Jan. 27, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (2-0, 0-0 B1G) returns to action Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center for ITA Kick-off Weekend. The Buckeyes will face Florida State (1-0) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the first round, with Alabama (3-1) taking on Harvard (0-2) in the other first round matchup.
The first-round winners will meet at noon Sunday in the championship match, with the winner earning a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 10-13 in New Haven, Conn. The consolation match will be at 4 p.m. Sunday.
All matches are scheduled to be played indoors at the Varsity Tennis Center (880 West Henderson Road) in Columbus. Admission is free to all matches. Ohio State is also hosting men’s matches for ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Friday, Ohio State will face Utah at 10 a.m., followed by a match between Denver and Old Dominion at 2 p.m. The championship match will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday, with the consolation at 9 a.m. Sunday.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend
This is the seventh time Ohio State will compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend (previously known as the ITA National Indoor Qualifier). Winners from the 16 regional sites earn a spot in the ITA Team Indoor Championships. This is the first year the Buckeyes are hosting one of the regional sites.
Ohio State competed in the event last year, traveling to Fort Worth, Texas. The Buckeyes beat No. 19 Pepperdine in the first round and topped TCU in the championship match to secure a spot in the ITA Team Indoor Championships for the second time in program history.
In 2014, the Buckeyes traveled to Coral Gables, Fla. The Buckeyes lost to No. 9 Miami in the first round and fell to South Florida in the consolation match. In 2012, the Buckeyes fell to host Florida State and Texas A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. The 2011 squad traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., where it fell to the host Volunteers and then dropped a close match to SMU in the consolation.
In 2010 the Buckeyes headed to Fresno, Calif., where they upset Fresno State in the first round before falling to Florida State on day two. The 2009 team traveled to Durham, N.C., topping South Carolina, 4-3, on day one before falling to No. 9 Duke on day two.
Last Time Out – Ohio State Shuts Out Bowling Green and Wright State
The Buckeyes started off their spring slate by posting shutout victories in both matches of their doubleheader last Friday. After claiming the doubles point vs. Bowling Green, Ohio State claimed all six singles wins to sweep Bowling Green. The Scarlet and Gray kept their momentum through the day, topping Wright State, 7-0. The Buckeyes won all their singles matches in straight sets to secure the second Ohio State shutout of the day.
Francesca Di Lorenzo picked up four wins – two singles and two doubles – to lead the way in the doubleheader. Miho Kowase, Sandy Niehaus and Anna Sanford each posted two doubles and one singles victory, while Gabriella De Santis and Ferny Angeles Paz were 2-0 in singles and had a doubles win. Olivia Sneed and Andrea Ballinger each were victorious in singles.
The wins extended the Buckeyes’ program record home winning streak to 17 matches.
On Florida State
Florida State opened its spring slate with a 5-2 win over Columbia. The Seminoles, who were 14-13 last year, return four players and welcome five freshmen to the squad.
The Buckeyes are 0-6 all-time against the Seminoles. In the last two meetings, Ohio State was topped 5-2 by Florida State Jan. 28, 2012, and fell to the Seminoles on the road 6-1 Jan. 31, 2010.
The Crimson Tide, who were 5-18 last year, are 3-1 to start the spring season with their lone loss against Washington 4-3. Alabama has one ranked doubles tandem and two ranked singles players. The pair of sophomore Andie Daniell and senior Erin Routliffe is ranked No. 43, while Routliffe and senior Danielle Spielmann check in at No. 86 and No. 109, respectively.
The Buckeyes are 0-3 all-time vs. the Crimson Tide. Ohio State fell to 4-0 against Alabama in their last meeting May 10, 2002.
Harvard, 12-11 a season ago, opened its spring season with a pair of losses on the road against No. 25 Northwestern and DePaul. The squad has one ranked singles player, freshman Alexis Milunovich, who is tied for No. 111.
Ohio State is 1-1 all-time vs. Harvard. The Buckeyes topped Harvard in their last meeting 4-2 on the road May 13, 2004, in the NCAA Tournament.
In the Rankings
In the first Oracle/ITA rankings of 2017, Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo was ranked first after being third in the fall rankings. Junior Anna Sanford checked in at No. 41, jumping 27 spots from her fall rank of No. 68. Senior Miho Kowase and junior Olivia Sneed were No. 59 and No. 88, respectively. In doubles, the tandem of Kowase and Sanford was slotted at No. 42.
The third set of team rankings was released Wednesday, with Ohio State remaining seventh. The Buckeyes are ranked the highest among the Big Ten programs, with No. 14 Michigan joining them in the Top 15.
The Buckeyes will travel to Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 5 to take on No. 9 Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. The teams met twice last season, with Ohio State posting wins at ITA National Indoors and in Columbus.