April 13, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25 Buckeyes (12-6, 5-1 Big Ten) will close out the home portion of their schedule this weekend. The squad goes up against Purdue Saturday at 11 a.m. and faces Indiana the following day at 10 a.m.The matches are scheduled to be played outdoors at the Stickney Tennis Center but will be moved inside to the Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in inclement weather.

A Program High
The Buckeyes were ranked No. 25 in the rankings released Wednesday by the ITA, marking the highest-ever mark in program history. The previous high was No. 26, which the squad received last season.

After recording nine-consecutive home victories this season, the Buckeyes set program records for most home wins in a season and most consecutive home wins. The old mark of eight home wins was set in 1990 and tied in 1999, while the consecutive-wins at home record of six was also set in 1990 and tied in 1999.

Scouting Purdue
The Boilermakers are 8-10 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten. In singles, the team is led by Jennifer Embry, who is 21-12 at No. 1, and Shannon Taheny who plays at No. 2. The doubles duo of Embry and Taheny, ranked No. 19 by the ITA, is 21-9 overall this season and 4-2 in the Big Ten. After losing to Notre Dame last week, the Boilermakers recorded two victories, a 4-3 win over Michigan and a forfeit win against Michigan State.

The Purdue Coach
Matt Iandolo is in his ninth year at the helm of the Boilermaker women’s tennis program. In 1998 he led the squad to an 8-2 conference record and was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Prior to accepting the position at Purdue, Iandolo worked as an assistant tennis coach at Kentucky (1991), UCLA (1986- 87), California (1985-86), San Diego State (1983-85) and Weber State (1982-83).

Buckeyes vs. Boilermakers
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series between the schools, 16-15. Last season Ohio State recorded a 5-2 victory over Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

Scouting Indiana
The Hoosiers are ranked 47th and are currently 12-8 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten. The squad suffered through a five-match winless streak before tallying two Big Ten wins last weekend, earning a win against Michigan State after the Spartans forfeited the match and defeating Michigan, 4-3. The team is led by the doubles tandem of Jessica Anderson and Kelly Blanch, who are ranked 32nd by the ITA. Anderson and Jessica Levin have already compiled 20 singles wins each for the Hoosiers this season. The squad will face Penn State Friday before traveling to Columbus.

The Indiana Coach
Lin Loring, the winningest women’s coach in Division I history, is in his 20th season with the Hoosiers. During Loring’s stint, Indiana has produced one national team champion, two national singles champions and one national doubles title. Loring’s squads have won the Big Ten Championship 14 of the past 17 years. In addition, his team had a string of 104 consecutive victories against Big Ten opponents over an eight year period from 1978-85. Eleven of his proteges have been named All-Americans. In 1995, Loring became the first women’s Division I coach in history to reach 500 career wins.

Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers
The Hoosiers lead the all-time series between the squad, 25-2. Last year Ohio State recorded a win on the road, 4-3, to post the squad’s first dual victory over the Hoosiers since 1978.

Welcome to the Rankings
The Buckeyes’ No. 1 doubles tandem of Dascoli and Rincon received its first national ranking in the ITA’s most recent release. The duo, which is 12-5 this season, is currently ranked No. 43. Against Northwestern, Dascoli and Rincon posted an upset win at No. 1, defeating the No. 30-ranked duo of Nasser and Cheng, 8-2.

The Buckeyes’ Coach
Chuck Merzbacher is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Buckeyes. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors after leading the squad to a 14-11 record last season. His overall career record is 181-107, while his mark at OSU has improved to 48-44.

Leaders of the Buckeyes
Four Buckeyes have already reached the 20-win mark this season. Rincon leads the squad with an overall record of 25-8, while Dascoli is right behind with a mark of 24-9. Pervez is 22-12 this season, while Matko recorded two wins last weekend to move her record to 20-9. Last season, only Rincon and Matko recorded 20 wins for the squad.

Still Rolling
After winning two of three matches last weekend, Rincon moved her record to a team-best 25-8. She leads all No. 2 players in the Big Ten with 25 wins and is 4-2 in conference play this season.

Happy at Home
The Buckeyes are in the midst of a six-match homestand. The squad, which is a perfect 9-0 at home this season, closes out the home portion of its schedule this weekend.

Reaching New Heights
After earning the highest ranking in program history earlier this season, Dascoli broke her own mark in the singles rankings released by the ITA. In the poll released March 29, Dascoli was ranked No. 32 in the nation – that ranking topped her previous high of No. 36 (tied) set earlier this season. Dascoli is currently ranked No. 37 in the nation.

Beating the Big Ten
Dascoli has compiled a career mark of 24-3 against conference opponents since her freshman year. This season she is a perfect 6-0 against Big Ten foes, while last year she was a stellar 10-1.

The Rankings in the Big Ten
Including Ohio State, nine of the Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 75: Northwestern, 16th, Ohio State, 25th, Minnesota, 33rd, Illinois, 37th, Indiana, 47th, Iowa, 51st, Purdue, 56th, Michigan, 58th and Penn State, 63rd. Only Michigan State and Wisconsin are not ranked.

Staying Competitive
The Buckeyes have not been shutout since a 9-0 loss to Duke, Feb. 13, 1999. Since Merzbacher took over the program, the squad has only failed to win at least one match only three times. Ohio State was not shutout in any matches in 1998 and only suffered two blankings in 1997, Merzbacher’s first season with the team.

The National Team Rankings
The Buckeyes received the highest ranking of the season, and in program history, in the most recent rankings by the ITA.

