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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 75th-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team dropped a 6-1 decision to 64th-ranked South Florida (6-9) Sunday afternoon at home in the first match of the team’s doubleheader. The Buckeyes (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) face Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. inside the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.

Playing without the services of top singles and doubles player Paloma Escobedo, the Buckeyes dropped the doubles point and five singles matches to the Bulls, including four in straight sets. The loss was the first at home for Ohio State this season.

The Buckeyes struck first in doubles as Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley notched an 8-3 win on court three against USF’s Kate Parker and Alessandra Bonte, but the Bulls bounced back to take a close, 8-6 decision on court one. The 46th-ranked duo of Janette Bejlkova and Loreta Alonso proved victorious against Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs in South Florida’s two-point win.

After going back and forth for most of the match on court two, USF’s duo of Irene Rehberger and Ecaterina Vasenina pulled away against Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele to clinch the doubles point for South Florida with an 8-5 victory.

Alonso was the first singles winner for the Bulls, taking down Manashirova, 6-1, 6-2, on court four. Teammate Alessandra Bonte made it 3-0 for USF following a 6-2, 6-3 win on court five, breaking Hubbs’ nine-match winning streak.

Bejlkova, ranked 70th nationally in singles, provided the winning point for the Bulls. The junior narrowly took the first set, 7-5, against Cecil before closing the match with a 6-2 second-set victory.

Freshman Tiffany Dittmer, playing in her first dual match, avoided the shutout for the Buckeyes after taking her match against Parker in straight sets. The Hamburg, Germany, native held on to win the first set tiebreaker, 7-5, after jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Dittmer then cruised to a 6-1 win in the second set to win, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Kelsey Haviland, playing at No. 1 singles, bounced back from a first set deficit to take the second set, 7-5, and send her match against 47th-ranked Rehberger to a super tiebreaker. The two battled to an 8-8 tie before Rehberger took the last two points to win the set and the match, 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (8).

South Florida’s Vasenina, ranked 100th nationally, closed the door on Steele’s comeback in the second set to win, 6-4, 7-5.

Tennis Match Results
South Florida vs Ohio State
Mar 20, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
#64 South Florida 6, #75 Ohio State 1

Singles competition
1. #47 Irene Rehberger (USF) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-2, 5-7, 10-8
2. #100 Ecaterina Vasenina (USF) def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-4, 7-5
3. #70 Janette Bejlkova (USF) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Loreta Alonso (USF) def. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Alessandra Bonte (USF) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) def. Kate Parker (USF) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #46 Janette Bejlkova/Loreta Alonso (USF) def. Kelsey Haviland/Cami Hubbs (OSU) 8-6
2. Irene Rehberger/Ecaterina Vasenina (USF) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 8-5
3. Kara Cecil/Noelle Malley (OSU) def. Kate Parker/Alessandra Bonte (USF) 8-3

Match Notes:
South Florida 6-9; National ranking #64
Ohio State 7-6; National ranking #75
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,5,3,6,1,2)
T-3:36 A-79