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Nov. 22, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Buckeye women’s tennis head coach Chuck Merzbacher announced the signing of two NCAA National Letters of Intent from top recruits Paloma Escobedo and Cameron Hubbs last week. Escobedo, who hails from Houston, Texas, and Hubbs, who resides in Omaha, Neb., will both begin playing for the Buckeyes in the fall of 2007.

Merzbacher is looking forward to the talent that Escobedo and Hubbs will bring to the team.

“This could be the best class we’ve had in the 10 years I’ve been here,” Merzbacher said. “I think this class, combined with the team we have returning for the next several years, will propel us back to the top of the conference standings. These two young women can have an instant impact on the program with their fine character, strong academics and high-level tennis experience.”

Escobedo is ranked No. 19 in the class of 2007. She holds the top spot for the Girls’ 18s in Texas and is ranked 54th in the nation. Escobedo was a member of the Texas Fed Cup team who went undefeated in August at the 2006 UTSA Girl’s 18 Fed Cup Championships and posted a 5-2 record in the same month at the 2006 Girls 18 and Under Super Nationals in San Jose, Calif.

“We are very excited to have Paloma join the Buckeyes,” Merzbacher said. “She is considered a Top-20 prospect in the United States for her graduating class. As the top player out of Texas, I think her record and ranking speak for themselves. She trains out of the Newks Tennis Academy in New Braunfels, Texas, which is one of the top tennis training academies in the country. She has strong shots off the forehand and backhand sides. Along with the fact that she is a left-hander, this makes her very tough to play. Paloma will be able to compete at the top of the line-up.”

After visiting the Ohio State campus, Escobedo knew becoming a Buckeye was the right fit for her.

“I don’t think anybody has any idea of how excited I am to attend Ohio State next fall,” Escobedo said. “I know being a Buckeye is going to be an unforgettable experience. Everything about Ohio State is truly amazing. The people, the spirit, the tradition – I couldn’t ask for more and I can’t wait to represent Ohio State.”

Hubbs is ranked No. 52 among the class of 2007. She currently holds the third-ranked spot in 2006 for 18s individual doubles and is seventh-ranked when combined with her doubles partner, Kristen Rafael. Hubbs notched a fourth place win at the UTSA Super Nationals with Rafael among 18s doubles in 2006 and is currently undefeated at the Nebraska State Tennis Championships, where she has held the title since 2004.

“Cameron comes to Ohio State as one of the top junior doubles players in the nation,” Merzbacher said. “She has a tremendous singles game and a lot of fire power in all her shots. Her Dad is a former collegiate tennis coach and Cami has been well schooled on good doubles play and aggressive singles play. She has the ability to be an All-American doubles player right from the beginning. She has such a big game that she will instantly be able to compete at the top of the line-up in singles and doubles.”

Hubbs is optimistic about beginning her collegiate career at Ohio State.

“I am definitely looking forward to being part of the Ohio State tradition,” Hubbs said. “Everything about Ohio State excites me, so I just can’t wait to be playing for the best school in the nation. Being a member on the Ohio State women’s tennis team is a dream come true.”

The Buckeyes begin their spring schedule when they host Bowling Green Jan. 27, 2007 at 10 a.m.

### GO BUCKS! ###