Ohio State Sweeps Wisconsin, Advances to Championship Final
April 28, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Top-seeded Ohio State continued its dominant defense of the Big Ten Championship crown with a 4-0 win over fourth-seeded Wisconsin in Saturday's semifinal round. The Buckeyes, who have not dropped a set so far in the event, advance to the final match for the fourth consecutive year.
The third-ranked Buckeyes (26-1) swept the doubles point behind solid wins from their Nos. 2 and 3 teams. After the No. 3 squad of Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke finished off the Badgers' Jeremy Sonkin and Michael Muskievicz, 8-5, the Buckeyes' 31st-ranked duo of Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge clinched the team point in the third match.
The Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Kronauge kicked things off in the singles competition for the Buckeyes, dropping only two games in a quick win over Lachezar Kasarov. Senior Chris Klingemann finished off Felipe Bellido, 6-0, 6-3, in the No. 5 match to stretch the Buckeyes' lead to 3-0.
Ohio State found itself in a favorable position with both Steven Moneke and Drew Eberly in match-point positions in their respective matches.
The seventh-ranked Moneke led Nolan Polley in the No. 2 singles match when Eberly took advantage of his second match-clinching opportunity to seal a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Wisconsin's Gian Hodgson. The win sealed the dual for the Buckeyes while the 40th-ranked Badgers fell to 15-10 overall.
Ohio State has not lost a Big Ten match since it lost to Illinois 4-2 in the 2005 Big Ten Tournament Championship. The 2007 Buckeyes claimed the No. 1 overall seed after winning the regular season for the second consecutive season, and have achieved the highest regular season winning-percentage and most-wins marks in program history at 24-1 and 96 percent.
They await the winner of the Illinois-Michigan semifinal underway now at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The championship final kicks off at noon ET on Sunday.