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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 33rd-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team capped off its “Buckeyes Go Pink” doubleheader with a 7-0 win over Cleveland State at home in the Varsity Tennis Center Sunday night. The Buckeyes were victorious in all nine matches.

“Both teams we played today have improved,” Ohio State head coach Chuck Merzbacher said of Cincinnati and Cleveland State. “They played well. Today was a good test with a lot of good sets. We were all excited to get the season started.”

In doubles, the top-ranked Buckeye tandem of Kelsey Haviland and Gabby Steele, ranked 50th in the nation, was victorious against Cleveland State’s Kara Sherwood and Alex Power, 8-2. The Ohio State duo of Paloma Escobedo and Cami Hubbs followed with a 8-4 win against Catrine Bjerrehus and Alex Bush.

Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley, playing on court three, defeated the Vikings’ Maria Lazaris and Sanda Bjelan, 8-5.

Fidan Manashirova provided the first singles victory for the Buckeye, defeating Mengdi Lu on court five, 6-2, 6-0. Next to Manashirova on court six, Hubbs also picked up a straight sets victory, downing Lazaris, 6-2, 6-0.

At the top spot, Escobedo outplayed Cleveland State’s top singles player in Bjerrehus, 6-2, 6-1, for her second straight sets victory of the day and the clinching point of the match.

On court two, Haviland, ranked No. 125 nationally, proved victorious in a 6-3, 6-3 decision against Sherwood.

Cecil battled Power to a third set on court three after dropping the second set 6-4. The sophomore Buckeye out-powered her opponent in the super tiebreaker for the win, 6-2, 4-6, 10-6. On court four, Gabby Steele guaranteed the flawless mark for Ohio State after taking her match against Bush in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

The Buckeyes downed the Cincinnati Bearcats, 7-0, earlier in the day for the first win of the 2011 season. The Sunday doubleheader was a part of “Buckeyes Go Pink,” a fundraiser for the Stefanie Spielman Fund. The event drew more than 370 fans to the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.

With the win, Ohio State improves to 15-1 in opening-day doubleheaders under head coach Merzbacher. Last season the Buckeyes swept Xavier and Cleveland State in their opening day doubleheader by a combined score of 14-0.

The Buckeyes are back in action Jan. 30-31 in Knoxville, Tenn., for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Ohio State will face host Tennessee Jan. 30 before facing either SMU or Mississippi State Jan. 31.

Tennis Match Results
Cleveland State vs Ohio State
Jan 23, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)

#33 Ohio State 7, Cleveland State 0

Singles competition
1. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Catrine Bjerrehus (CSU) 6-2, 6-1
2. #125 Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Kara Sherwood (CSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Alex Power (CSU) 6-2, 4-6, 10-6
4. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Alexandra Bush (CSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Mengdi Lu (CSU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Maria Lazaris (CSU) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #64 Paloma Escobedo/Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Catrine Bjerrehus/Alexandra Bush (CSU) 8-4
2. #50 Kelsey Haviland/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Kara Sherwood/Alex Power (CSU) 8-2
3. Kara Cecil/Noelle Malley (OSU) def. Maria Lazaris/Sanda Bjelan (CSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Cleveland State 1-1
Ohio State 2-0; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,6,1,2,3,4)
T-2:49 A-128