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Sept. 28, 2004

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Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team returns to action this weekend at the University of Kentucky Fall Tournament. Running Friday through Sunday, the 10-team draw will be held on the Wildcats’ campus in Lexington, Ky. Action kicks off each day at 9 a.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.

Kentucky Draw
Joining the Buckeyes in Lexington will be Abilene Christian, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, Purdue and William & Mary. The draw for the tournament will be conducted Wednesday night or Thursday morning and will be available on the Internet at www.ukathletics.com.

Last Year at the Kentucky Fall Tournament
Ohio State’s last trip to the Bluegrass State for a tournament, last season, was a successful one for several Buckeyes.

Leading the way in doubles competition was the team of Emily Howard (Jr., Akron, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) and Lindsay Bryan (Sr. New Orleans, La./Ursiline Academy). In winning the Red Flight championship, the pair slipped by Israel and Yarbrough of Abilene Christian in the semifinal before breezing past Hill of Marshall and Vest of Middle Tennessee State in the final.

In singles, Anna Volberg (So. Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula) reached the first flight final of her college career, before falling to Kentucky’s Lara Maurer, 6-2, 6-2. Volberg defeated Christine Simpson of Kentucky, Emily Bombersback of Purdue and Kelly Nelson of Notre Dame to advance to the final.

Youngsters Lead Singles at Tennessee
Competing for the first time since losing four seniors from the 2003-04 squad to graduation, the Buckeyes were lead 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 (Sr., New Orleans, La./Ursuline Academy), 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 (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Virginia Tech).

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 (Fr., Dollard-Des-Orneaux, Quebec/Des-Sources) and Lindsay Bryan in a third place match.

Freshman 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 Lexington, the Buckeyes return to action Oct. 7-10 at the All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., then travel on Oct. 15-17 to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Fall Invitational.