COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shiori Fukuda, a redshirt junior on the Ohio State women’s tennis team, has been voted the Big Ten Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten team, with redshirt senior Danielle Wolf also named All-Big Ten. The league’s coaches voted on the conference’s year-end awards and all-league teams. Buckeye sophomore Kolie Allen received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State.
Fukuda, from Tokyo, Japan, is the third Buckeye to earn Big Ten Player of the Year accolades, joining two-time winners Kristy Dascoli (2000, ‘01) and Francesca Di Lorenzo (2016, ‘17). Fukuda also earned B1G Freshman of the Year accolades in 2018. A unanimous All-Big Ten choice each time she has been selected, Fukuda is the fifth Buckeye to earn three First Team All-Big Ten honors and the fourth to be honored each of her first three years. Dascoli (1998-01), Gabriella De Santis (2014-17) and Anna Sanford (2015-18) were all four-time honorees, while Miho Kowase (2014, ’16-17) and Monica Rincon (2000-02) were both three-time selections.
Fukuda was named an ITA All-American earlier this spring. She ended the year ranked No. 11 in the ITA rankings, the highest spot for a Big Ten player in the 2020 year-end rankings. Fukuda rose from No. 79 in the 2019-20 preseason rankings to a then-career best No. 11 at the end of the fall. She then reached a high of No. 8 in February before ending 11th.
A two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Week this year, Fukuda was 9-3 in dual matches, all on court one, and was 24-7 overall, leading the Buckeyes in wins in both categories. In the fall, Fukuda was the singles runner-up at the USTA Fall Ranked Spotlight and a finalist in both singles and doubles at the ITA Midwest Regionals. She reached the doubles final and advanced to the singles quarterfinals at an ITF $15K in Lubbock, Texas, as well. A communication major, she is a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and is expected to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third time.
Wolf, who hails from Cincinnati, moved up to court two this season and posted a 5-2 record at the spot. She was named the ITA Midwest Region Most Improved Senior award winner earlier this week. This season, Wolf, who clinched the Buckeyes’ win over Duke with a three-set victory, entered the national singles rankings at No. 99 Feb. 5, jumping to No. 60 and finishing at No. 62. She was 13-6 overall in 2019-20, posting a 7-2 dual record. She reached the ITA Midwest Regional quarterfinals out of qualifying in the fall. Wolf earned her bachelor’s degree in communication this spring. She is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and is expected to be a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She has also earned ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades.
Allen, a native of Lombard, Ill., was 14-8 overall this year, with a 7-4 record in dual matches, playing on court four. Among her singles wins was a three-set victory to clinch the Buckeyes’ victory over Florida State in a College MatchDay match. Allen ended the year ranked 61st in doubles and posted four doubles dual match victories. A speech and hearing science major, Allen is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and is expected to earn her first Academic All-Big Ten mention this spring.
As a team in 2020, the Buckeyes were 9-3 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play before the remainder of the season was canceled. The squad reached as high as No. 2 in the national rankings, ending at No. 5.