April 14, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 30 Ohio State men’s tennis team (14-6 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) plays host to No. 64 Michigan and No. 75T Michigan State Saturday and Sunday in its home finale. Both matches are slated for a noon start at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus. In the case of inclement weather, the Buckeyes play indoors at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus.

The No. 64 Michigan squad (12-8 overall, 5-2 Big Ten) is positioned at the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten race behind No. 2 Ohio State. After the match against the Buckeyes, the Wolverines will return to Ann Arbor to face Indiana and Penn State in heir final regular season contests.

Bruce Berque, in his first season as head coach, was a member of the Illinois coaching staff for the past six years and was a volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State in 1997-98. Berque was named the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003 and has coached 17 players to NCAA All-America nominations. Senior Michael Rubin leads the Wolverine squad in singles with a 7-4 mark at the No. 1 spot. Freshman Matko Maravic, ranked No. 119 in the ITA singles poll, and sophomore Brian Hung follow at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions.

No. 75T Michigan State (12-9 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) suffered three losses in the Big Ten to Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan. Following the trip to Columbus, the Spartans will face Indiana and Penn State before the Big Ten Championship April 28-May 1 in Champaign, Ill.

Michigan State is under the direction of Gene Orlando, who is in his 14th season with the program. In 13 years Orlando posts a 168-192 overall mark and is 50-87 against conference opponents. His 2003-04 squad tallied 17 victories which tied the most a Spartan squad had posted since 1963. The team is led by seniors Andrew Formanczyk and Cameron Marshall at the Nos. 1 and 2 singles spots.

Ohio State trails both Michigan, 73-14-1, and Michigan State, 35-32, in the all-time series. Last season, the Buckeyes topped the Wolverines, 5-2, (March 28) and defeated the Spartans, 6-1, (March 27) in Columbus. In his six-year tenure Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, is undefeated with five wins against Michigan State and posts a 3-2 mark vs. Michigan.

Head coach Ty Tucker, the 2004 Midwest Region IV Coach of the Year, guided his Buckeye squad to its finest campaign in program history in 2004. He led the team to its fifth-consecutive NCAA appearance where it advanced to the quarterfinal round and finished the season 12th in the nation. Tucker is 122-38 overall and 54-14 against Big Ten opponents during his six-year tenure with the Buckeyes. Tucker is aided by assistant coaches Marc Wurtzman, in his third year, and David Schilling, in his sixth season.

The weekend matches against Michigan and Michigan State will be the final home contests for Ohio State this season. All 10 Buckeyes on the men’s tennis squad are expected to return for the 2005-06 season, including redshirts Todd Wojtkowski and Ty Schaub. The 2005-06 anticipated returnees are, seniors Scott Green, Dennis Mertens, Ross Wilson and Wojtkowski, juniors Joey Atas, Chris Klingemann and Devin Mullings, sophomores Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne and freshman Ty Schaub.

Ohio State is positioned at the No. 2 spot in the Big Ten race in front of No. 3 Michigan and behind first-place Illinois. The Buckeyes suffered their only conference loss to the Illini, while the Wolverines fell to both Illinois and Minnesota. The OSU squad will face Michigan (April 16), Michigan State (April 17), Wisconsin (April 22) and Northwestern (April 24) before the conclusion of the regular season. The Wolverines have yet to face the Buckeyes, Indiana and Penn State during the remainder of league play.

After Ohio State’s nine home wins over Butler and Xavier Jan. 28, Arkansas Feb. 11, Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 25, Iowa March 26, Minnesota March 27, Indiana April 9, Penn State April 10 and Notre Dame April 13, OSU extended its home win streak to 26 matches. Against Michigan and Michigan State, the squad will aim for its second-consecutive undefeated home season and its 28th-consecutive win in Columbus. The Buckeyes were undefeated at home in 2004 with 14 victories. The home win streak dates back to the 2003 season starting with a 5-2 win over Purdue April 6.

Ohio State edged No. 29 Notre Dame, 4-3, in non-conference action Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 14-6 overall this season, while the Fighting Irish fell to 16-7. The contest came down to the final singles match on the No. 2 court as Buckeye sophomore Devin Mullings faced off with the Irish’s Barry King. Mullings pulled through for his squad with a 7-5, 7-5 victory. The match win over Notre Dame was Ohio State’s third consecutive in the series between the two teams and was its 26th-consecutive home win in Columbus.

