June 5, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
Six Big Ten men's tennis teams earned postseason berths to compete in the 2009 NCAA Championships Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Wisconsin were selected to the 64-team field. In addition, eight Big Ten student-athletes were selected as singles and doubles participants in the event.
No. 13 Illinois notched a 4-0 win over Western Kentucky in the first round before defeating Louisville in the second round, 4-1. In the round of 16, The Fighting Illini dropped a hard-fought 4-3 decision to two-time defending NCAA Champion Georgia. The Orange and Blue made its 14th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships and completed the season with a 23-9 overall slate.
No. 33 Minnesota and No. 35 Michigan posted wins in the opening round of the Championships before falling one match short of the round of 16 in College Station, Texas. The Wolverines suffered a 4-1 loss to Big Ten opponent Ohio State in second-round competition while the Gophers fell to eventual tournament champion, eighth-seeded Southern California, 4-0.
Ohio State, this year's Big Ten Champion, made program history with a berth to the NCAA finals. Seeded third in this year's Championships, OSU advanced to its first-ever semifinals with sweeps over Xavier and Boise State and a pair of 4-1 victories over Michigan and sixth-seeded Baylor. The Buckeyes then surged into the title match with a 4-3 win over No. 7 UCLA. OSU fell to eighth-seed USC, 4-1, in the title matchl to finish runner-up at this year's event. The Buckeyes finished the 2009 campaign with a program-best 36 wins.
Individually, Steven Moneke etched his name in Ohio State lore as he became the first Buckeye to advance to the NCAA final in program history. Falling short of the national title, the senior tri-captain completed his collegiate career with 146 singles wins, a program best. Moneke then paired up with Justin Kronauge as the Buckeye duo played their way into the round of 16.
In the final ITA poll, Ohio State finished the season ranked second in the country, while Illinois finished the year ranked No. 12. Seven other Big Ten teams were ranked in the top 60 in Minnesota (30), Michigan (33), Wisconsin (36), Northwestern (46), Indiana (49), Penn State (54) and Iowa (60).
Nationally, 14 Big Ten student-athletes finished the season ranked in the top 125 singles list and 6 duos are ranked in the top 60 doubles.