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COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 38 Ohio State women’s tennis (15-10, 7-3 Big Ten) fell for the second time in three weeks to No. 1 Northwestern (24-1, 10-0 Big Ten), losing, 4-0, Saturday afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Center in Madison, Wis., in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. The loss eliminates the Buckeyes from the conference tourney, while Northwestern will go for its 11th-conseutive Big Ten tournament title Sunday against the winner of the Illinois-Michigan match.

Christina Keesey and Angela DiPastina were on the verge of a big upset at No. 1 doubles, leading the 21st-ranked Wildcat tandem of Lauren Lui and Georgia Rose 7-5 before the doubles point was won by Northwestern, leaving the match unfinished. Cami Hubbs and Julie Blackmore could not get it going at No. 2 doubles, falling 8-2 to No. 33 Maria Mosolova and Keri Robinson. Kirsten Flower and Paloma Escobedo had a strong effort but fell to Samantha Murray and Elena Chernyakova at No. 3 doubles, 8-6.

With the doubles point lost, Ohio State tried its luck in singles. Keesey had a tough time with Murray at No. 3 singles, falling in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Northwestern, now up 2-0 on the match, sent the 106th-ranked Lui against Hubbs at No. 4 singles. The Wildcat junior prevailed, winning 6-2, 6-1 and leaving the Buckeyes in a 3-0 match hole.

The final blow was landed at the No. 6 spot, where Robinson topped Blackmore, 6-1, 6-3, to wrap up the Wildcat win. DiPastina took the opening set against No. 125 Nazlie Ghazal, 6-4, but fell in the second, 2-6, before the match was left unfinished. The other matches left unfinished were No. 2 singles, with Escobedo and Rose deadlocked at 6-all in the first set, and No. 1 singles , where No. 1 Mosolova led Flower 6-1, 4-3 in the second set.

The Buckeyes will now seek an at-large bid into the 2009 NCAA tournament. Opening round action will take place at campus sites, while the championship matches, beginning with the Round of 16, will take place in College Station, Texas, on the campus of Texas A&M.

The 2009 NCAA Division I women’s tennis selection announcements will air at approximately 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, on ESPNews.  ESPNews is located on DirecTV channel 207/DishNetwork channel 142.  In addition, the ESPNews audio signal is available on the ESPNews channel on XM Radio and SIRIUS Radio.

Tennis Match Results
Ohio State vs Northwestern
4/25/2009 at Madison, Wis.
(Nielsen Tennis Stadium)
#1 Northwestern 4, #38 Ohio State 0

Singles competition
1. #1 Maria Mosolova (NU) vs. Kirsten Flower (OSU) 6-1, 4-3, unfinished
2. #20 Georgia Rose (NU) vs. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 6-6, unfinished
3. #44 Samantha Murray (NU) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. #106 Lauren Lui (NU) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. #125 Nazlie Ghazal (NU) vs. Angela DiPastina (OSU) 4-6, 6-2, unfinished
6. Keri Robison (NU) def. Julie Blackmore (OSU) 6-1, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #21 Lauren Lui/Georgia Rose (NU) vs. Christina Keesey/Angela DiPastina (OSU) 5-7, unfinished
2. #33 Maria Mosolova/Keri Robison (NU) def. Cami Hubbs/Julie Blackmore (OSU) 8-2
3. Samantha Murray/Elena Chernyakova (NU) def. Kirsten Flower/Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 8-6

Match Notes:
Ohio State 15-9; National ranking #38
Northwestern 24-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (3,4,6)