In the Buckeyes’ 20 contests this season, the squad is 14-6 overall with all six losses coming to Top 20 opponents. Ohio State has defeated three Top 25 teams including, Kentucky, Arkansas and Virginia Commonwealth. The Buckeyes fell to Illinois (April 3), Georgia twice (Feb. 13 and 17), Louisiana State (Feb. 19), Tulane (Feb. 5) and Washington (Feb. 6).

The Buckeyes are 13-2 in match wins after capturing the crucial doubles point and have accumulated 11 doubles sweeps this season. Ohio State fell to Tulane Feb. 5 and Georgia Feb. 18 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship after the team claimed the lone doubles point. The squad defeated Butler, Xavier, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama, Coastal Carolina, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State and Notre Dame.

Buckeye junior Scott Green was selected as the team captain for the 2005 squad by head coach Ty Tucker and his coaching staff. Green, a native of North Canton, Ohio, is in his third season with the Buckeyes, is a two-year OSU scholar-athlete and was an academic All-Big Ten selection in 2004.

“It is an honor to be named captain and to be in the same ranks like former captains Jeremy Wurtzman and Vince Ng,” Green said. “I never thought that I would get this honor especially as a junior. I just want to help the team out in any way I can, practice hard and accomplish our goals.”

The OSU tandem of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson are ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I doubles poll released April 5. Green and Wilson have held the No. 1 doubles spot since the Jan. 13 preseason poll which is the highest ranking for a Buckeye doubles pair in program history. The duo received the No. 1 spot after a stellar fall season. Green and Wilson captured back-to-back national doubles titles at the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 10 and the ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 7. They became the first doubles team to capture both the ITA All-American title and the National Indoors title in the same season since 1992-93, and are the third team to do so in NCAA history. Green and Wilson went undefeated in fall tournament action with a 9-0 record. The pair posts a 22-4 overall record this season.

Wilson and freshman Drew Eberly are ranked in the April 5 doubles poll. The OSU tandem holds the No. 23 spot with a 10-2 overall mark this season.

Sophomores Devin Mullings and Joey Atas are ranked in the April 5 ITA Division I singles poll. Mullings is ranked No. 52, while Atas follows at the No. 53 spot. Mullings posts a 22-8 overall singles mark. In the March 8 singles rankings, Atas was ranked a season high No. 35 after wins over top-ranked opponents from Virginia Commonwealth and Alabama.

Sophomore Buckeye Joey Atas was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week March 4, the first conference honor for Atas this season. The sophomore was honored after he picked up two wins to lead the Buckeyes to victories over No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth and No. 42 Alabama Feb. 25 and 27. Atas upset VCU’s 11th-ranked Arnaud Lecloerec, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 1 singles position. He clinched his second win over a ranked opponent after he topped No. 46 Luigi D’Agord of Alabama, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, at No. 1. Atas is now 25-13 overall in singles action this season.

Ohio State defeated Indiana, 6-1, and edged Penn State, 4-3, April 9-10 in Columbus. With the two wins, the Buckeyes improved to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play. The conference victory over the Nittany Lions marked OSU’s 25th-consecutive win on its home courts in Columbus.

Against Penn State, freshman Buckeye Drew Eberly, who played No. 6 singles, bounced back from a 5-3 deficit in the third set and defeated Chris Sherman in four straight games, 7-5. With the victory, Eberly clinched the match win for the Buckeyes and improved to 5-1 in singles against Big Ten opponents.

Ohio State fell to No. 2 Illinois, 5-2, April 3 in Champaign. The OSU duo of juniors Scott Green and Ross Wilson defeated the No. 9 doubles pair in the country at the No. 1 position. Green and Wilson topped Illini Ryler Deheart and GD Jones, 8-3, to win the only doubles match for the Buckeyes. In singles action, Buckeyes Devin Mullings and Wilson put Ohio State’s two points on the board. Mullings, ranked No. 72 in the ITA Division I singles poll, upset 24th-ranked Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, at the No. 3 spot, while Wilson captured his second win on the day with a 6-4, 6-3 performance over Monte Tucker. Sophomore Chris Klingemann gave a tough fight on the No. 1 court for the Buckeyes. He fell in three sets, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 10-5, to No. 27 Jones.

HAPPY 50th
Head coach Ty Tucker recorded his 50th Big Ten career win after his Buckeye squad shutout Iowa, 7-0, March 26 in Columbus. In his six-year tenure, Tucker owns a 122-38 overall mark and is 54-14 against conference opponents.

