Ohio State earns seventh shutout win in conference opener

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 21 Ohio State women’s tennis team (12-3, 1-0 Big Ten) opened its conference slate with a 7-0 victory over Penn State (2-8, 0-2 Big Ten) Friday evening in University Park, Pa. The win is the team’s fifth-consecutive over the Nittany Lions.

Ohio State opened play by sweeping doubles for the seventh time this season, taking the point and a 1-0 lead. Freshmen Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele finished first for the Scarlet and Gray, downing the Nittany Lion duo of Lauren McCarthy and Michaela Stracar, 8-1. The Buckeye tandem is now 9-1 this spring season, with a team-best doubles winning percentage (.900).

Christina Keesey and Paloma Escobedo took their match against Petra Januskova and Maria Prishlyak, 8-2. The Ohio State twosome of Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs pushed their season win total to 12 after defeating Sarah Lotto and Amy Simidian, 8-4, at the top doubles spot.

Manashirova and Steele extended their co-ownership of the team’s best singles record to 17 after both won in straight sets. Steele finished first, posting a 6-1, 6-3 victory over PSU’s Sarah Henderson while Manashirova finished with a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Stracar.

Haviland, playing at the No. 3 position, clinched the win for the Buckeyes after defeating Prishlyak, 6-4, 6-3. Kirsten Flower, ranked 49th nationally in singles, defeated 66th-ranked Januskova in straight sets 6-2, 7-6. The win is Flower’s fourth against a ranked opponent this season.

Escobedo battled with Penn State’s Simidian at the No. 2 spot but came out on top in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6. Keesey defeated McCarthy, 7-6, 6-1, to give the Buckeyes their seventh shutout win of the season.

Ohio State remains on the road for the next three matches, playing at Purdue March 12, at Long Beach State March 23 and at Rice March 27. The Scarlet and Gray return to Columbus April 2 to host Minnesota.

No. 21 Ohio State 7, Penn State 0
1. Cami Hubbs/Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Amy Simidian/Sarah Lotto (PSU), 8-4
2. Christina Keesey/Paloma Escobedo (OSU)  def. Maria Prishlyak/Petra Januskova (PSU), 8-2
3. Gabby Steele/Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Lauren McCarthy/Michaela Stracar (PSU), 8-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. No. 67 Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. No. 66 Petra Januskova (PSU), 6-2, 7-6(5)
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Amy Simidian (PSU), 6-2, 7-6(4)
3. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Maria Prishlyak (PSU), 6-4, 6-3
4. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Lauren McCarthy (PSU), 7-5, 6-1
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Sarah Henderson (PSU), 6-1, 6-3
6. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Michaela Stracar (PSU), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 3, 1, 2, 4