January 31, 2018

No. 22 Buckeyes Host Two Matches This Week


Jan. 31, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 22-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team continues its homestand with two matches in Columbus this week. The squad will take on Kentucky at 5 p.m. Thursday and Notre Dame at noon Sunday. All three matches will be played at the Varsity Tennis Center (880 West Henderson Road), with admission free. Live video and scoring for all matches in the VTC is available online HERE.

Last Time Out
Ohio State was a host site for ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the second straight year, facing Kansas and Wake Forest last weekend.

The Buckeyes downed Kansas, 4-1, in the opening round Friday. The Buckeyes won the doubles point, with victories from the tandems of Anna Sanford and Shiori Fukuda and Olivia Sneed and Mary Beth Hurley on courts one and two, respectively. In singles, Fukuda, Sanford and Sneed were victorious to clinch the win, with seniors Sanford and Sneed both winning in three sets. On courts five and six, Danielle Wolf and Emma DeCoste both had rallied from a set down and were in the third set when play was halted.

Saturday, Ohio State fell to Wake Forest, 4-2. The Buckeyes again notched the doubles point. Sanford and Fukuda won on court one, with Danielle Wolf and Emma DeCoste posting a victory on court two. The third court, with Sneed and Hurley, led 5-2 when play was called. In singles, Fukuda posted the Buckeyes’ win with a straight set victory on court two. The loss ended the Buckeyes’ 34-match home winning streak.

Fukada and Hurley picked up their first collegiate dual match wins, while DeCoste notched her first dual match doubles victory for the Scarlet and Gray.

Buckeyes in the Rankings
Redshirt freshman Shiori Fukuda was ranked in the most recent ITA Rankings, coming in at No. 80. She and classmate Maria Tyrina were slotted 30th in the doubles rankings. The senior duo of Anna Sanford and Olivia Sneed was No. 49 in the rankings. New individual rankings will be released Feb. 7.

As a team, Ohio State is currently No. 22 in the ITA rankings, one of three Top 25 Big Ten teams (No. 10 Michigan, No. 23 Northwestern).

In the USTA poll released Wednesday, the Buckeyes are No. 18.

The Buckeye Opponents
• Kentucky is 3-1 on the year. The squad opened the season with wins over Northern Kentucky and Miami. The Wildcats hosted ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches, losing in the first round to Northwestern but re bounding with a 4-2 win over NC State.
• Akvilė Paražinskaitė is ranked 20th in singles by the ITA for the Wildcats.
• Ohio State is 6-15 all-time vs. Kentucky. The teams last met in a dual match Feb. 14, 2014, a 4-2 Wildcat win. The last matchup in Columbus was Feb. 12, 2013, when Kentucky won 4-3.
• The Buckeyes and Wildcats competed at the Miami Spring Invitational hidden dual earlier this month.
Notre Dame
• The Irish opened the year with wins over Western Michigan and Eastern Illinois, sweeping both, 7-0.
• Ohio State and Notre Dame have met 22 times, including each year from 1998-2010, with the Irish ahead 18-5.
• The teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Ohio State posted a 4-0 win on its home courts.

The Buckeyes in Early 2018
Ohio State began the year with two hidden dual tournaments, with three Buckeyes traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 13-15 and the whole squad competing in the Miami Spring Invite in Coral Gables, Fla., Jan. 19-21.

Junior Andrea Ballinger led the Buckeyes with three wins in the Michigan tournament.

In Miami, the Buckeyes were highlighted by three ranked wins in the tournament, with the doubles tandem of Shiori Fukuda and Anna Sanford downing the No. 19-ranked squad and Olivia Sneed and Fukuda both recording Top 30 singles wins.

Buckeye Newcomers
Three new faces are on the Ohio State roster this year. Mary Beth Hurley joined the squad in the fall, while Emma DeCoste and Hannah Cseplo were added to the roster following fall semester. Hurley is a native of Novi, Michigan, while DeCoste hails from Stuart, Florida and Cseplo is from Concord, Ohio.

Hurley posted her first collegiate win at the Furman Debbie Southern Fall Classic in September and DeCoste notched her first victory as a Buckeye at the Michigan Invitational earlier this month. Cseplo played her first matches as a Buckeye last weekend in Miami.

Shiori Fukuda and Maria Tyrina both redshirted last spring after joining the team prior to spring semester and notched their first collegiate wins in the Furman tournament. Danielle Wolf, who started her career at Indiana before coming to Ohio State in Fall 2016, was a redshirt last year. She posted her first win for the Scarlet and Gray at Furman.

Looking Ahead
After Sunday’s match vs. Notre Dame, the Buckeyes will be off until a match on the road at Penn State Feb. 22. The next match in Columbus is slated for Feb. 25, when Ohio State will host Arizona State.