Feb. 4, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 16-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (5-0, 0-0 B1G) travels to Madison, Wis., for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship this weekend. The Buckeyes, seeded No. 8 in the tournament, will open play vs. No. 30 Fresno State at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Each team is guaranteed at least three matches in the tournament. The winner of the matchup between the Buckeyes and Fresno State will advance to play the winner of a match between No. 1 Vanderbilt and Duke in the quarterfinals Saturday. Semifinals are set for Sunday, with the final slated for Monday. Live scoring will be available for all matches.
Joining No. 8 Ohio State as seeded teams are No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 California, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Miami. The other teams in the tournament are Fresno State, Duke, Virginia, LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Texas Tech and host Wisconsin. The seeds were determined based off an unpublished ranking conducted by the National Ranking Committee earlier in the week.
Fifteen of the teams qualified for the ITA National Team Indoors Championship by winning two matches at regional sites on ITA Kick-Off Weekend, with Wisconsin receiving a spot as the host team. This is the 29th edition of the tournament and the 25th time it has been hosted by Wisconsin.
Buckeyes Headed to ITA National Team Indoors for Second Time
This marks the Buckeyes’ second appearance in ITA National Indoors. The 2001 team was the first to be invited and was 1-2 in Madison, Wis., falling to No. 7 Pepperdine (6-1) and No. 40 Oklahoma State (5-2) before a 5-2 win over No. 8-ranked UCLA.
A Look at the Bulldogs
No. 30 Fresno State is 2-1 to start the campaign, coming off a loss vs. No. 17 Texas Tech, 4-3, Saturday. The Bulldogs, who started the year ranked 54th, topped No. 9 UCLA, 4-3, in the second round of ITA Kick-Off Weekend to earn their spot at national indoors. FSU beat No. 34 Arkansas, 4-1, in the first round of ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Los Angeles.
The Bulldogs’ lineup features a ranked singles player and a ranked doubles tandem. Sophomore Mayer Sherif Ahmed checks in at No. 26 and the duo of seniors Sophie Watts and Anneka Watts is No. 58.
Ohio State is 1-0 in the all-time series with Fresno State. The Buckeyes defeated the Bulldogs 6-1 in 2010.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes topped No. 12 Michigan Sunday in Ann Arbor, 4-2, in a matchup of the top two ranked Big Ten teams. The contest was a non-conference match, as the Buckeyes and Wolverines are not on the Big Ten schedule for a conference match this season.
In doubles, Buckeye juniors Gabriella De Santis and Ferny Angeles Paz posted the first win, 6-2, on court three. Sophomore Olivia Sneed and freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 win on court two.
In singles, Sneed won quickly to put the Buckeyes up 2-0. Michigan got on the board with a win on court two but Buckeye junior Miho Kowase responded with a 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 4 for a 3-1 Buckeye advantage. Michigan then drew within one again (3-2) after winning two sets in a tiebreaker on court three. Di Lorenzo clinched the Buckeye win with a 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory on court one. It was the Buckeyes’ first win over the Wolverines since 2003.
Di Lorenzo Named B1G Athlete of the Week
After winning in singles and doubles vs. Michigan, freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo was named the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week.
Against the Wolverines, Di Lorenzo and sophomore Olivia Sneed clinched the doubles point for the Buckeyes, winning at No. 3, 6-3, to put the Buckeyes up 1-0 heading into singles. At No. 1 singles against No. 17-ranked Ronit Yurovsky of Michigan in a battle of the top two ranked B1G singles players, No. 2-ranked Di Lorenzo rallied from a 3-0 deficit to start the first set and a deficit in the tiebreak to win the first set, 7-6 (7). She broke with Yurovsky serving at 4-5 to win the second set, 6-4, and clinch the Buckeyes’ fourth point for the team win.
Junior Ferny Angeles Paz and freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo lead the Buckeyes with 12 singles wins each on the year. Sophomores Anna Sanford and Olivia Sneed are tied with Angeles Paz with four dual match victories each.
In doubles, junior Miho Kowase and Angeles Paz are first with 13 victories. The duo of Kowase and Sanford has a team-best 11 victories overall. The tandem of Di Lorenzo and Sneed leads the team with four dual match victories.
The Buckeyes are undefeated on courts four, five and six, with a 4-0 mark on each. The squad is 3-1 on court one, 2-2 on court two and 3-2 on court three. In doubles, court three is undefeated (4-0), with courts one and two both 3-1.
The Buckeyes return home to host No. 1 ranked and NCAA defending champion Vanderbilt at noon Feb. 13 and No. 24 Georgia Tech at noon Feb. 14.
Register to be a Buckeye Kid Captain!
Youth can sign up to be a Buckeye Kid Captain and deliver the first serve of the match at a Buckeye match this season. For more information and to register, visit go.osu.edu/WTENKidCaptain.