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Junior alternate captain Kelsey Kaviland is blogging from the Buckeyes’ trip to Ann Arbor for the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. Follow along with the team below. Sophomore Fidan Manashirova was “awarded” blogging responsibilities for a day following the Buckeyes’ win against Wisconsin Friday.

 

Friday

Whatʼs up Buckeyes!? I regret to inform all of you eager readers that Kelsey Haviland is not writing the blog today and I’ll be filling in for her…but just this once so I hope nobody is too bitter about it because she’ll be back in no time. I’d like to start off by saying how pumped up the whole team is about our win against Wisconsin today…it was proof of the saying, “it ainʼt over `till it’s over.” But Iʼll get to that later. We started off our day pretty early with a five-star breakfast (in my opinion), the omelet man was a big hit and everyone got their fuel in for what we didn’t know would be in store for us later… a 5-hour battle. When we got to the tennis facility, there were men with blowers trying to dry off the wet courts in time for a 10 a.m. ball drop, however, both Coach Merzbacher and the Badger coach agreed to duke it out indoors. We set up camp and after a couple of trips to and from the restroom and a heavy Pedialyte drinking session, we got the warm up going.

The doubles point was filled with drama as the score was tied 1-1 and it was down to me and Gabby Steele to close it out. Sadly, we didn’t deliver today and the Bucks were down 1-0 before starting off singles. The singles started off a little shaky and we were down 3-0 before things really started to turn around. I earned a win on court five and found myself sweating profusely (maybe even more so than I had been during my match) watching the rest of the matches. Kelsey Haviland had split sets and separated herself in the third to take down her girl to make the overall score 3-2. Paloma Escobedo made an impressive comeback from a set down to win six games in a row and took the third set to even our score, 3-3. Following Palomaʼs match, Cami was taking care of business on court six and was up a 5-0 lead in her third set and closed it out to give us the W.

In the words of Coach Merzbacher, today was a day where our team showed we can play and win with our B and C games, and thatʼs what Buckeye Nation is all about. After the match, everybody was starving as usual, but an unexpected, randomly selected, drug test was dished out to one of us, which increased everyone’s hunger and decreased patience. We finally made our way to Macaroni Grill and ordered 17 loaves of bread, along with appetizers and entrees, before leaving the waiters dazed and confused. The team takes on “That School Up North” tomorrow at 10 a.m. It is expected to be outdoors so plenty of ZzZʼs and more Pedialyte is crucial. Hope to see everybody follow along with live stats.

HERE WE GO SCARLET!

 

Thursday

With dual-match season behind us, the team has had one focus in mind during practice this week: preparing for the Big Ten championship. The weather was not on our side the last few days with unending rain and thunderstorms. Going into the tournament we were named the fourth seed, resulting in a first-round bye. So today we decided to stay in Columbus and practice on our outdoor courts with the sun shining for the first time in four days. We hit the courts at Stickney Tennis Center at 11 a.m. and practiced for an hour and a half. Afterward, the girls headed to the Varsity Tennis Center to meet our bus and begin loading our luggage. We had a full crew with us as we traveled to Ann Arbor today. Our head coach’s daughter, Caitlin, is joining us for the tournament along with our trainer, Greg, and our favorite sports information guy, Brian.

To our delight, lunch was waiting for us on the bus along with snacks and drinks. Before the bus driver even pulled out of the VTC, we put in the Disney movie Tangled. As for me, I immediately headed for the back of the bus with my pillow to catch up on sleep. A short drive later, we arrived at our hotel in Ann Arbor around 4 p.m. As we approached the front desk we were warmly greeted with hospitality and fruit baskets. With time on our side, we retreated to our hotel rooms to rest and get ready for the Big Ten banquet at 7 p.m.

We met in the hotel lobby around 6:30 p.m. to head over to Michigan Stadium. With everyone looking their best, we took lots of pictures before dinner and the ceremony. After the buffet-style dinner, the ceremony began with speakers and awards. Fidan Manashirova walked away with a much-deserved Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State and I was named Second Team All-Big Ten. After the ceremony, we headed back to the hotel to get an early sleep and to prepare for the Wisconsin Badgers tomorrow. We take them on at 10 a.m. tomorrow with live scoring at www.mgoblue.com. Until then… Go Bucks!