COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 17th-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (11-3) completed its Sunday doubleheader with a 7-0 shutout win over the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans (6-2). The Buckeyes are now 6-0 in doubleheaders this season.
“California University is going to have a good season,” Ohio State head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “I was impressed and I definitely think they’re going to make a run at the Division II national championship. It was nice to get some players back on the court and for the team to continue to improve.”
The Scarlet and Gray opened the contest by taking all three doubles matches for the first time since Jan. 23 at Missouri. The top duo of Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs kicked things off with an 8-0 victory over Cal. University’s Anastassiya Zherdeva and Galina Vishnikina at the No. 1 spot. Freshmen Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele took their match against Jutta Bornefeld and Jade Pondicas, 8-2, on the third court. The win moves Steele and Manashirova into a tie with Haviland and Hubbs at the top of the team’s doubles wins column at 11.
The Buckeye tandem of Paloma Escobedo and Christina Keesey locked up the doubles sweep for the Buckeyes, defeating the Vulcan’s Alina Stanila and Nina Kowalski, 8-2, at No. 2.
Escobedo finished first for the Buckeyes, downing California University’s Anastassiya Zherdeva in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, on court two. Moments later on court six, freshman Kara Cecil put the Buckeyes up 3-0 after taking the match against Vishnikina in straight sets, 6-0 6-0.
Senior Kirsten Flower defeated Kowalski at the top position to clinch the match for the Buckeyes, 6-0, 6-1. Haviland, playing at the third position, proved victorious over last year’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West’s Freshman of the Year, winning in straight sets over Cal. University’s Stanila, 6-2, 6-1. With the win, Haviland tied her singles wins total from last season (14).
Keesey battled with Bornefeld of the Vulcans in the first set, with the match tied at 4-4 before the Buckeye pulled away to take the set 6-4. The senior then pushed the Buckeyes within one point of the team’s sixth shutout of the season, downing Bornefeld, 6-4, 6-2.
Hubbs ensured the shutout for the Scarlet and Gray, defeating Pondicas on court five. Hubbs was down 0-3 in the first set, but stormed back to tie the set at 6-6 and win the tiebreaker, 7-4. Hubbs quickly won the second set to take the match, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
With the win, the Buckeyes have bookended the month of February with shutout victories. The team opened the month with a 7-0 win at home over Kentucky.
Up next for the Buckeyes is a trip to face Big Ten foe Penn State in State College, Pa., at 3 p.m. Friday to begin conference play.
Tennis Match Results
California (Pa.) vs Ohio State
Feb 28, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
#17 Ohio State 7, California (Pa.) 0
1. #67 Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. Nina Kowalski (CALPA) 6-0, 6-1
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Anastassiya Zherdeva (CALPA) 6-0, 6-1
3. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Alina Stanila (CALPA) 6-2, 6-1
4. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Jutta Bornefeld (CALPA) 6-4, 6-2
5. Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Jade Pondicas (CALPA) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
6. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Galina Vishnikina (CALPA) 6-0, 6-0
1. Cami Hubbs/Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Anastassiya Zherdeva/Galina Vishnikina (CALPA) 8-0
2. Paloma Escobedo/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Alina Stanila/Nina Kowalski (CALPA) 8-2
3. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Jutta Bornefeld/Jade Pondicas (CALPA) 8-2
California (Pa.) 6-1
Ohio State 10-3; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,6,1,3,4,5)