COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 28th-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team improved to 9-1 after downing No. 58 LSU, 5-2, Wednesday afternoon at home in the Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center. The 9-1 start is the best for the Buckeyes since beginning the 2002 campaign with nine wins in their first 10 matches.

“It was a good win against an SEC opponent,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said. “It’s going to help propel us into the match against Tennessee this weekend.”

The Buckeyes took an early 1-0 lead after winning two of the three doubles matches. On court three, freshmen Gabby Steele and Fidan Manashirova jumped to a 4-1 lead and didn’t look back, downing Louisiana State’s Kylie Adamek and Kaitlin Burns 8-2. Soon after court three finished play, Christina Keesey and Paloma Escobedo wrapped up their match against LSU’s Hannah Robinson and Nicole Kantor. The tandems engaged in a back and forth battle with a 4-3 score after seven games. The Buckeye duo found its rhythm after winning the fourth and didn’t drop another game on the way to an 8-3 finish, clinching the doubles point for the Scarlet and Gray.

The top doubles team of Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs had their hands full against Whitney Wolf and Keri Frankenberger on court one. The Buckeyes fell to a 4-1 deficit early in the match before rallying back to cut it to a 7-5 Tiger lead. The LSU duo shut the door on a Scarlet and Gray comeback in the next game, clinching the match 8-5.

Escobedo was out of the gates first for the Buckeyes, quickly downing Frankenberger in straight sets on court two, 6-1, 6-0. Keesey had a difficult outing against Burns on court three. The senior led early in the first set, but Burns came back to win in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, to pull the Tigers back within one on the scoreboard, 2-1.

Courts five and six were next to finish. On six, Manashirova defeated Robinson in straights sets, 6-2, 6-4, to move the Buckeyes one point closer to their ninth win of the season. Steele provided the clinching point for the Scarlet and Gray on court five, winning in straight sets against Ebie Wilson, 6-2, 6-1.

After moving to the super-tiebreaker format, No. 53 Kirsten Flower put away No. 120 Whitney Wolf in a close three set finish, 6-0, 6-7(6), 10-4 on court one. Haviland was unable to finish against Kantor, dropping the last two sets, including a heartbreaking super tiebreaker set, in a 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 loss.

The Buckeyes return to the court Saturday to face Tennessee at noon at home in the Ohio State University Varsity Tennis Center.

Tennis Match Results
LSU vs Ohio State
Feb 17, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)

#28 Ohio State 5, #58 LSU 2

 Singles competition
1. #53 Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. #120 Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-0, 6-7 (6-8), 10-4
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 6-4, 6-1
4. Nicole Kantor (LSU) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 3-6, 6-3, 10-8
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Hannah Robinson (LSU) 6-2, 6-4

 Doubles competition
1. Whitney Wolf/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Kelsey Haviland/Cami Hubbs (OSU) 8-5
2. Paloma Escobedo/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Hannah Robinson/Nicole Kantor (LSU) 8-3
3. Gabby Steele/Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Kylie Adamek/Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 8-2

Match Notes:
LSU 2-4; National ranking #58
Ohio State 9-1; National ranking #28
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,3,6,5,1,4)