Third-Seeded UCLA Falls to No. 2 Ohio State, 4-1 at ITA Indoors
Feb. 19, 2007
CHICAGO - Second-seeded Ohio State beat No. 3 UCLA 4-2 in Sunday'ssemifinals at the USTA/ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships atthe Midtown Tennis Club.
Ohio State will be making its first appearance in the Team Indoor finalSunday at noon against No. 1 Georgia. Tomorrow will mark the first timethe top two seeds have played for the title since 1996 when No. 2 UCLAbeat No. 1 Stanford.
'This is a huge win for Ohio State,' Buckeye coach Ty Tucker said. 'Thisteam has worked as hard as any team in the country over the past year andthey really deserve this. I know that being the number two seed we'resupposed to reach the final, but we've never been this far before and younever know how a team will react when they get this far.'
UCLA won the doubles point tonight, but Ohio State rebounded in singles.Justin Kronauge's come-from-behind win over Philipp Gruendler at No. 5singles pushed Ohio State's lead to 3-2. From there Devin Mullingsclinched the victory at No. 3, out-lasting Chris Surapol 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Steven Moneke and Chris Klingemann also provided wins for the Ohio State.Ben Kohlloeffel provided UCLA's lone win in singles.
'We started out a little flat in doubles, but we knew we had a chance insingles,' Tucker said. 'Coming in we thought we might have a tough timepulling out number one and five singles against Kohlloeffel andGruendler. So when Kronauge came back (to beat Gruendler) that gave ourteam a lot of energy knowing we weren't going to have to go through thepressure of being down 3-1 or 3-2. That was huge for us.'
UCLA falls to 10-5 in Team Indoor semifinal matches. This was theBuckeyes first semifinal appearance. OSU is the third Big 10 school toreach this final, joining five-time finalist Illinois and Michigan, whichmade its lone appearance in 1975.
Defending Team Indoor champ Georgia beat Virginia 4-2 in today's othersemifinal. Georgia leads the all-time series against OSU; the lastmeeting was in 2005.