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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17 Ohio State women’s tennis team (10-3) won the first of its doubleheader matches Sunday over Oregon (5-7) 4-1 at home in the OSU Varsity Tennis Center in front of the biggest crowd this season.

“That was a war,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said. “I was very impressed with Oregon and the way they competed. This was their third match in three days and they still fought hard.”

The Buckeyes took the early lead following the doubles matches. On court two, Paloma Escobedo and Christina Keesey played a dominating match against Oregon’s Julia Metzger and Sabine Fuchs, winning 8-1. The freshman duo of Gabby Steele and Fidan Manashirova clinched the doubles point after downing Patricia Skowronski and Emannuelle Cor, 8-3. The win was number 10 for the Buckeye twosome, joining Cami Hubbs and Kelsey Haviland in double-digit victories. Play on the first court was suspended after the Buckeyes clinched the doubles point.

Haviland was the first off the court in singles for Ohio State, quickly defeating Skowronski in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, at the fourth position. Down 2-0, Oregon narrowed the margin to 2-1 after Pavlina Smatova won in straight sets over Keesey, 6-2, 6-4. On court six, Manashirova quickly won the first set against Sabine Fuchs, 6-3. The second set was a back-and-forth battle between the two players, with the score winding up 6-all and heading to a tiebreaker. Manashirova came out on top, winning 7-4 in the tiebreaker to move the Buckeyes one point closer to victory.

No. 67 Kirsten Flower provided the clinching point for the Scarlet and Gray on court one. The senior from Upper Arlington, Ohio, engaged in an emotional in-state battle against 96th-ranked Metzger, hailing from Perrysburg, Ohio. With a large crowd cheering for both sides, Flower quickly took the first set 6-2 before forcing the second set into a tiebreaker after being down 0-4. The tiebreaker was much of the same for the two netters, tied at 6 before Flower earned the victory with a final score of 8-6.

The matches on courts two and five were left unfinished after Flower’s clinching match. On court two, Escobedo faced off against Trudie du Toit and on court five Steele was competing with Oregon’s Cor. Both matches were in the third set before suspension.

The Buckeyes move on to face California University of Pennsylvania at 6 p.m. Sunday in the second half of the doubleheader at home in the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.

Tennis Match Results
Oregon vs Ohio State
Feb 28, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)

#17 Ohio State 4, Oregon 1

 Singles competition
1. #67 Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. #96 Julia Metzger (ORE) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) vs. Trudie du Toit (ORE) 5-7, 6-4, 0-1, unfinished
3. Pavlina Smatova (ORE) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Patricia Skowronski (ORE) 6-4, 6-3
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) vs. Emannuelle Cor (ORE) 6-3, 2-6, 1-2, unfinished
6. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Sabine Fuchs (ORE) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)

 Doubles competition
1. Kelsey Haviland/Cami Hubbs (OSU) vs. Pavlina Smatova/Trudie du Toit (ORE) 4-5, unfinished
2. Paloma Escobedo/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Julia Metzger/Sabine Fuchs (ORE) 8-1
3. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Patricia Skowronski/Emannuelle Cor (ORE) 8-3

Match Notes:
Oregon 5-6
Ohio State 9-3; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,3,6,1)
T-3:12  A-182