January 29, 2017

No. 7 Buckeyes Down Alabama 4-0 to Earn Spot at ITA National Indoors

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Jan. 29, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (4-0, 0-0 B1G) secured a spot in the ITA National Indoor Team Championship with 4-0 win over Alabama Sunday inside the Varsity Tennis Center.

The match between the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide was part of ITA Kick-Off Weekend, with 16 sites serving as qualifiers for the indoor championships, which will be held Feb. 10-13 in New Haven, Conn. The Buckeyes will be making the third appearance overall, and second in a row, at National Indoors

The Buckeyes gained a 1-0 advantage over the Crimson Tide with doubles wins on courts two and three. Senior Sandy Niehaus posted the first singles victory on court four, dropping just two games. Senior Miho Kowase notched the second singles victory for the Scarlet and Gray on court five. On court six, senior Ferny Angeles Paz won to give the Buckeyes the victory.

“I’m really happy with how we performed today,” Melissa Schaub, Ohio State head coach, said. “The doubles point was really big. We were able to step up and play well in doubles. It was a good start from third doubles which was a little bit different from yesterday’s match and is always important. Alabama was good and we knew that coming in. We need to work hard for a couple more days and get ready to go to National Indoors.”

Angeles Paz clinches the Buckeyes’ victory over Alabama in the #ITAKickOff final. Buckeyes are heading back to National Indoors. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/jbzdny9jMZ

— Ohio State W Tennis (@OhioState_WTEN) January 29, 2017

Against Alabama, Ohio State captured the doubles point with wins on courts two and three and was one game away from clinching on court one when play was suspended. The Buckeye tandem of senior Angeles Paz and junior Olivia Sneed topped the Crimson Tide team of Smith Hinton and Julianna Valero, 6-1, on court three. On court two, the pair of freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo and Kowase defeated the tandem of Andie Daniell and Danielle Spielmann, 6-1. On court one, Niehaus and junior Anna Sanford were beating Maddie Pothoff and Erin Routliffe, 5-4, when play was called.

The Scarlet and Gray won three singles matches in straight sets to beat Alabama. Niehaus notched the first singles win over Hinton on court four, 6-1, 6-1. On court five, No. 59 Kowase downed Pothoff 6-1, 6-0. Angeles Paz topped Valero 6-0, 6-1 on court six to end the match.

The Buckeyes were battling close matches on the other three courts when play was suspended. On court one, No. 1 Di Lorenzo dropped the first set to No. 86 Routliffe 6-4 and was tied at 1-1 in the second. No. 41 Sanford lost the first to Daniell on court two, 6-3, but was winning the second, 5-2. On court three, De Santis dropped the first set 6-3 to No. 109 Spielmann and was winning the second, 3-1.

Up next, the Buckeyes will travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on No. 9 Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. Sunday. The teams met twice last season, with Ohio State posting wins at ITA National Indoors and in Columbus.

Alabama vs Ohio State
Jan 29, 2017 at Columbus (Varsity Tennis Center)

#7 Ohio State 4, Alabama 0

Singles competition
1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) vs. #86 Erin Routliffe (UA) 4-6, 1-1, unfinished
2. #41 Anna Sanford (OSU) vs. Andie Daniell (UA) 3-6, 5-2, unfinished
3. Gabriella De Santis (OSU) vs. #109 Danielle Spielmann (UA) 3-6, 3-1, unfinished
4. Sandy Niehaus (OSU) def. Smith Hinton (UA) 6-1, 6-1
5. #59 Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Maddie Pothoff (UA) 6-1, 6-0
6. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Juliana Valero (UA) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Anna Sanford/Sandy Niehaus (OSU) vs. Erin Routliffe/Maddie Pothoff (UA) 5-4, unfinished
2. Miho Kowase/Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. Andie Daniell/Danielle Spielmann (UA) 6-1
3. Olivia Sneed/Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Smith Hinton/Juliana Valero (UA) 6-1

Match Notes:
Alabama 4-2
Ohio State 4-0; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,6)
Official: Mark Anderson T-1:46 A-114