The Buckeyes’ rankings are as follows: Fall 38 Feb. 2 35T Feb. 9 36 Feb. 16 33 Feb. 23 34 March 1 33 March 8 31 March 15 34 March 22 31 March 29 45 April 5 40 April 12 25

OSU vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State is tied for second place in the Big Ten with a mark of 5-1. The squad is coming off two Big Ten wins last weekend, as they defeated No. 15 Northwestern and No. 28 Illinois. The Buckeyes have also recorded conference wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Penn State. The team’s only conference loss was a 5-2 loss at Iowa at the end of its seven-match road swing. Last season, the Buckeyes tied the school record for most wins in the Big Ten with six. That squad finished sixth, the highest-ever finish in program history. Ohio State has finished higher in the Big Ten each season under Merzbacher.

The Buckeyes’ Last Week
Vs. Miami
Ohio State defeated Miami (Ohio), 6-1, Tuesday afternoon at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. The Buckeyes earned the doubles point after winning two of three matches. Kristy Dascoli and Monica Rincon posted a win for the squad at No. 1, while Sadhaf Pervez and Laura Maloney were victorious at No. 2. Ohio State won five of six singles matches to clinch the win. Dascoli, Rincon, Matko, Pervez and Maloney each posted singles wins for the Buckeyes.
Vs. Northwestern
Taryn Bowen won a three-set match at No. 6 singles to clinch a 5-2 upset victory for Ohio State over then-No. 15 Northwestern Saturday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. The Buckeyes began the match by winning two of three doubles matches to claim the doubles point. Dascoli and Rincon posted an upset win at No. 1, defeating the No. 30-ranked duo of Nasser and Cheng, 8-2. Pervez and Maloney won at No. 2, 8-4, to clinch the doubles point. The Buckeyes won four of six singles matches to earn the victory. No. 32 Dascoli defeated No. 54 Nasser in two sets, while Michelle Matko recorded a two-set victory at No. 3 over Cheng. The Wildcats won two singles matches to pull within one point, 3-2, but Bowen and Maloney each won in three sets to give the Buckeyes the win. Against NU’s Jessica Strickland at No. 6, Bowen won the first set before falling in the second. However, she rebounded in the third to clinch both her match and the win for the Buckeyes. After dropping the first set in her match against Jennifer Lutgert, Maloney came back to win.
Vs. Illinois
Ohio State recorded a 5-2 victory over then-No. 28-ranked Illinois, Sunday at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. The Buckeyes started the day by claiming two of three doubles matches to win the doubles point. Kristy Dascoli and Monica Rincon posted a win at No. 1 over Eldina Fazlic and Brooke Ferney, while Sadhaf Pervez and Laura Maloney won at No. 2 over Simone Kung and Michelle Webb.For the second day in a row, the Buckeyes won four of six singles matches to clinch the victory. Ohio State posted wins at the top four singles positions as Dascoli, Rincon, Matko and Pervez all chipped in wins.

Improving Against the Ranked
After defeating Northwestern and Illinois last weekend, the Buckeyes improved to 7-6 against ranked opponents this season. The squad recorded wins over two Top 25 teams – No. 15 Northwestern and No. 25 Marquette – as well as compiling five other wins against teams in the national Top 75 (No. 28 Illinois, No. 41 Kansas, No. 60 Minnesota, No. 61 Penn State and No. 66 Wisconsin. Rankings listed are from when the match was played. The squad’s losses to ranked opponents were against four Top 25 teams and two Top 75 squads. Last year, the team was 3-9 over ranked opponents, including a mark of 1-6 against teams in the national Top 25.

In the Record Book – Again
For the second-consecutive season, Rincon has broken into the Top 10 in program history for season singles wins. Her mark of 25-8 this season ranks sixth (tied) all-time in program history, while her 23-10 record last season ranks 10th (tied) all-time. Maria Olazagatsti holds the record for most singles wins in a season with 29 in 1977, while Kristen Jordan has the most wins (27 in 1997) since the NCAA limited the number of competitive dates to 25 in 1992. Rincon needs five more wins to become the all-time program leader in that category.

On a Roll
Dascoli has improved her record to 24-9 after putting together a nine-match winning streak. She has lost only twice in her last 14 outings.

Leading the Way in Doubles
Overall, Rincon has also compiled the most doubles wins for the squad, with a record of 20-9 this year. Dascoli ranks second with a mark of 17-10.

Moving Up in the Record Book
With a career singles record of 68-32, Dascoli is tied for third place all-time on the career singles wins list. She needs 13 singles wins to become the program’s all-time leader. The current leader is Maria Olazagatsti, who compiled a record of 81-20 from 1977-79.

The Team Records
As a team, the Buckeyes have recorded an overall singles mark of 130-87 this season for a winning percentage of 60 percent. The squad has gone 48-38 in doubles this year for a winning percentage of 56 percent. The squad is strong in conference singles, as it has gone 22-14 so far this season.

Stepping In
The Buckeyes’ freshman class of Bowen, Martin and Pervez have all contributed to the team’s success this season. Pervez currently plays at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles for the Buckeyes, while Bowen and Martin have stepped into the lineup when needed. Overall, Pervez has gone 19-11 in singles and 11-9 in doubles. Bowen played at No. 6 in the last three matches for the Buckeyes, while Martin played in that spot against San Diego State.

Strong at the Top
The Buckeyes have recorded a mark of 31-5 at the top two singles spots so far this season. Dascoli, Matko and Rincon each tallied wins at No. 1, while Rincon, Matko and Pervez have each chipped in wins at No. 2. Dascoli ranks second among all Big Ten players at No. 1, while Rincon leads the list at No. 2.