Top-Ranked Buckeyes Too Much For Huskies

Jan. 25, 2009

SEATTLE - The 34th-ranked Husky men's tennis team fought valiantly but was unable to come away with the win as No. 1-ranked Ohio State defeated UW, 6-1, today at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Huskies (3-1) picked up a point from junior Derek Drabble, who upset the nation's 77th-ranked singles player at the No. 5 position.

The Huskies hung tough in a very intense doubles point, but the Buckeyes held on in the end. At No. 2 doubles, senior Patrik Fischer and Drabble held a 6-4 lead, but OSU's Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke grabbed the momentum and took the final four games to win, 8-6. At No. 3 doubles, sophomore Alex Rosinski and Tobi Obenaus fought back from an early 4-1 deficit to get back on serve, but Balazs Novak and Shuhei Uzawa won a couple long deuce games and pulled away for an 8-4 win that clinched the point.

The No. 1 doubles match saw Husky sophomore Martin Kildahl and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan fight back from 4-7 down to level their match with Justin Kronauge and Matt Allare at 7-7. With OSU already having clinched the point, the teams played a tiebreak two games early, and the OSU players ran off the final three points to win, 7-5.

'At first doubles it seemed like it was pretty even the whole way. We were up in the breaker and certainly had a chance to win there. And being up a break, 6-4, there at second doubles, you don't want to lose four games in a row like we did,' said head coach Matt Anger. 'But that shows where they're making the extra ball each point, each game, which comes from the experience that they have, and we need to be doing that ourselves. If we're making the extra ball when we're up, then obviously we're going to be doing okay.'

Ohio State had simply too much firepower at a few positions, as they boast five ranked singles players, and three in the top-10. At No. 3 singles, Kildahl hung in with the sixth-ranked Kronauge through the first set, but Kronauge broke to win the set, 6-4, and then took the second set, 6-0. 38th-ranked Novak topped senior David Chu, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles, and OSU clinched the win with Allare's 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 6 over senior Ryo Sekiguchi.

Drabble put the Huskies on the scoreboard with his win over Uzawa. Leading 5-4 in the first set, Drabble broke Uzawa's serve to get the win. They stayed on serve throughout the second set, until Drabble broke for a 5-3 lead and served for the match. The game didn't got quite as planned for the Husky, as Uzawa broke back at love, but Drabble responded in kind, and broke once again to finish a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Facing two of the top singles players in the nation in the top two spots, Fischer and Nedunchezhiyan each had moments of stellar play but the experience of the Buckeyes held up when it mattered most. Fischer went against Koniecko, the nation's current No. 1 player, at the top singles match. Down a set, Fischer went on a run in the second set, and took a 5-3 lead to serve for the set. Koniecko, however, was able to break back, and saved three set points in the next game on his serve to level the set at 5-5. Koniecko then carried the momentum to another break and served out the match. At No. 2 singles, Nedunchezhiyan faced third-ranked Moneke, and grabbed the first set, 6-3. Moneke won the second set by the same score, and with the match already clinched, the two played a super-tiebreak in place of a full third set. Nedunchezhiyan got off to a 3-1 lead, but Moneke reeled off eight points in a row and eventually won, 10-5.

'We're going to get our opportunities. I think we're better and more solid than we were last year, so we're going to get our chances, we've got to be there to take advantage of them,' said Anger.

The Huskies will now head out on the road for the first time to one of the most difficult environments in college tennis. UW will be in Athens, Georgia next weekend for the qualifying rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Huskies are part of a four-team bracket hosted by second-ranked Georgia, the winner of which will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor finals in Chicago. First up for Washington will be 44th-ranked Indiana on Friday, Jan. 30, followed by either Georgia or No. 52 South Carolina on Saturday.

Washington Men's Tennis
January 25, 2009 - Nordstrom Tennis Center
No. 1 Ohio State 6, No. 34 Washington 1

Doubles
1) Kronauge/Allare (OSU) def. Kildahl/Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 8-7 (5)
2) Koniecko/Moneke (OSU) def. Drabble/Fischer (UW), 8-6
3) Novak/Uzawa (OSU) def. Tobi Obenaus/Alex Rosinski (UW), 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

Singles
1) (1) Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. Patrik Fischer (UW), 6-1, 7-5
2) (3) Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 3-6, 6-3, (10-5)
3) (6) Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Martin Kildahl (UW), 6-4, 6-0
4) (38) Balazs Novak (OSU) def. David Chu (UW), 6-0, 6-0
5) Derek Drabble (UW) def. (77) Shuhei Uzawa (OSU), 6-4, 6-4
6) Matt Allare (OSU) def. Ryo Sekiguchi (UW), 6-1, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 3, 6, 1, 5, 2

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