Nov. 5, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Steven Moneke, of the Ohio State men’s tennis team, fell in the championship match of the 2006 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship Sunday. The tournament was held at the Racquet Club of Columbus.

Moneke (So., Alten-Busick, Germany), the 2006 ITA Midwest Regional Champion, lost to the defending champion and the No. 1-seeded Ben Kohlloeffel of UCLA by scores of 6-0, 6-4. Moneke’s record moves to 15-3 on the year as the loss ended his win streak at 10 matches.

Kohlloeffel won the first 10 sets of the matches. Moneke fought back to tie the second game at 4-all, and had a chance to take a 5-4 lead, but Kohlloeffel proved too strong for the won the next two sets to win the match and the championship.

Moneke praised his opponent after the loss and commented on his play in the ITA event.

“I didn’t have any chance to play my game,” Moneke said. “He took the ball so early and didn’t give me any time to set up my shots. I didn’t have any time to do what I wanted to do.”

“My first match was pretty good,” he added. “It gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of my matches. I just tried to win the first round and then I thought `let’s just see what happens.’ From the beginning of the tournament I felt pretty good on the courts, so coming into today I felt pretty confident. But like I said, I couldn’t play my game”

Ty Tucker, Ohio State head men’s tennis coach, was pleased with Moneke’s performance throughout the tournament.

“It was an unbelievable tournament for Steven,” Tucker said. “When the next rankings come out he will probably be in the Top 8 in the nation. He’s a hard worker. Everyday he practices as hard as he can. He has deserved everything he has received over the last few weeks. The guy has won 10 out of his last 11 matches against some of the toughest competition in the country. We look forward to Steven carrying his success over to the team season.”

Moneke hopes to use his recent success to gain momentum for the team season which begins in January.

“I had a pretty good fall,” he said. “I won the Midwest Regionals a week ago and I went to the final here so I think I’m going to get a good ranking when the next ITA rankings come out. I’m looking forward to the dual matches in January. As a team we have a good shot make a run at the NCAA’s.”

Ohio State was going for its fourth-consecutive title at the ITA National Indoor Championships. Jeremy Wurtzman started the streak when he claimed the 2003 singles title and Ross Green and Scott Wilson won back-to-back doubles titles in 2004 and 2005. Green and Wilson are the only doubles pair to win the event in back-to-back seasons. No program has ever won a title four straight years at these championships.

Championship Results
Ben Kohlloeffel (UCLA) def. Steven Moneke (OSU/15-3) 6-0, 6-4