Feb. 28, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 55-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (5-4, 0-1 Big Ten) returns to the Varsity Tennis Center to host a doubleheader Sunday. The day begins with a Big Ten matchup against No. 35-ranked Penn State (9-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at noon, followed by Youngstown State (6-2, 0-0 Horizon) at 6 p.m.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State shifted upwards in the Campbell’s/ITA National Rankings this week, moving up to the No. 55 spot. Sophomore Kelsey Dieters also moved in the polls from No. 53 to No. 46 in singles rankings this week. The Shelby Township, Mich., native has notched 13 singles victories this season, including three over ranked opponents. Senior Fidan Manashirova is ranked at No. 122 in singles.
Penn State’s Petra Januskova sits directly below Dieters at the No. 47 spot in singles rankings.
A LOOK AT PENN STATE
The undefeated Nittany Lions are ranked No. 35 in the most recent ITA poll released yesterday, their highest ranking in years, jumping 15 spots since last week. Through nine matches the Nittany Lions possess a .759 winning percentage (41-13) in singles matches and a .680 winning percentage (17-8) in doubles matches.
Penn State’s Petra Januskova sits directly below Dieters at the No. 47 spot in singles rankings. The Nittany Lions have two players unbeaten on the season in singles play in Chelsea Utting who is 9-0 and Jacqueline Zuhse who owns an 8-0 record.
A LOOK AT YOUNGSTOWN STATE
Youngstown State has won six straight dual matches this season, most recently defeating Ball State, 5-2, last weekend. The Penguins have compiled a .559 winning percentage in singles matches and a .600 winning percentage in doubles matches.
Paula da Man has gone uncontested this season, posting a 7-0 record in singles matches. Marta Burak has claimed six consecutive singles victories, while Annina Brendel has notched five straight singles victories. The Penguin tandem of Burak and Margarita Sadovnikova has tallied an 11-3 record this season, including a 4-1 record at the No. 1 position.
LAST TIME OUT – WEEKEND IN ARKANSAS
Ohio State traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. Feb. 22-23 and split the decisions between its two ranked opponents over the two days. The Buckeyes faced No. 55-ranked Arkansas Feb. 22 and tallied a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks scored first by claiming the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. No. 93-ranked Manashirova notched the first point for the Buckeyes with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Surin on court four. Cecil finished second, falling to Paulson in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Steele balanced the score at 2-2 after defeating McLean, 6-3, 6-3, on court three. After dropping the tiebreaker in the first set, Malley lost to Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
At the No. 1 position, No. 53-ranked Dieters rallied to force a third set against Arkansas’ Pang and keep the Buckeyes in contention. Meanwhile, O’Neill claimed her sixth victory this season with a win over Huxley in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, to even the score at 3-3. In the final set on court one, Dieters maintained her momentum to defeat Yang, 6-2, and seal the Buckeye victory.
The following day, Ohio State squared off against No. 33-ranked Tulsa at a neutral site. The Hurricanes claimed the doubles point after the No. 12-ranked Tulsa tandem of Isaura Enrique and Samantha Vickers defeated the Buckeye duo of Kelsey Dieters and Kara Cecil, 8-2. The No. 1 position featured a matchup of two ranked players in singles play. No. 53 Dieters was defeated by No. 55 Vickers in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
No. 93 Fidan Manashirova earned a point for the Buckeyes in singles play, defeating Maria Sant’Anna in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. The win marked her 14th singles victory this season. Ohio State fell to Tulsa, 6-1.
BY THE NUMBERS
Senior Gabby Steele leads the Buckeyes with 15 singles victories this season. Classmate Fidan Manashirova is close behind with 14 wins after winning both matches of her this weekend. Collectively, Ohio State has a .559 singles winning percentage and a .554 doubles winning percentage.
Ohio State has compiled a 3-2 record at home and is 1-3 vs. ranked opponents.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Seven Big Ten women’s tennis teams appear in the latest Campbell’s/ITA National Rankings, led by No. 8 Northwestern. Nebraska joins the Wildcats in the Top 10 at No. 10, followed by No. 13 Michigan and No. 14 Purdue. Illinois checks in at No. 33, while Penn State is No. 35 and Ohio State is No. 55.
Individually, 10 Big Ten women’s tennis players and seven doubles pairs have been ranked nationally in the ITA poll.
BLOGGING WITH THE BUCKEYES
Senior Fidan Manashirova has been touching base with BuckeyeNation all season long on her blog, giving fans an inside glimpse into the team at home and on the road. Keep up with Manashirova and the rest of the Buckeyes throughout the season at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Ohio State will compete at the Blue-Gray Tournament in Montgomery, Ala., March 15-17. The Buckeyes will be joined by Pepperdine, Virginia, Boise State, Marshall, Michigan State, SMU and Yale in the event. For more information on the tournament, visit bluegraytennis.com.