COLUMBUS, Ohio Just like its match two days earlier against Kentucky, the 31st-ranked Ohio State women’s team was on the wrong side of a tight loss, this time against 29th-ranked Virginia at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, 4-3. Buckeye head coach Chuck Merzbacher, who currently has 99 home wins as Ohio State head coach, will now gun for No. 100 on Sunday.
“I feel like once the rankings settle out, it will show we’ve been playing Top 25 teams,” Merzbacher said following the match. ”We’re playing them well and I like our intensity and competitiveness out there on every single point. We just have keep lining up and know the results will come our way with that kind of effort and intensity.”
Kirsten Flower was spectacular for the Buckeyes in No. 1 singles, taking a straight set victory over the 42nd-ranked Jennifer Stevens, winning 6-4, 6-3. Angela DiPastina kept her undefeated 2009 season rolling in No. 5 singles, winning her seventh-consecutive singles match of the year by defeating Karoline Steiro, 6-4, 6-3. DiPastina has entered a third set in just one of her wins this season.
Cami Hubbs was downed at the No. 3 spot by the 82nd-ranked Emily Fraser, 6-2, 7-5, while Julie Blackmore met a similar fate in No. 4 singles against Lindsey Hardenbergh, losing 6-3.
Just as it happened on Wednesday in Kentucky, the Buckeyes would have to win the final two matches to take the match. Paloma Escobedo powered her way to a 6-3, 6-4, win over Amanda Rales to tie Ohio State and Virginia at three-all.
All eyes were on court six and the deciding match in No. 6 six singles where junior Christina Keesey squared off with Neela Vaez. The Buckeye junior grabbed a tight first set, 7-5, while Vaez returned in the second set to win, 6-3. With each player holding serve until a tie at 4-all in the third set, Vaez broke through to move the set to 5-4. Keesey fired back by breaking serve, tying the set at 5-all. Vaez again broke Keesey’s serve, pushing it to 6-5 and finished the game, set and match, winning, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
The Buckeyes lost the doubles point, falling at both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. DiPastina and Hubbs took down Steiro and Maggie Yahner in No. 3 doubles, 8-5. Keesey and Flower were defeated 8-5 at the top spot by the 42nd-ranked duo of Stevens and Fraser, while Escobedo and Blackmore went down 8-2 at the hands of Rales and Vaez.
The Buckeyes return to The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center Sunday at 11 a.m. for a match with Virginia Tech.
Tennis Match Results
Virginia Cavaliers vs Ohio State
Feb 06, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio
No. 29 Virginia Cavaliers 4, No. 31 Ohio State 3
1. Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. #42 Jennifer Stevens (UV) 6-4, 6-3
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Amanda Rales (UV) 6-3, 6-4
3. #82 Emily Fraser (UV) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Lindsey Hardenbergh (UV) def. Julie Blackmore (OSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Angela DiPastina (OSU) def. Karoline Steiro (UV) 6-4, 6-3
6. Neela Vaez (UV) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
1. #32 Emily Fraser/Jennifer Stevens (UV) def. Christina Keesey/Kirsten Flower (OSU) 8-5
2. Amanda Rales/Neela Vaez (UV) def. Julie Blackmore/Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 8-2
3. Angela DiPastina/Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Karoline Steiro/Maggie Yahner (UV) 8-5
Virginia Cavaliers 3-1; National ranking #29
Ohio State 3-3; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,3,1,4,2,6)