April 6, 2017

No. 3 Ohio State Travels to Face Two Conference Opponents


April 6, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (19-2, 5-0 B1G) will travel to face two conference opponents this weekend. The Buckeyes will head to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on Iowa at 7 p.m. ET Friday before traveling to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Ohio State enters the weekend 19-2 this spring with its losses to No. 1-ranked Florida and No. 4-ranked North Carolina. Overall, the Buckeyes are 8-2 vs. ranked opponents this season, with six wins over teams in the Top 15 at the time of the match. The squad is 5-0 in Big Ten matches, shutting out Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Maryland, and defeating Rutgers, 6-1. The team has won the doubles point in 18 of 21 matches, losing to only Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Florida.

Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern lead the Big Ten with matching 5-0 marks, while Michigan State is next at 4-1.

In the ITA Rankings released this week, the Buckeyes were slotted at No. 3. Other ranked B1G teams include No. 8 Michigan, No. 34 Northwestern and No. 44 Maryland.

Ohio State has five ranked singles players and three ranked doubles tandems. Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo remains ranked first, junior Anna Sanford is No. 74, senior Sandy Niehaus is No. 75, No. 86 is senior Miho Kowase and senior Gabriella De Santis is No. 93.

In doubles, the pair of Di Lorenzo and Kowase is No. 22. The senior duo of De Santis and Niehaus is slotted at No. 39 and Di Lorenzo and Sanford are No. 84.

Iowa is 13-5 and 3-3 in conference play this season. In the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes have defeated Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota but fallen to Maryland, Illinois and Northwestern. The squad has one ranked doubles pair, with the duo of junior Zoe Douglas and freshman Elise Van Heuvelen checking in at No. 86.

Ohio State is 21-23 all-time vs. Iowa. The two faced each other last year, a 7-0 win for the Buckeyes at home and Ohio State’s third consecutive win over the Hawkeyes.

The Cornhuskers are 17-3 and 3-2 in Big Ten play this spring. In conference play, Nebraska topped Purdue, Wisconsin and Nebraska and lost to Northwestern and Minnesota. The squad will face Penn State Friday before taking on the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes are 5-6 all-time against Nebraska, with a 3-2 mark since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. The teams faced off last season, a 7-0 sweep for Ohio State in Columbus.

Junior Anna Sanford was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week Tuesday after picking up five wins last weekend in Columbus as the Buckeyes posted three team victories.

Sanford had three singles wins and two doubles wins. In singles, she dropped just four total games in the three matches combined (just one in her two B1G matches). Her first two wins were on court two, with a victory on court three vs. No. 37-ranked Maryland. In doubles, she paired with Sandy Niehaus to claim a 6-1 victory vs. Rutgers and a 6-2 win vs. Dayton on court two and were ahead vs. Maryland when the doubles point was clinched.

• The Buckeyes have combined for a 140-38 record overall in singles this year, with a 94-15 mark in dual matches. In doubles, the squad is 55-24 overall and 39-12 in dual match play.
• Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo leads the team in singles wins with 25 this season, followed by senior Miho Kowase with 24. Kowase leads the team with 16 dual match wins, while Di Lorenzo, senior Sandy Niehaus and senior Ferny Angeles Paz each have 15.
• In doubles, Kowase is first with 19 wins, followed by Niehaus with 18. The senior tandem of Gabriella De Santis and Niehaus has a team-best of 11 victories overall, while Kowase and Di Lorenzo are first with 10 dual match victories.
• In singles, the squad has a 17-1 mark on court one, 11-7 on two, 12-4 on three, 17-1 on four, 19-0 on five and 15-2 on six. In doubles, court one is 13-6, court two is 15-2 and court three is 11-4.
• Kowase enters the weekend on a 16-match winning streak and with 101 career singles victories. The senior is now tied for the second-most career wins in program history and is just the third Buckeye with triple digit singles victories.
• Di Lorenzo and Niehaus are both on 10-match winning streaks heading into the weekend.

The squad claimed three victories last week, with two Friday and one Sunday.

In the first match Friday, Ohio State topped Rutgers, 6-1. The duo of Sandy Niehaus and Anna Sanford was the first off the court after posting a 6-1 win on court one, while the senior pair of Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz posted a 6-0 win on court two to clinch the doubles point. Gabriella De Santis, Sanford, Kowase, Angeles Paz and sophomore Olivia Sneed all posted straight set victories to help secure the team win over the Scarlet Knights.

After a short intermission, the squad swept Dayton, 7-0. The Buckeyes clinched the doubles point with wins on all three courts, while also posting straight set wins on all six singles courts to defeat the Flyers and claim the second win of the day.

On Sunday, Ohio State downed Maryland, 7-0, in their first outdoor home match of the season. The senior pair of De Santis and Angeles Paz notched the first doubles victory with a 6-1 win on court three, while the No. 16-ranked tandem of Kowase and Francesca Di Lorenzo clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 win on court one. Di Lorenzo, De Santis, Sanford, Kowase, Niehaus and Angeles Paz all notched singles victories to help claim the team win vs. the Terrapins.

The squad will travel to Champaign, Ill., to face Illinois at 6 p.m. ET April 14 before heading to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern at noon ET April