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Oct. 12, 2004

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Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team begins the final stretch of the fall season Friday-Sunday at the Eck Classic on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Weather permitting, all matches will be contested outdoors at the Courtney Tennis Center. Any indoor matches will be played at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Notre Dame Competitors
The 16th annual Eck Classic will use a hidden dual format, meaning teams will play simulated dual matches, but there will be no official team scores for the matches. All results will count for individual records and ranking purposes.

Joining the Buckeyes in South Bend will be Kansas, Michigan State, Virginia and host-school Notre Dame.

Kentucky Fall Tournament Recap
The Buckeyes’ last action was two weeks ago at the Kentucky Fall Classic in Lexington, Ky. Competing on the Wildcats’ home courts, Ohio State was led by the senior tandem of Lindsay Bryan and Meredith Vincent, who claimed the title in the green flight. In the flight championship match, Bryan (Sr., New Orleans, La./Ursuline Academy) and Vincent (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Virginia Tech) beat host Kentucky’s Foster and Sober, 9-7. The Buckeye duo reached the final with a pair of 8-6 victories over Marshall and White of Louisville and Yan and de Guzman of William and Mary.

Silvia Prajescu (Fr., Dollard-Des-Orneaux, Quebec/Des-Sources) and Kristin Messmer (So., Lutherville, Md./McDonogh) led the Buckeyes in singles, both posting three victories against just one defeat.

Youngsters Lead Singles at Tennessee
Competing for the first time since losing four seniors from the 2003-04 squad to graduation, the Buckeyes were led by a pair of underclassmen who both earned a pair of victories at the University of Tennessee/St. Mary’s Fall Classic Sept. 17-19 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Sophomore Sonia Ruzimovsky (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooklyn Tech) and freshman Caitlin O’Keefe (Troy, Mich./Troy) earned third place finishes with Day Three victories in their flights. Competing in Flight Six, Ruzimovsky swept Bonnie Baird of Furman, 7-6, 6-1, for her second victory of the weekend while O’Keefe earned her second win by topping fellow-Buckeye Lindsay Bryan, 6-5, 6-4, in Flight Three. Ruzimovsky also dispatched Alisha Talbot of Wake Forest and O’Keefe beat Emily Vest of Middle Tennessee State in first round action.

Returnees Enjoy Doubles Success
In contrast to singles action at Tennessee, Ohio State’s doubles play was dominated by upperclassmen. The senior doubles team of Emily DeCamilla (Sr., Sacramento, Calif./Maryland) and Lindsey Adams (Sr., Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) picked up two wins, a number matched by another upperclassmen duo, Emily Howard and Meredith Vincent.

DeCamilla and Adams beat Marti Morris and Mary Neill Hagood of Furman, 9-7, on Day Two to earn fifth place in Flight One. They also topped Barbara Orlay and Julia Roach of North Carolina State previously.

Vincent and Howard defeated Emily Vest and Claudia Szabo of Middle Tennessee State, 8-4, in Round One of Flight Three and teammates Silvia Prajescu and Lindsay Bryan in a third place match.

Early Leaders
After two tournaments, sophomores Kristin Messmer and Sonia Ruzimovsky and freshman Caitlin O’Keefe share the team lead in singles victories with four a piece.

Meredith Vincent paces the Buckeyes in doubles wins with five. Seniors Emily DeCamilla and Lindsay Bryan and junior Emily Howard all have earned four wins thus far.

Freshmen Taste First Action
A pair of Ohio State freshman saw their first collegiate action Sept. 17 in Knoxville, Tenn., at the University of Tennessee/St. Mary’s Fall Classic.

In singles, Caitlin O’Keefe earned a three-set victory over Emily Vest of Middle Tennessee State, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, in the first round for her first win.

In doubles, freshman Silvia Prajescu teamed with senior Lindsay Bryan in a victory over Lauren Barry and Allison Barry of North Carolina State, 8-6.

Previewing the Schedule
After opening the 2004 fall season, as they did in 2003, at the St. Mary’s/University of Tennessee Fall Classic, Sept. 17-19, in Knoxville, Tenn., Ohio State also will make a return trip to the University of Kentucky Fall Tournament October 1-3 in Lexington, Ky. Two new tournaments appear on the schedule, the Notre Dame Fall Invitational Oct. 7-10 in South Bend, Ind., and the Milwaukee Tennis Classic Nov. 3-8 at Milwaukee, Wis.

The 2005 spring season kicks off Jan. 23 as the Buckeyes play host to perennial power Notre Dame at noon and in-state foe Cleveland State at 6 p.m. Those matches are the first of a seven-match homestand, the Buckeyes’ longest since 2002.

Ohio State’s 24th season of Big Ten play begins with a match against Iowa at 3 p.m. March 25 in Iowa City, Iowa. After a facing Minnesota on March 27 in Minneapolis, Minn., Ohio State plays host to Illinois on April 2 and Purdue April 3, before embarking on its longest road trip of the year. The four-team trip sees the Buckeyes travel to Penn State, Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State between April 8 and April 17. The regular season concludes with home matches against defending Big Ten champion Northwestern April 23 and Wisconsin April 24.

Among the Buckeyes’ 25 matches are 12 with 2004 NCAA Championship qualifiers.

Home Cooking
Once the spring season begins, Ohio State will hope to continue its recent dominance at home, where it has won at a .750 percentage over the past two seasons. In only nine home matches a year ago, the Buckeyes posted a 7-2 record, with both losses coming at the hands of teams ranked in the Top 20.

Recapping Last Season
The Buckeyes were 7-2 on their home courts and secured a program-record sixth consecutive NCAA bid with a run to the final match at the Big Ten championship. By virtue of their runner-up finish at the Big Ten championship, the Buckeyes finished second in the final conference standings.

Once in the NCAA tournament, the Buckeyes marked another milestone by defeating host Harvard, 4-2, to advance to the second round, where they were defeated by No. 17 Kentucky. In the win against Harvard, the Buckeyes won the doubles point for the 15th time in 2004 and a got a trio of three-set singles victories. Jackie Leskovar and Lindsay Bryan (Jr., New Orleans, La./Ursuline Academy) scored victories at the No. 3 and No. 6 positions, respectively, before Emily DeCamilla (Jr., Sacramento, Calif./Maryland) earned the clincher at No. 4. The win was the second in school history in the NCAA championship. The Buckeyes defeated Miami (Fla.), 5-3, in 2000 in Athens, Ga.

Next Up
After concluding play in South Bend, the Buckeyes will compete at the ITA Midwest Regional Oct. 21-26 in Minneapolis, Minn.