ohio State is riding an eight-match win streak against the Badgers. The last Wisconsin win against OSU came during the 1998-99 season in Madison by a score of 6-1.

Then-No. 8 Ohio State collected a pair of victories over Michigan State (6-1) April 15 and No. 36 Michigan (7-0) April 16 to improve to 20-1 on the year, 8-0 in the Big Ten.

OSU has had four athletes named Big Ten Player of the Week, including three in consecutive weeks.

Junior Devin Mullings was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week April 12. It is the second career award for Mullings who also received the award April 20, 2005. Mullings was the third consecutive Buckeye to named Player of the Week.

Senior Ross Wilson was named the POW April 5. It is the first weekly conference award for Wilson, who is 19-6 on the year in singles.

Junior Chris Klingemann was named the POW March 29. It was the first weekly conference award for Klingemann, who is 20-6 on the year in singles.

Freshman Steven Moneke named the BPOW for the week of March 6. It is the first weekly conference honor for Moneke, who is 14-6 on the year.

Ohio State has won the doubles point in each of its 21 dual matches this season. Ross Wilson and Scott Green have a 19-1 dual match record, all coming at the No. 1 doubles spot.

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 111 career victories. Owning a 28-3 doubles record this year, Wilson has teamed with classmate Scott Green to compile a 25-2 mark. Green has 110 career wins to rank second all-time in OSU career doubles wins. Green is 31-3 this year with Wilson (25-2) and Dominic Ozanne (6-1).

The Buckeyes have four singles players ranked in the Top 115. Bryan Koniecko is No. 38 nationally, followed by Chris Klingemann at No. 104, Devin Mullings at No. 109, and Steven Moneke at No. 111. Klingemann is 20-6, Mullings has a record of 22-9, while Koniecko is 19-11 and Moneke is 14-6 in their rookie seasons.

NO. 300
Ohio State defeated Purdue 7-0 April 1 to earn its 300th Big Ten win.

Ohio State is 305-357-2 vs. Big Ten Conference opponents. The Buckeyes have winning records against Iowa (26-21), Penn State (14-5) and Purdue (64-18).

OSU’s 20-1 season record marks the 12th time the Buckeyes have recorded at least 20 wins in a season. Head coach Ty Tucker has guided the Buckeyes to six 20-win seasons, including the current campaign. The most wins OSU ever recorded in a single season was 27 in 1988.

2001 was a notable year for the Buckeyes. OSU posted an .862 winning percentage, the best in school history. Ohio State’s record that year was 25-4. The record for consecutive victories in a season also was broken that year when the Buckeyes reeled off 17 wins in a row.

The Buckeyes head to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten Tournament April 27-30.