COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 32 Ohio State Buckeyes (18-8, 5-5 Big Ten) fell to the No. 6 Northwestern Wildcats (18-6,9-1 Big Ten), 5-2, in front of a season-high crowd of227 in the final home match this season. The Buckeyes celebrated Senior Day and the duo of Christina Keesey and Kirsten Flower were honored after the match. The Wildcats took advantage of the doubles point and four of the singles matches to put the Buckeyes away, with Keesey and sophomore Kelsey Haviland winning for Ohio State.

“I think we’re playing well with the Big Ten tournament coming up this week,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said. “The team is hitting on all cylinders.”

Northwestern swept Ohio State in all three doubles matches to earn the team point. The Wildcats’ top duo of Lauren Lui and Linda Abu Mushrefova downed Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs, 8-4, at No. 1. Maria Mosolova and Elena Chernyakova followed suit on court two, besting Ohio State’s Paloma Escobedo and Keesey, 8-2. On court three, NU’s Samantha Murray and Kate Turvy defeated Gabby Steele and Fidan Manashirova, 8-4.

Northwestern stormed to a 3-0 lead after taking the first two singles matches off the court. Escobedo fell to Murray, who is ranked 39th in the nation in singles, on court two, 6-1, 6-2. Murray’s teammate, Abu Mushrefova, finished soon afterward, winning in straight sets over Hubbs, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 6.

Keesey put the Buckeyes back into the match after downing Stacey Lee on court five, 7-6 (6), 6-2. The senior from Northfield, Minn., moved into a tie for fifth place in career singles victories with the win.

The Wildcats slammed the door on a comeback, however, when Turvy topped Steele in straight sets on court four, 6-1, 6-4, to clinch the team victory.

In a battle on court one, Flower, ranked 65th in the nation, squared off against No. 12 Mosolova. After dropping the first set, Flower outlasted multiple match points for Mosolova and forced a tiebreaker in the second set, resulting in a 10-8 win for the Buckeye. Mosolova responded in the third set super-tiebreaker by winning five-straight points to take the match, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 10-5.

Haviland and Lui faced off on court three. Lui, ranked 104th nationally, took the first set, but Haviland answered with 6-3 wins in the final two sets to knock off her ranked opponent and earn her fourth-straight victory, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The Buckeyes, who tied for fifth in the Big Ten standings return to action this week in the Big Ten tournament in Iowa City, Iowa. Ohio State, the No. 7 seed, will take on No. 10 Michigan State at 4 p.m. ET Thursday. The winner of that match will play No. 2 seed Northwestern at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

Tennis Match Results
Northwestern vs Ohio State
Apr 25, 2010 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)

#6 Northwestern 5, #32 Ohio State 2

Singles competition
1. #12 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #65 Kirsten Flower (OSU) 6-4, 6-7, 10-5
2. #39 Samantha Murray (NU) def. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. #104 Lauren Lui (NU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Kate Turvey (NU) def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-1, 6-4
5. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Stacey Lee (NU) 7-6, 6-2
6. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Lauren Lui/Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Kelsey Haviland/Cami Hubbs (OSU) 8-4
2. Maria Mosolova/Elena Chernyakova (NU) def. Paloma Escobedo/Christina Keesey (OSU) 8-2
3. Samantha Murray/Kate Turvey (NU) def. Gabby Steele/Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 8-4

Match Notes:
Northwestern 17-6, 8-1 Big Ten; National ranking #6
Ohio State 18-7, 5-4 Big Ten; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,6,5,4,1,3)
T-3:37 A-227