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April 3, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Ohio State women’s tennis team (10-7; 2-2 Big Ten) returns home as the Buckeyes host the Xavier Musketeers at 3 p.m. and the Ohio Northern Polar Bears at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Both matches will be held at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus and will be the first outdoor matches of the season. These are the last non-conference matches of the regular season and the first two matches of a six game homestand for the Buckeyes.

A Look at Xavier
Xavier is led by head coach Jim Brockhoff. Brockhoff led the Musketeers to a 17-7 overall record last season. Xavier finished third in the Atlantic 10 conference last year with a 5-1 conference mark.

Xavier is currently 9-7 overall and 3-1 in the Atlantic 10 conference. The Musketeers are led on the court by Kristin Clary, who is 12-2 in singles matches this spring. The leading doubles team for the Musketeers is the duo of Clary and Kara Courtney at 7-6.

This will be the first meeting between Ohio State and Xavier.

The Buckeyes are 2-1 all-time against the Atlantic 10 conference.

Ohio Northern at A Glance
The Polar Bears are coached by Scott Wills. Wills led Ohio Northern to a 26-3 overall record a year ago while finishing first in the Ohio Athletic Conference at 9-0 in the conference last season.

Ohio Northern is currently 14-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Polar Bears are led on the court by Ashley Yontz, who is 14-2 in singles matches in the spring. The leading doubles team is the duo of Bridget Larson and Kaitlyn Macdonald, who are 8-5 in dual matches.

This will be first meeting between the schools while Ohio State is 4-0 against teams from the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes split a pair of weekend matches on the road. Ohio State fell to Purdue, 6-1, then defeated Illinois, 5-2.

In their match with Purdue, the Buckeyes dropped two of the three doubles matches doubles matches as the Boilermakers earned the doubles point. At No. 1, the tandem of Caitlin O’Keefe (So., Troy, Mich./Troy) and Sonia Ruzimovsky (Jr., Brooklyn N.Y./Brooklyn Tech) fell to Brooke Beier and Mallory Voelker, 8-6. At No. 2, Julie Blackmore (Fr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) and Ciara Finucane (Jr., Dublin, Ireland/Georgia Southern) were defeated by Stephanie Wooten and Randi Schuler by the score of 8-3. In the Buckeye’s lone doubles win, Kristin Messmer (Jr., Lutherville, Md./McDonogh) and Angela DiPastina (Fr., Titusville, N.J.) defeated Brittany Minna and Anna Dzeva, 8-3.

In singles at No. 1, O’Keefe fell to Schuler, 6-2, 6-3. At No. 2, Ruzimovsky was defeated by Beier, 6-4, 6-4. Blackmore fell to Voelker, 7-6, 6-2, at No. 3. At No. 4, DiPastina was downed by Wooten by the score of 6-2, 6-0. At No. 5, Dzeva defeated Finucane, 6-3, 6-4. At No. 6, Messmer had the only Buckeye victory over Minna, 7-5, 6-3.

In their match against Illinois, the Buckeyes swept the doubles matches to earn the doubles point. At No. 1, the tandem of Caitlin O’Keefe (So., Troy, Mich./Troy) and Julie Blackmore (Fr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) defeated Macall Harkins and Brianna Knue, 8-4. At No. 2, Angela DiPastina (Fr., Titusville, N.J.) and Sonia Ruzimovsky (Jr., Brooklyn N.Y./Brooklyn Tech) downed Shivani Dave and Emily Wang by the score of 8-6. Ciara Finucane (Jr., Dublin, Ireland/Georgia Southern) and Kristin Messmer (Jr., Lutherville, Md./McDonogh) defeated Alejandra Meza Cuadra and Momei Qu, 8-2, at the No. 3 spot.

In singles at No. 1, Ruzimovsky was defeated by Harkins, 6-1, 6-3. At No. 2, O’Keefe defeated Qu, 6-4, 7-5. Blackmore defeated Knue, 6-0, 6-4, at No. 3. At No. 4, Finucane was downed by Wanh by the score of 6-2, 6-1. At No. 5, Messmer lost in a super-tie breaker to Dave, 4-6, 7-5 1-0 (7). At No. 6, DiPastina defeated Meza Cuadra, 6-2, 6-0.

Winning Streak Comes To An End
With her loss April 2 at Illinois, junior Kristin Messmer had an 11-match winning streak snapped. Messmer is now 13-2 in the spring and 18-7 overall.

Leaders At the Mid-Season Point
After 17 spring matches, junior Kristin Messmer leads the Buckeyes in singles with 18 overall victories, including the fall. Freshman Angela DiPastina is only one win off the lead with 17 overall victories.

In doubles, Sonia Ruzimovsky and Angela DiPastina lead the way with 18 overall individual victories each. The doubles team that leads the way is DiPastina and Ruzimovsky, who now are 15-6 on the season.

Spring Leaders
In the spring, junior Kristin Messmer is leading the Buckeyes in singles with a career-high 13 dual-match victories.

Angela DiPastina and Sonia Ruzimovsky are the leading doubles team at 8-5 in the spring, while the duo of Ciara Finucane and Kristin Messmer is 8-6.

Facing Ranked Opponents
Of the remaining eight regular-season matches for the Buckeyes, they will face three teams currently ranked in the Fila Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Those teams include No. 6 Northwestern, No. 26 Indiana and No. 32 Michigan.

Messmer and Buckeyes Seek Milestone Victories
Wednesday, junior Kristin Messmer looks to achieve a milestone career win. Messmer looks for her 50th career singles victory, while Ohio State needs only one singles win for its 100th overall victory this season.

This Date Has Been Kind to Buckeyes
The Buckeyes have fared well on this date in their tennis history. Ohio State is 9-3 all-time when playing on April 5.

Bottom of Lineup Leading the Way
The bottom three spots of the Buckeye lineup are a combined 34-15 in singles, while No.s 1-3 are a combined 25-24.

Looking Forward to the Homestand
The Buckeyes are 7-2 when playing in Columbus this season.

Up Next
The Buckeyes return to action Saturday when they host the Penn State Nittany Lions at 11 a.m. Ohio State then squares off against Indiana at 11 a.m. Sunday. Weather permitting, both matches will be held at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus.