May 18, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team is in Athens, Ga., for the NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes, 30-2 on the year and the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will face No. 13 seed South Carolina (20-8, 8-5 SEC) in the Round of 16 at noon Friday. The winner of that match will take on the winner of a match between No. 11 Auburn and No. 6 Texas Tech at noon Sunday in the quarterfinals. The semifinals will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, with the final set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The NCAA team, singles and doubles championships are being held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Live scoring and video is available for each match through Georgia’s Tournament Central site.
Ohio State in the NCAA Tourney
• Ohio State reached the Round of 16 for the second straight year after shutting out Buffalo and Notre Dame at home last weekend in the first and second rounds.
• This is the second year in a row Ohio State is a Top 16 seed and hosted first and second round matches. The squad was the No. 4 seed a season ago.
• Last season, the Buckeyes advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time after defeating Youngstown State (4-0) and UCLA (4-1) in Columbus. The squad then downed Georgia Tech (4-2) in the Round of 16 before falling to Oklahoma State, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
• Ohio State is 8-13 all-time in NCAA matches. The squad is making the 14th appearance in program history and the fourth in a row. It is the longest stretch since the team went six straight years from 1999-04.
• The Buckeyes will be represented in the team, singles and doubles championships for the second straight year and fourth time in program history (1999, ‘00, ‘01, ‘16). Francesca Di Lorenzo is the No. 1 seed in the singles championship and she and Miho Kowase earned an at-large spot in the doubles tournament.
• Ohio State is 30-2 this spring, with its losses to NCAA No. 1 seed Florida and No. 2 seed North Carolina at neutral sites.
• The Buckeyes enter the NCAA Round of 16 on a 16-match winning streak and with shutouts in 12 of their last 13 matches. The squad has a record 22 shutouts this year.
• The squad won its second straight Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. The Buckeyes were 11-0 in conference play, outscoring opponents 73-1, and then downed Nebraska (4-0), Illinois (4-3) and Michigan (4-0) for the tourney crown. Ohio State has won 23 straight regular season Big Ten matches.
• Overall, the Buckeyes are 11-2 vs. ranked opponents this season, with seven wins over teams in the Top 15 at the time of the match.
• The team has won the doubles point in 28 of 32 matches, losing to Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Florida and Illinois.
• Ohio State was 17-0 at home this year and is on a 33-match home winning streak, dating back to the 2015 season.
• For the second straight year, Francesca Di Lorenzo was named B1G Athlete of the Year, while Melissa Schaub earned league coach of the year accolades for the third straight season. Di Lorenzo, Gabriella De Santis, Anna Sanford and Miho Kowase all earned a spot on the All-Big Ten team.
In the Rankings
In the latest ITA Rankings, Ohio State was slotted second. The squad has five ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams. Francesca Di Lorenzo has remained first all spring. Anna Sanford is No. 67, Miho Kowase is No. 91, No. 95 is Gabriella De Santis and No. 112 is Sandy Niehaus. In doubles, the pair of Di Lorenzo and Kowase checks in at No. 18 and De Santis and Niehaus are No. 47.
Ohio State vs South Carolina
• Ohio State is 3-2 all-time vs. South Carolina. The teams met in the 2014 NCAA Championship First Round in Durham, N.C., a 4-1 win by the Gamecocks. In that match, current senior Sandy Niehaus picked up the Buckeye singles win and paired with classmate Gabriella De Santis for a doubles victory.
• The Buckeyes won 4-3 over South Carolina in Durham, N.C., on ITA Kickoff Weekend in 2009. The teams also met in the 1987, ‘83 and ‘78 campaigns.
• The Gamecocks, ranked 14th, defeated North Florida (4-0) and Texas (4-3) at home last weekend to reach the Round of 16.
• Senior Miho Kowase, who enters the NCAA Round of 16 on a 24-match winning streak, has 109 career singles victories. She is now first in program history in career singles wins, moving ahead of Kristy Dascoli who had 104 from 1998-01.
• Senior Sandy Niehaus recorded her 100th singles and doubles wins last weekend. She notched singles win No. 100 against Buffalo, becoming the fourth Buckeye with triple digit victories, and now has 101 to tie for third all-time. Against Notre Dame Niehaus became the first Buckeye with 100 doubles victories, passing Wendy Stewart, who had 99 from 1975-79, for the all-time record.
• Head coach Melissa Schaub posted win No. 100 at the helm of the Buckeyes at Iowa this season. She is the third Buckeye head coach to hit the century mark.
• The senior class is the winningest in program history. The victory over Notre Dame Sunday was the 100th team win the quartet was a part of.
• Senior Ferny Angeles Paz has 98 singles victories for the Scarlet and Gray.
By the Numbers
• In singles, the squad has a 27-1 mark on court one, 16-8 on two, 22-4 on three, 25-1 on four, 27-0 on five and 23-3 on six. In doubles, court one is 20-6, court two is 22-4 and court three is 19-5.
• Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo is on a 20-match winning streak, while Sandy Niehaus has won 18 matches in a row.
• The Buckeyes have combined for a 186-40 record overall in singles this year, with a 140-17 mark in dual matches. In doubles, the squad is 77-27 overall and 61-15 in dual match play.
• Di Lorenzo leads the team in singles wins with 35 this season, followed by Miho Kowase with 32 and Ferny Angeles Paz with 31. Di Lorenzo is first with 25 dual match victories, with Kowase second with 24 and Angeles Paz and Niehaus tied for third with 23 wins each.
• In doubles, Kowase is first with 27 wins, followed by Niehaus with 25. The tandem of Di Lorenzo and Kowase has a team-best 17 victories overall and also is first with 17 dual match victories as a pair, dropping just one match.