COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team will make its ninth trip to the NCAA tournament under head coach Chuck Merzbacher, opening the 2010 tourney against DePaul in Ann Arbor, Mich., next weekend. The NCAA announced the 64-team field for the 2010 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Tuesday on ESPNews, with Ohio State one of 33 at-large selections.

The Buckeyes enter the tournament ranked 34th nationally, with a 19-9 ledger, while the Blue Demons, who finished second in the Big East and are making their first appearance in the national tournament, are ranked 30th and have compiled an 18-5 ledger.

Host Michigan (22-4), the tournament’s No. 4 seed and the Big Ten regular-season champion, will take on Illinois-Chicago, the automatic qualifier from the Horizon League, in the other first-round matchup. Opening-round matches will be held May 14, with the second round set for May 15. Winners from each of the 16 campus sites will advance to the NCAA Championships May 20-25 in Athens, Ga.

“We are excited to make another trip to the NCAA tournament,” Merzbacher said. “We already played in Ann Arbor this season so it is nice to be familiar with the courts we will be playing on. DePaul’s head coach Mark Ardizzone is one of my best friends in tennis and it will be a good first-round matchup with the Blue Demons.”

Ohio State holds a 6-0 ledger all-time vs. DePaul. The squads last met in 2007, a 6-1 Buckeye win in Columbus. The teams met in Chicago in 2002, a 5-2 win for Ohio State.

This marks the third consecutive season Ohio State has made the NCAA tournament. The squad faced off against Kentucky last season and took on Auburn in 2008. The team made six-consecutive trips to the national tournament from 1999-04.
Nine Ohio State opponents from 2010 earned a spot in the NCAA tournament, including five Big Ten schools (Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana). Florida State, Virginia, Tennessee and Notre Dame also were on the Ohio State slate during the regular season.