Jan. 25, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 22 Ohio State women’s tennis team travels to Milwaukee, Wis., for matches against the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Colorado Buffaloes. OSU owns a 6-3 overall record against Marquette. This is the first meeting between the Buckeyes and the Buffaloes.
We’re All Here
All eight student-athletes from last year’s NCAA-qualifying team have returned for the Buckeyes this season.
Leading the Buckeyes
Kristy Dascoli (Sr., Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Academy) is back for her final season at first singles for the Buckeye squad. She led OSU in the fall with a 10-4 record and became OSU’s all-time record holder for singles wins with 82.
Monica Rincon (Jr., Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer West) also had a strong fall season. Rincon, who was named the ITA Midwest Region Player to Watch at the end of last year, went 7-3, and teamed up with Dascoli in doubles to notch an 8-4 record. She set the program record for most wins in a season with 30 last year.
The Golden Eagles are 1-1 on the year. They defeated Wis.-Milwaukee, 7-0, in their first match of the season, but fell to Ill.-Chicago 4-3, on Jan. 20. They are ranked No. 56 in the nation and No. 11 in the Midwest Region. The Eagles are a young team, having only one senior and one sophomore. The remaining eight players are all freshmen.
Senior Laura Garcia, from Spain, in ranked No. 67 in the nation and No. 9 in the Midwest Region, while teammate and freshman, Genevieve Charron, from Quebec, is No. 24 in the Midwest Region.
Head coach Nicole Kenneally is in her second year of leading the Buffaloes. She is an Australian native and is CU’s eighth women’s tennis coach. In her first year, the team, which included seven underclassmen, finished with a mediocre 7-11 record. The Buffaloes are unranked nationally, but are ranked ninth in the ITA Central Region. Two German-born youngsters lead the Buffaloes. Dominque Lemperle is ranked ninth in the Central Region. The sophomore posted a 20-10 record in the 1999-2000 season. She saw most of her action at No. 2 singles where she was 12-7. Lemperle was victorious in the one match she played at No.1 singles.
Karoline Graeubig, from Trier, Germany, is a freshman this year, but is ranked 25th in the Central Region. For the past two years, in Germany, she was ranked in the top-20 in her age group and 160th nationally.
At the Helm
Coach Chuck Merzbacher (Minnesota, ’87), in his fifth season, has enjoyed much success since becoming the head man at OSU. He has compiled a 54-46 record, but has taken the Buckeyes from pretenders to contenders on the Big Ten and national stage. In Merzbacher’s first year, 1996-97, the team finished ninth in the Big Ten, but in only his fourth season the squad earned the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament and finished third.
The National Rankings
The Buckeyes are ranked a program-record tying 22nd in the most recent rankings released by the ITA (Dec. 12). The squad is ranked No. 3 in the region, behind only Notre Dame and Northwestern.
Among the Nation’s Best
Two Buckeyes were ranked nationally in singles in the ITA rankings. Kristy Dascoli is ranked a program-record No. 19 in singles, breaking her previous high of No. 32. Monica Rincon is ranked No. 83.
In doubles, Dascoli and Rincon achieved a program-best ranking of No. 5. The tandem of Laura Maloney and Erica Fisk is No. 39.
The Best in the Region
Regionally, four Buckeyes are ranked in singles, while two doubles teams are in the Top 10 in the Midwest Region. Kristy Dascoli is ranked second. Monica Rincon follows at No. 6. Freshman Erica Fisk is rated No. 18 and sophomore Sadhaf Pervez is No. 22. In doubles, Dascoli and Rincon are ranked second. The tandem of Pervez and Lindsay Williams holds the No. 9 spot. The duo has recorded wins over ranked teams in its last three outings. In that streak, they defeated No. 30 Nasser/Cheng of Northwestern, No. 19 Embry/Taheny of Purdue and No. 32 Anderson/Blanch of Indiana.
The Big Ten Tourney
This season, the Buckeyes have the honor of hosting the Big Ten Tennis Championships at the Stickney Tennis Center. All 11 conference schools will compete in the tournament, scheduled for April 26-29, 2001. The tournament champion receives the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
The Big Ten is Tough
Once again this season, the competition in the Big Ten will be tough, as eight conference teams, including Ohio State, are ranked by the ITA. Northwestern has the highest ranking at No. 16, followed by Ohio State (22), Illinois (33), Minnesota (35), Iowa (44), Indiana (49), Michigan (57) and Purdue (58).
The Team Indoors
This season, the Buckeyes have been invited to participate in the ITA Team Indoors in Madison, Wis., Feb. 15-18. Sixteen of the Top 25 teams in the nation will participate in the prestigious event.
Highlights of 1999-2000
In 1999-00, the Buckeyes were 18-8 overall and 9-2 in Big Ten play. The team finished third in the Big Ten tournament after earning the No. 1 seed. The team qualified for the NCAA championships for the second-consecutive season in a row. In addition the team earned the highest ranking in program history (No. 22), tied the school record for wins in a season (18) and went undefeated (11-0) at home. Recorded the program’s first NCAA postseason victory by defeating the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.
Kristy Dascoli, a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, qualified for the national tournament for the third consecutive season. She is the only player in OSU history to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Monica Rincon partnered with Dascoli to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championship. The duo ended the season ranked No. 18 after an upset win in the first round. Rincon set a program record for most wins in a season (30).