Aug. 24, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team, under 16th-year head coach Chuck Merzbacher, is slated to face 12 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 75 teams in 2012, including five Top 25 squads. The Buckeyes, who finished last season ranked No. 57, begin the fall season hosting the Muirfield Collegiate Tennis Invitational Sept. 16-18 in Dublin, Ohio.

The team then continues individual tournaments in October, traveling to the ITA All-American Oct. 1-9 before competing in the West Virginia Fall Tournament in Morgantown, W.V. The Buckeyes wrap up the month by hosting the ITA Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 20-25. The event will feature some of the top players from the region competing for a berth at the ITA National Indoor Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, N.Y. The Buckeyes wrap up the fall slate with a trip to the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational Nov. 4-6 in Tempe, Ariz.

Ohio State kicks off the 2012 dual-match season with a trip to Tampa, Fla., Jan. 15 to face the South Florida Bulls, who finished ranked 41st a year ago. The Buckeyes open their home slate with a doubleheader against West Virginia and Dayton Jan. 21 before traveling back to Florida to compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Tallahassee, Fla., Jan. 28-29 along with host Florida State, Texas A&M and Mississippi. All three teams finished in the Top 40 of the ITA polls last year at No. 15, 33 and 40, respectively.

February presents a busy and challenging schedule for the team. The Buckeyes host Syracuse Feb. 4 before taking on Penn State Feb. 7 in State College, Pa., in their first Big Ten match of the year. Ohio State will then compete in four matches in eight days, including two against Top 25 opponents. The Scarlet and Gray face Tennessee (17th) at home Feb. 19 and Louisville on the road in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 22 before hosting DePaul Feb. 24. Ohio State and DePaul met in the first round of the NCAA tournament two seasons ago, with the Buckeyes coming out ahead in a 4-1 decision. Ohio State and Arkansas (22nd) close the month out with a match in Columbus Feb. 26.

Ohio State travels to Eugene, Ore., to face the Oregon Ducks Feb. 4 before heading to Louisiana for matches against Tulane and Louisiana State (68th) March 18 and 20, respectively. The Buckeyes move into the Big Ten slate with home matches against Purdue (65th) and Indiana March 23 and 25, respectively, before facing first-year Big Ten member Nebraska (43rd) March 30 in Lincoln, Neb.

The team opens April with a road match against Iowa before hosting Wisconsin and Minnesota in Columbus April 6 and 8, respectively. The Buckeyes then take a trip to Illinois to face Illinois (72nd) April 13 and Northwestern (12th) April 15. The final weekend of the regular season includes a home Senior Day match against Michigan State April 20 and a road trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan (10th) April 22.

The Buckeyes get a chance to show off their new outdoor tennis facility by hosting the 2012 Big Ten Tournament April 26-29. NCAA tournament play starts May 11-12 with regional action on campus sites and the NCAA team, singles and doubles championships will be held in Athens, Ga., May 16-28.

Last season the Buckeyes finished 15-11, including an outstanding 10-2 home record. The Scarlet and Gray tied Purdue for third in the Big Ten with a 7-3 conference ledger. The Buckeyes have made NCAA appearances nine times under Merzbacher, including three of the past four seasons.