February 21, 2018

No. 14 Buckeyes Face Penn State, No. 22 Arizona State This Week

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Feb. 21, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 14-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (3-1) returns to action this week with two matches. Thursday, the squad travels for its Big Ten opener, taking on Penn State at 5 p.m. in University Park, Pa. Sunday, the Buckeyes will face No. 22 Arizona State at noon in the Varsity Tennis Center (880 West Henderson Road) in Columbus.

The match Sunday is Kids Day. There will be free pizza for kids and a youth racquet and tennis ball giveaway. Admission to all regular season home matches in the VTC is free.

Live scoring: Penn State | vs. Arizona State

The Buckeyes This Spring
Ohio State is 3-1 on the year, with wins over Kansas, Kentucky and Notre Dame. Senior Anna Sanford and freshman Shiori Fukuda lead the team with three dual match wins each, while senior Olivia Sneed and sophomore Danielle Wolf each have two victories.

Fukuda and Sanford have posted a doubles win in all four Buckeye matches this season, while the duo of freshman Emma DeCoste and Wolf is 3-1.

Ohio State has won the doubles point in all four matches.

Heading into this week’s matches at Penn State Thursday and vs. Arizona State Sunday, @Coachschaubosu talked about the Buckeyes and the matchups. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/UmIwMxuHYN

— Ohio State W Tennis (@OhioState_WTEN) February 21, 2018

Buckeyes in the Rankings
The ITA released its new rankings Tuesday, with the first computerized national team rankings. As a team, Ohio State is No. 14.

Big Ten teams joining Ohio State in the Top 50 are No. 5 Illinois, No. 21 Michigan, No. 24 Northwestern, No. 24 Nebraska and No. 50 Michigan State.

In the newest singles rankings, redshirt freshman Shiori Fukuda is No. 64 and senior Olivia Sneed is No. 72. Fukuda and senior Anna Sanford are the 15th-ranked doubles team, with Fukuda and classmate Maria Tyrina No. 44 and the tandem of Sanford and Sneed No. 50.

In the USTA poll released Wednesday, the Buckeyes are No. 18.

The Buckeye Opponents
Penn State
• Penn State is 4-3 on the year. The squad last played Sunday, falling to Pitt, 5-2. The team is 3-2 at home on the year, with wins over Towson, Temple and Marshall and losses to Columbia and James Madison.
• Thursday is also Penn State’s first Big Ten match of the year.
• Last season, Penn State was 6-15 and 3-8 in Big Ten play.
• The Buckeyes are 31-17 all-time vs. Penn State, including a 7-0 win in Columbus a season ago.
Arizona State
• Arizona State enters this weekend 5-1 and will play at Kentucky Friday before traveling to Columbus for Sunday’s match. The Sun Devils competed in ITA Kick-Off Weekend, falling at Oklahoma State and beating TCU. The squad also has wins over Northern Arizona, UNLV, Gonzaga and Santa Clara.
• Two Sun Devils are ranked – Lauryn John-Baptiste is No. 84 and Savannah Slaysman is No. 107. In doubles, the tandem of Slaysman and Tereza Kolarovva is ranked 27th and the duo of Kelley Anderson and Nicole Fossa Huergo is No. 46.
• The Buckeyes and Sun Devils have been in three team tournaments together this year – the Tennessee Fall Invitational and ASU Thunderbird in the fall and at the Michigan Invitational in January.
• Last season Arizona State was 14-8 and reached the NCAA Tournament, falling to Florida State in the first round, 4-2.
• The Buckeyes and Sun Devils last met in a dual match March 5, 2017, a 4-0 Buckeye win in Tempe. Ohio State is 3-1 all-time vs. the Sun Devils.

Last Time Out
Ohio State last played two weeks ago, downing Kentucky, 4-1, Feb. 1 and Notre Dame, 6-1, Feb. 4 in Columbus.

Against the Wildcats, the Buckeyes won the doubles point. Senior Anna Sanford and redshirt sophomore Danielle Wolf extended the Ohio State lead to 3-0. The Wildcats won the next match for a 3-1 match. The final three matches on court were all in a third set. Buckeye freshman Mary Beth Hurley clinched the Ohio State win, posting a 6-1 win in the third set.

In the match vs. the Irish, Ohio State again won the doubles point and Sanford made it a 2-0 lead. Shirori Fukuda and Olivia Sneed posted wins to clinch the team victory. Emma DeCoste and Wolf both won in super tiebreakers for the 6-1 final.

That’s a First
Buckeye redshirt freshman Shiori Fukuda notched her first dual match singles win with a straight set victory vs. Kansas Jan. 26.

Freshman Mary Beth Hurley won in three sets against Kentucky Feb. 1 to clinch the match and post her first dual match win for the Scarlet and Gray. After two unfinished matches that were suspended in the third set to start the spring, redshirt sophomore Danielle Wolf posted her first dual match victory in the Scarlet and Gray with a straight set win vs. Kentucky.

Freshman Emma DeCoste, who joined the Buckeyes prior to spring semester, picked up her first dual match win against Notre Dame Feb. 4, rallying from a set down and winning in a match tiebreaker.

Looking Ahead
Ohio State will hit the road for its next matches, traveling to Baylor March 2 and Texas March 4 before returning home for a Big Ten match vs. Nebraska at  1 p.m. March 7. The team will then host Dayton at noon and Bowling Green at 5 p.m. March 13.