January 24, 2020

No. 25 Buckeyes Head to ITA Kickoff to Begin Dual Season

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team begins dual match play this weekend in Stillwater, Okla., for ITA Kickoff Weekend. No. 10 Oklahoma State is the site host, joined by the No. 25 Buckeyes, No. 24 Wake Forest and San Diego.

In the first round Saturday, Ohio State will take on Wake Forest at 3 p.m. ET, with Oklahoma State facing San Diego in the first match of the day at noon. The site winner will earn a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The championship match is set for 3 p.m. ET Sunday, preceded by the consolation match at noon ET. All matches will be played at the Greenwood Tennis Center.

Oklahoma State is 4-0 for the 2020 season, defeating Abilene Christian, Wichita State, Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts. Wake Forest grabbed a pair of wins in its first two home matches of the season against Winthrop and Charleston. San Diego is 1-0 on the season after defeating Nevada. Ohio State will open dual match play in Stillwater after competing in the individual Michigan Invite last weekend.

All four teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. Oklahoma State reached the quarterfinals and Wake Forest reached the second round, while Ohio State and San Diego fell in the first round.

ITA Kickoff Weekend
This is the 10th time Ohio State will compete in ITA Kickoff Weekend (previously known as the ITA National Indoor Qualifier). Winners from the 15 host sites earn a spot in the ITA Team Indoor Championship, hosted for the women this year by Illinois.

Ohio State has reached the ITA Team Indoor Championship three times in the last four years.

In 2019, the Buckeyes traveled to Atlanta with Georgia Tech as the site host. Ohio State opened its dual match season with a 4-0 victory against the Yellow Jackets in the first round and then downed Kentucky, 4-1, to advance to ITA Team Indoors. The Buckeyes lost to Duke, 4-3, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Round of 16 in Seattle.

In 2018, Ohio State was a Kickoff Weekend site. The Buckeyes defeated Kansas, 4-1, in the first round before a 4-2 loss to Wake Forest in the championship match. In 2017, the Buckeyes advanced to National Team Indoors with 4-0 wins over Florida State and Alabama in Columbus. In 2016, the Buckeyes beat Pepperdine and TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, to earn a spot at National Indoors for the second time in program history.

Last Time Out

Last weekend, the Buckeyes were in Ann Arbor for the Michigan Invitational, a hidden dual tournament. Ohio State compiled eight singles and four doubles wins. Mary Beth Hurley led the Buckeyes with a 3-0 record in singles, while Shiori Fukuda and Danielle Wolf each went 2-0. The duo of Fukuda and Irina Cantos Siemers had two doubles victories.

Fukuda was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week after going undefeated last weekend, with two ranked singles victories.

In the Rankings

Three Buckeyes were in the ITA Rankings at the end of the fall season. New individual rankings will be released Feb. 5.

Shiori Fukuda was No. 11, the highest-ranked Buckeye since Francesca Di Lorenzo was No. 1 in the spring of 2017. The previous high for Fukuda was No. 43 in February 2018. Fukuda is the third Buckeye ranked in the Top 20, joining Di Lorenzo and Kristy Dascoli.

Freshman Irina Cantos Siemers was ranked No. 58 and sophomore Kolie Allen was No. 125.

Up Next

Ohio State opens its home schedule next weekend, hosting Duke at 5 p.m. Jan. 31. The home opener will be played in the Varsity Tennis Center and admission is free.