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MTN: 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis National Championship Match Results: #8 USC 4, #3 Ohio State 1

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NCAA Division I Tennis Championships
Men's National Championship Match
May 19, 2009
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station Texas
(Attendance: 1,224)

#8 USC 4, #3 Ohio State 1

RECORDS: USC 25-5; Ohio State 36-2

1. (#8) Robert Farah, USC def. (#3) Bryan Koniecko, OSU, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
2. (#9) Steven Moneke, OSU vs. (#53) Steve Johnson, USC, DNF
3. (#25) Justin Kronauge, OSU def. (81) Jaak Poldma, USC, 7-6 (1), 6-4
4. (#106) Abdullah Magdas, USC def. (#113) Matt Allare, OSU, 6-2, 6-3
5. (#74) Balazs Novak, OSU vs. Matt Kecki, USC, DNF
6. Daniel Nguyen, USC def. Chase Buchanan, OSU, 6-0, 6-2

1. (#4) Farah/Johnson, USC def. Kronauge/Allare, OSU, 8-3
2. Shuhei Uzawa/Koniecko, OSU def. (#59) Magdas/Nguyen, USC, 8-4
3. Kecki/Poldma, USC def. Buchanan/Moneke, OSU, 9-7

ORDER OF FINISH: Doubles: 1, 2, 3; Singles: 4, 6, 3, 1

NOTES: With the victory, USC wins its 17th overall national championship in men's tennis...USC's last championship was in 2002 in College Station...USC's 17 national titles ties Stanford for the most national championships and it also is the first time since 1997 that USC has shared the title lead (Stanford won its 15th that year)...Ohio State was making its first-ever national championship match appearance...OSU's previous best-NCAA finish was a quarterfinal appearance in 2008...Men's NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team: No. 1 Doubles: Robert Farah/Steve Johnson, USC; No. 2 Doubles: Amit Inbar/Holden Seguso, UCLA; No. 3 Doubles: Matt Kecki/Jaak Poldma, USC; No. 1 Singles: Robert Farah, USC; No. 2 singles: Steven Moneke, Ohio State; No. 3 singles: Justin Kronauge, Ohio State; No. 4 singles: Holden Seguso, UCLA; No. 5 singles: Michael Look, UCLA; No. 6 singles: Daniel Nguyen, USC.

Southern California Head Coach Peter Smith: "I am in shock. It started in the semis. I didn't even think we could beat Texas. Then when we did, I thought, 'we can never beat Ohio State.' Then late last night, I realized that we could beat these guys. I don't really believe it right now. I thought all season long that Ohio State was the team to beat. It is great for us to win it this time around. I knew we had the better doubles team and knew we had to win the doubles point to win the match. We really needed it to believe we had a shot at this. It was nice to have it with limited drama. I had faith in all my guys to do what they needed to do. It is great to have Robert (Farah). He has become such a championship player. I am glad to be their coach, to be able to teach them to teach others. This season has just been a great experience for us. It hasn't all been easy. We have had our issues, but we were able to overcome them to get to this point. To start three freshmen and win the NCAAs is just a great achievement."

USC junior Robert Farah: (On playing OSUís Bryan Koniecko) "He is a good player. He really makes you work off of the serve. Then after I was down a little bit, I started focusing on my serve and that really helped me out. I sat down when it was 5-4 and just tried to take as much time as I could to concentrate. I think one of the hardest things in this sport is to just sit down and take control of the moment and gather yourself to compete at your best. I was just glad to be able to close the match. I have done it a couple of times, and I am getting better at competing in that situation."

Ohio State Head Coach Ty Tucker: "It was a tough day for us. I feel bad for our seniors as they played their last match for us. They really meant a lot to this program, and we wouldn't be where we are without them. These guys put it all on the line, and left nothing out there, so I feel bad for them. This is a physical sport. Every team gets banged up after three matches in a row. USC beat us fair and square, and we lost. We put our six guys out on the court and just didn't get it done. We have bangs and bruises, but we have band-aids to keep on playing. That is what we have to do. We had about 20-25 minutes of bad play, but we started to right the ship. It just wasnít in time. We tried to show people our talent instead of just winning the point. When you show off, it comes back to bite you. This was a long season. We laughed, yelled, played cards, and really had a great time together. We are 71-4 in the last two years. The Big Ten is hard to win in. My guys stepped up day in and day out and didn't take anybody for granted. They really take their craft seriously."

OSU senior Bryan Koniecko: "I knew I was going to have to hang with Robert (Farah) because he is a front runner. I just wasn't able to take advantage of some opportunities that he gave me. He served it well the last two games, and I just didn't hang with it. He played a great match."


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