COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 75th-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team swept all six singles matches, including four in straight set fashion, to come back from an early deficit and down the Eastern Michigan Eagles (7-7) Sunday, 6-1, at home in the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.
The Buckeyes (8-6, 1-0 Big Ten) dropped the doubles point to the Eagles, but responded well in singles to improve their home record to 6-1 this season. Earlier in the day, Ohio State suffered its only home loss in a 6-1 decision to No. 64 South Florida.
For the second time of the day, the No. 3 doubles tandem of Noelle Malley and Kara Cecil roared to the first finish, this time downing Eastern Michigan’s Marcela Rivero and Mariya Toncheva, 8-5. The Eagles clawed their way back from deficits on courts one and two, however, to clinch the doubles point.
On court one, EMU’s Miriam Westerink and Nino Mebuke earned a win in a 9-7 decision over Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs while the Eagles’ tandem of Xu Chang and Georgia de’Lisle-Tarr won six-consecutive games to take the match, 8-4, on court two.
Hubbs earned the first point in singles for Ohio State, downing Rivero, 6-0, 6-2, on court five. Meanwhile, Hubbs’ doubles partner, Kelsey Haviland, was wrapping up her match with Westerink on court one. Haviland jumped out to a lead in both sets and took the match 6-1, 6-3.
Tiffany Dittmer was the next winner for the Buckeyes, claiming her second singles victory of the day. The freshman claimed a 6-4, 6-2 victory against de’Lisle-Tarr on court six.
Manashirova clinched the match for the Buckeyes to avoid any chance of upset for Eastern Michigan. Her 6-3, 6-3 victory on court four against Mariya Toncheva provided the fourth team point for Ohio State.
Cecil dropped the first set of her match to EMU’s Chang, but rebounded with a 6-4 second-set victory and a 10-4 super tiebreaker win to take the match, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4).
OSU’s Steele and EMU’s Mebuke made a marathon of their match, taking the first two sets to tiebreakers before entering a super tiebreaker. Mebuke claimed the first set before Steele rallied to take the second, forcing the third set super tiebreaker. The junior Buckeye would win it, 11-9, to take the match, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 1-0 (9).
The Buckeyes travel to Knoxville, Tenn., Tuesday to face the Volunteers for the second time this season. Ohio State faced Tennessee in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, falling to UT, 6-1.
Ohio State returns home Friday to face Iowa at 5 p.m. The Buckeyes take on Illinois Sunday at 11 a.m.
Tennis Match Results
Eastern Michigan vs Ohio State
Mar 20, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
#75 Ohio State 6, Eastern Michigan 1
1. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Miriam Westerink (EMU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Nino Mebuke (EMU) 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (11-9)
3. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Xu Chang (EMU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
4. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Mariya Toncheva (EMU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Marcela Rivero (EMU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) def. Georgia deLisle-Tarr (EMU) 6-4, 6-2
1. Miriam Westerink/Nino Mebuke (EMU) def. Kelsey Haviland/Cami Hubbs (OSU) 9-7
2. Xu Chang/Georgia deLisle-Tarr (EMU) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 8-4
3. Kara Cecil/Noelle Malley (OSU) def. Marcela Rivero/Mariya Toncheva (EMU) 8-5
Eastern Michigan 7-7
Ohio State 8-6; National ranking #75
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,6,4,3)