Ohio State captured its sixth shutout of the season after the squad defeated Purdue April 2 in West Lafayette. The Buckeyes have shutout Butler (Jan. 28), Xavier (Jan. 28), Virginia Commonwealth (Feb. 25), Coastal Carolina (March 21) and Iowa (March 26) in the 2005 season. While at Ohio State, head coach Ty Tucker has accumulated 45 shutouts. This mark includes 14 shutouts in 2004, 10 in 2003, seven in 2002, nine in 2001 and three in 2000.

Ohio State topped Minnesota, 4-3, in its first outdoor match this season March 27 in Columbus. After losing the doubles point, the Buckeyes retaliated in the singles portion and won four-of-six spots. Freshman Drew Eberly put Ohio State’s first point on the board after a 6-0, 6-4 performance at No. 6 and sophomore Devin Mullings shifted the momentum towards the Buckeyes after a win at the No. 2 position. Ohio State was able to break the match score and jump ahead, 3-2, after win from junior Ross Wilson at No. 4. Sophomore Chris Klingemann clinched the match win for the Buckeyes after coming back from a 6-1 first set loss.

Ohio State shutout Iowa, 7-0, March 26 in its Big Ten opener in Columbus. With the win, Ty Tucker, Ohio State head coach, recorded his 50th Big Ten career win and improved to 5-1 in conference openers. The match victory over Iowa was Ohio State’s fifth shutout this season and extended its home win streak to 22 matches.

Ohio State edged No. 40 Vanderbilt, 4-3, March 23 in Nashville, Tenn. After securing the doubles point, the Buckeyes battled the Commodores for the match win in singles action. With the match score tied at 3-all, eyes turned to the No. 2 singles spot. Sophomore Devin Mullings was able to retaliate after a 7-5 loss in the first set to Vanderbilt’s Pinsky. Mullings, ranked No. 72 in the nation, pulled through for the Buckeyes with a 6-1, 6-2 second and third set performance.

Ohio State shutout No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth Feb. 25 in Columbus. With the win, the Buckeyes picked up their first regular season shutout against a Top 25 opponent and extended their home win streak to 21 matches. Later that weekend, the squad topped Alabama, 4-3, Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa.

Ohio State wrapped up play Feb. 20 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago. The Buckeyes, the No. 13 seed of the 16-team tournament, made their first appearance in the National Team Indoor Championship since 1977, and went 1-2 in tournament play. Ohio State fell to No. 4 Georgia in first round action, picked up a 4-1 win over No. 13 Kentucky in the consolation quarterfinal round and suffered a 4-1 loss to No. 11 Louisiana State in the match that decided 9th place.

The 16-team field at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship featured top-ranked national tennis programs and included defending national champion Baylor, Big Ten foe Illinois, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia.

Ohio State split weekend action against top-ranked Southeastern Conference opponents Feb. 11-13. The Buckeyes topped Arkansas, 5-2, in Columbus and fell to No. 4 Georgia, 6-1, in Athens.

Ohio State fell to No. 17 Tulane and No. 18 Washington Feb. 4 and 5 in tournament action at the Washington Invitational in Seattle. With the 4-3 loss to the Green Wave and a 4-1 loss to the Huskies, the Buckeyes fell to 2-2 this season. The Washington Invitational featured four teams, Ohio State, Tulane, Washington and Minnesota. The shootout was structured as round robin play, with each team playing each other once. There was no match between Minnesota and Ohio State.

Ohio State opened the 2005 season at home Jan. 28 with shutouts over Butler and Xavier. With the two wins, the Buckeyes remained undefeated in home openers under sixth-year head coach Ty Tucker.

Freshmen Buckeyes Drew Eberly and Dominic Ozanne made their home debut in the Scarlet and Gray. Eberly was 2-0 in singles as he played the No. 3 position in both matches. He defeated Butler’s Andy Bartish, 7-5, 6-2, and Xavier’s Justin Yeager, 6-3, 6-0. Eberly picked up two wins in doubles action as he paired with Dennis Mertens against Butler and Ross Wilson in the Xavier match. In singles, Ozanne defeated Xavier’s Brian Quinn, 6-0, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.

Ohio State travels April 22-24 to face Wisconsin and Northwestern in its final regular season matches. The Buckeyes will take on the Badgers in Madison, Wis., and the Wildcats in Chicago, Ill., before the Big Ten Championship April 28-May 1 in Champaign, Ill. Last season, the OSU squad finished second behind Illinois in league play and placed second at the Big Ten tournament after a 4-1 loss to the Illini in the championship match.