COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 73rd-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (10-7, 3-0 Big Ten) hosts 18th-ranked Northwestern (9-5, 2-0 Big Ten) at 2:30 p.m. Friday. Because of favorable weather conditions, the match will be played outdoors in the Stickney Tennis Center.
Following the Buckeyes’ match against Northwestern, the team will head north on its first Big Ten road trip to face Michigan and Michigan State. The Buckeyes meet the Wolverines at noon April 9 and the Spartans at 11 a.m. April 10.
The Scarlet and Gray then return home for their last home tilts when they host Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Buckeyes face the Badgers at 3 p.m. April 15 and the Gophers at 11 a.m. April 17.
OHIO STATE IN THE BOOKS
10-7: 2011 season record
3-0: 2011 Big Ten record
8-1: 2011 home record
2-7: 2011 record vs. ranked teams
5-31: all-time vs. Northwestern
In 2011 THE BUCKEYES ARE…
8-1 when winning the doubles point
3-0 when winning the doubles point in Big Ten matches
7-2 in doubles matches against Big Ten opponents
6-1 when winning No. 1 doubles
7-1 when winning No. 1 singles
7-0 when winning No. 3 singles
PREVIEWING THE WILDCATS
Senior Maria Mosolova leads the No. 18-ranked Wildcats in singles. The 16th-ranked singles player, Mosolova has posted a 10-0 record at No. 1 this season, including wins over four nationally-ranked opponents. She is joined in the national rankings by teammates Brittany Wowchuk (50th), Belinda Niu (74th) and Kate Turvy (92nd).
Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton, NU’s top doubles duo, enters the match with a No. 7 national ranking. The tandem leads the team in doubles wins with 10.
Ohio State is 5-31 all-time against Northwestern. The last victory for the Buckeyes against the Wildcats came in a 4-3 decision at home April 13, 2003.
TOP OF THE CHARTS
Sophomore Fidan Manashirova leads the Buckeyes in singles wins this season with 20, followed by classmates Gabby Steele and Kara Cecil, who have each racked up 17 victories. The doubles tandem of Cecil and Noelle Malley holds the team lead in doubles victories with 13.
GETTING IT DONE
With wins against Iowa and Illinois March 25 and 27, the 2011 Buckeyes became the first Ohio State squad to defeat both teams in the regular season since 2002. That version of the Scarlet and Gray downed both teams at home, 5-2.
LEAVING A MARK
With 71 career singles victories, Cami Hubbs is ninth in the Ohio State record book. Her 78 career doubles victories put her in 12th place. Paloma Escobedo, Hubbs’ doubles partner most of this year, has recorded 77 career doubles wins, good for 13th all-time. Escobedo’s 65 singles victories tie her with Ann Beaudoin (1979-81) for 15th.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Buckeyes not only hold a 8-1 home record this season, but the team has also notched three shutouts while playing inside the OSU Varsity Tennis Center. OSU has won those six matches by a combined score of 49-7.
Ohio State opened the season with consecutive 7-0 victories against Cincinnati and Cleveland State Jan. 23 before whitewashing William & Mary at home Feb. 13.
The only home loss of the season came March 20 to South Florida in a 6-1 decision.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
The Buckeyes have accumulated a 35-11 (.761) record at the No. 4-6 singles positions this season, including a 14-1 ledger at No. 6. Twelve of the 14 victories at No. 6 have come in straight sets for the Buckeyes.
Gabby Steele is 9-1 at No. 4 this season while Fidan Manashirova is 6-1 at No. 5. Manashirova, Cami Hubbs, Tiffany Dittmer and Noelle Malley have combined to post a 14-1 record at No. 6. Dittmer scored the first dual-match victory of her collegiate career March 20 against South Florida’s Kate Parker. Malley notched her first dual-match victory March 25 against Cassandra Escobar of Iowa in Ohio State’s 6-1 win.
LEADING THE WAY
Ohio State women’s tennis seniors Paloma Escobedo and Cami Hubbs were named captains of the 2011 team, head coach Chuck Merzbacher announced. Along with the two seniors, junior Kelsey Haviland will join the group as an assistant captain.
“All three have been leaders throughout their careers and are committed to taking our program to even higher heights,” Merzbacher said. “They all represent the university, athletics department and team on and off the court with class and sportsmanship. It is going to be a successful year because of their love of Ohio State and our program.”
LIKE ALL GOOD THINGS…
Fidan Manashirova pushed her win streak to 14 consecutive matches before dropping a 6-1, 6-0 decision to Oklahoma’s Marie-Pier Huet Feb. 27. Her streak was the longest since at least the 2007-08 season for any Buckeye in singles.
The streak began with a victory against Boston University’s Petra Santini at the Big Green Invite Nov. 5, 2010, and included wins against opponents from 13 schools, including teammate Kelsey Becker. Eleven of the 14 victories came in straight sets.
With 20 singles victories this season, the Elk Grove, Calif., native has passed her mark of 19 victories as a freshman last year. Manashirova opened her 19-win rookie campaign on a seven-match win streak.