COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 71st-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (8-7, 1-0 Big Ten) dropped a 7-0 decision to the No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers Wednesday evening in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Volunteers overcame early deficits in the doubles matches on courts two and three to sweep doubles before taking four straight set singles wins and a pair of third-set super tiebreaker victories to earn the shutout.
Rosalia Alda and Maria Sorbello scored the first doubles victory for the Volunteers, downing Gabby Steele and Fidan Manashirova on court two, 8-4. The 59th-ranked doubles tandem of Natalie Pluskota and Millie Nichols then earned the doubles point for Tennessee with an 8-5 win on court one against Cami Hubbs and Kelsey Haviland.
Kata Szekely and Jennifer Meredith ousted Noelle Malley and Kara Cecil on court three, 8-5, to secure the doubles sweep for the host Volunteers.
In singles, Nichols was the first off the courts for the Volunteers after defeating Ohio State freshman Tiffany Dittmer on court six, 6-0, 6-0. The loss was the first for the freshman Buckeye in dual matches this season.
Alda followed up Nichols’ win with a victory of her own on court two against Cecil, 6-0, 6-2. Sorbello then clinched the victory for the Volunteers with a 6-0, 6-3 win against Hubbs on court five.
Ohio State’s Kelsey Haviland found herself on the wrong side of a 6-1, 6-3 decision on court one against Pluskota, who is ranked 42nd nationally in singles.
Tennessee rounded out the match with a pair of super tiebreaker wins on courts three and four. Despite taking the first set, 6-2, Manashirova couldn’t hold on for the Buckeyes as Szekely climbed back to take the set second and then the super tiebreaker to win, 2-6, 6-1, 10-3. Steele found herself battling back from an early deficit, but knotted the match with a second set victory, 6-4, against the 36th-ranked Boren. However, the Volunteer clinched the sweep with a super tiebreaker win to take the match, 6-3, 4-6, 10-5.
With nonconference play out of the way, the Buckeyes return home to face Iowa and Illinois Friday and Sunday, respectively. Ohio State faces the Hawkeyes at 5 p.m. Friday and the Illini at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Ohio State Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
#21 Tennessee 7, #71 Ohio State 0
1. #42 Natalie Pluskota (TENN) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Rosalía Alda (TENN) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 6-0, 6-2
3. #36 Brynn Boren (TENN) def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
4. Kata Szekely (TENN) def. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 2-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-0, 6-3
6. Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) 6-0, 6-0
1. #59 Natalie Pluskota/Millie Nichols (TENN) def. Cami Hubbs/Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 8-5
2. Rosalía Alda/Maria Sorbello (TENN) def. Gabby Steele/Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 8-4
3. Kata Szekely/Jennifer Meredith (TENN) def. Noelle Malley/Kara Cecil (OSU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,2,5,1,4,3)