June 2, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the final ITA rankings of 2017, the Ohio State women’s tennis team held down the No. 3 spot. Top-ranked Francesca Di Lorenzo led four ranked Buckeyes in singles, joined by No. 61 Anna Sanford, No. 90 Miho Kowase and No. 97 Gabriella De Santis. In doubles, the tandem of Di Lorenzo and Kowase was slotted third, while Sanford and Sandy Niehaus were the No. 71-ranked pair and Niehaus and De Santis came in at No. 73.
The No. 3 ranking is a program best final ranking for the Buckeyes, topping the 2016 finish of sixth. The Buckeyes were 32-3 in 2017, setting the program record for wins in a season. The squad reached the NCAA semifinals for the first time in program history and hosted NCAA first and second round matches for the second year in a row. The Buckeyes, who had a program-record 22 shutouts, claimed their second consecutive Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.
Di Lorenzo was the No. 1-ranked singles player all spring after winning two ITA titles in the fall. The No. 1 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship, she was 37-2 in 2016-17, with a 27-1 mark in dual play and an 18-2 ledger vs. ranked foes. Her 37 wins tied her program record for single-season victories, first set a season ago. She earned All-America honors in singles for the second year in a row and was named Big Ten Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Kowase and Di Lorenzo end the year ranked third after winning the NCAA Doubles Championship, the first NCAA title in program history. The duo was 23-1 overall, with an 18-1 mark in dual play, and ended the season on a 19-match winning streak en route to the NCAA crown. The tandem earned All-America honors, the second Buckeye duo to be recognized as All-Americans.
Sanford had a 22-14 mark overall in 2016-17, with a 16-10 dual ledger, to end the season ranked 61st. Kowase, who ended the year ranked 90th, was a perfect 27-0 in dual matches and 35-3 overall, ranking second on the team in wins and tying for fourth in a single campaign for a Buckeye. De Santis was 22-9 on the year and was 19-5 in dual matches, ending the year ranked 97th.
The tandem of Niehaus and Sanford was ranked 71st after going 11-6 on the year (overall and in dual matches), with a 4-1 record in the NCAA team tournament. Niehaus and De Santis were 12-4 overall, 7-2 in dual play, to finish the year No. 73.