April 30, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team defended its Big Ten Tournament title, defeating No. 10-ranked Michigan, 4-0, in the championship match Sunday in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes are now 28-2 this season and have won their last 14 matches.
Ohio State receives the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. The Buckeyes will be making the 14th NCAA appearance in program history and the fourth in a row. The bracket will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on NCAA.com. The Top 16 seeds will host first and second round matches on campus May 12-14.
“We came out and played a really good tennis match today,” Melissa Schaub, Ohio State head coach, said. “We came out well in doubles. We said yesterday we would learn from the semifinal match (a 4-3 win) and that we, in a way, needed that kind of match. We responded really well today. We have so much respect for Michigan and their program. They are very well coached and very talented. We gave this match everything we had because we knew that was what was absolutely going to be needed. Now, we will see what happens with the NCAA draw on Tuesday and start preparing for that. I’m just really proud of the fight and toughness of this team.”
— Ohio State W Tennis (@OhioState_WTEN) April 30, 2017
The No. 1 seed Buckeyes faced the No. 2 Wolverines inside. The squad gained the 1-0 advantage going into doubles after clinching the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. Seniors Ferny Angeles Paz, Miho Kowase and Gabriella De Santis all posted straight set singles win to shut out Michigan. It was the Buckeyes’ second win this season over the Wolverines after a nonconference victory in February. The teams shared the Big Ten regular season title with 11-0 records in conference play.
In doubles, the Buckeye duo of junior Anna Sanford and senior Sandy Niehaus topped Brienne Minor and Chiara Lommer, 6-3, on court two for the first doubles win. The senior pair of Angeles Paz and De Santis downed Lera Patiuk and Mira Ruder-Hook, 6-2, on court three to clinch the doubles point for the Buckeyes. On court one, the No. 19-ranked pair of sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and Kowase was leading the No. 9-ranked tandem of Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian 5-4 when play was abandoned.
No. 117 Angeles Paz downed Patiuk, 6-0, 6-1, on court six to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-0. On court four, No. 95 Kowase notched a 6-2, 6-2 win over Najaran, extending her win streak to 22 and staying undefeated this spring. No. 94 De Santis posted a 6-4, 6-1 win, marking her 10th in a row, against Lommer on court three to secure the title.
It was a good day for the Scarlet and Gray.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) April 30, 2017
After being down in the first set, No. 1 Di Lorenzo battled back to win 7-5 against No. 25 Fahey on court one and was ahead 3-0 when play was suspended. On court two, No. 60 Sanford claimed the first set over No. 24 Minor, 7-5, lost the second, 6-1, and was winning the third, 2-1, when play was called. No. 102 Niehaus defeated Ruder-Hook 6-3 in the first but had just dropped the second set 6-4 when the match ended.
Kowase improves to 31-3 this year and picks up career win No. 108, extending her program record. De Santis improves her dual record to 18-4 and stands 21-8 overall this year. Angeles Paz is now 31-6 this year and 23-2 in dual matches.
Ohio State was making its fourth appearance in the Big Ten Tournament final. The Buckeyes lost to Northwestern in 2004 and Michigan in 2015 but defeated the Wolverines, 4-2, last year to claim the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title.
Tennis Match Results
Michigan vs Ohio State
Apr 30, 2017 at Urbana, Ill.
(Atkins Tennis Center)
#4 Ohio State 4, #10 Michigan 0
1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) vs. #25 Kate Fahey (MICH) 7-5, 3-0, unfinished
2. #60 Anna Sanford (OSU) vs. #24 Brienne Minor (MICH) 7-5, 1-6, 2-1, unfinished
3. #94 Gabriella De Santis (OSU) def. Chiara Lommer (MICH) 6-4, 6-1
4. #95 Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Alex Najarian (MICH) 6-2, 6-2
5. #102 Sandy Niehaus (OSU) vs. Mira Ruder-Hook (MICH) 6-3, 4-6, unfinished
6. #117 Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Valeria Patiuk (MICH) 6-0, 6-1
1. #19 Francesca Di Lorenzo/Miho Kowase (OSU) vs. #9 Kate Fahey/Alex Najarian (MICH) 5-4, unfinished
2. Anna Sanford/Sandy Niehaus (OSU) def. Chiara Lommer/Brienne Minor (MICH) 6-2
3. Gabriella De Santis/Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Mira Ruder-Hook/Valeria Patiuk (MICH) 6-3
Michigan 21-5; National ranking #10
Ohio State 28-2; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,4,3)v Played on indoor courts at Atkins Tennis Center
Big Ten Tournament Championship
Ohio State #1 seed, Michigan #2 seed