May 21, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4-seed Ohio State women’s tennis team had its run in the NCAA Championship end in the quarterfinal round Saturday, falling to No. 12 Oklahoma State, 4-2. The match ends the Buckeyes’ team season and its 16-match winning streak.

The Buckeyes had arguably the best season in program history. The squad was 31-3, the first time with more than 20 wins in a season, and was ranked in the Top 6 (a program high) since early February, including time at No. 1. The squad won the outright Big Ten regular season title with an 11-0 ledger and claimed the first conference tournament title in school history. For the first time, the Buckeyes reached the NCAA Championship quarterfinals and hosted NCAA first and second round matches.

Coach Schaub after the Buckeyes’ NCAA quarterfinal match today. Buckeyes were making first Elite 8 appearance.

— Ohio State W Tennis (@OhioState_WTEN) May 22, 2016

The Cowgirls won on courts one and three to clinch the doubles point. No. 79-ranked Katarina Adamovic and Vladic Babic defeated Francesca Di Lorenzo and Olivia Sneed, 6-1, to open doubles. On court two, the Buckeyes’ No. 58-ranked tandem of juniors Gabriella De Santis and Sandy Niehaus topped No. 54 Viktoriya Lushkova and Carla Tur Mari, 7-5, breaking to win the match and improve to 14-1 in dual play. Doubles came down to court one. The No. 9-ranked Buckeye duo of junior Miho Kowase and sophomore Anna Sanford came back from 15-40 down to break and get on serve at five all. The Cowgirls’ team of Maria Alvarez and Kelsey Laurente broke back and then held to win the last two games and claim the match and the doubles point for Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State won the first two singles matches off the court for a 3-0 lead. On court two, Babic was a 6-4, 6-3 winner over No. 89-ranked Sanford, followed by a 6-1, 6-3 win by Lushkova over No. 96 De Santis.

The Buckeyes tied the match with back to back wins. On court six, Niehaus, ranked 81st, topped Alvarez, 6-2, 7-5. Niehaus was 14-0 in dual play and 19-3 overall this season. Kowase then posted a 6-0, 7-6 (2) win over Laurente on court four to tie the match. In dual play, Kowase was 24-2, with a 30-4 overall mark.

The final two matches came down to a third set. On court five, Buckeye junior Ferny Angeles Paz dropped the first set to Katarina Stresnakova 6-3 but tied the match with a 6-3 second set win. In the third, Stresnakova prevailed 6-4, winning the last two games, to clinch the match and the Cowgirls’ victory.

On court one, No. 3-ranked Di Lorenzo and Adamovic were in a third set. The Buckeye had won the first, 6-3, before a 7-6 (2) tiebreaker win for Oklahoma State. Di Lorenzo was ahead 3-2 in the third when the match was halted.

Three Buckeyes will compete for NCAA individual titles. Di Lorenzo is the No. 3 seed in the singles draw, while Sanford and Kowase were selected for the doubles tournament. Singles play starts Wednesday, followed by the start of doubles Thursday. Scoring, video and updated brackets are available on the tournament central page HERE.

Postgame Quotes
Ohio State Head Coach Melissa Schaub
On how she feels about the last match and the season…
“It stings right now, obviously. I think that if we can look back on it we had an unbelievable year. These guys fight really hard, but it didn’t go our way today. It hurts, it hurts right now but we do have everybody in our starting lineup coming back next year. If we can focus on that and the kind of year that we had I think in a little bit when this starts to wear off we will be really proud of what we were able to accomplish this year.”

On the doubles points in the match today…
“The doubles point was big, we knew that coming in. They have a couple spots that are really tough and I think we fought hard. Ferny (Angeles Paz) fought to the end, maybe had some chances there, but these guys played well. All the credit goes to Oklahoma State and it is going to be a good final four.”

Oklahoma State vs Ohio State
May 21, 2016 at Tulsa, Okla.
(Michael D. Case Tennis Center)

#12 Oklahoma State 4, #4 Ohio State 2

Singles competition
1. #3 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) vs. Katarina Adamovic (OKST) 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 3-2, unfinished
2. Vladica Babic (OKST) def. #89 Anna Sanford (OSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Viktoriya Lushkova (OKST) def. #96 Gabriella De Santis (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Kelsey Laurente (OKST) 6-0, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Katarina Strsnakova (OKST) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. #81 Sandy Niehaus (OSU) def. Maria Alvarez (OKST) 6-2, 7-5

Doubles competition
1. #43 Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente (OKST) def. #9 Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (OSU) 7-5
2. #58 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (OSU) def. #54 Viktoriya Lushkova/Carla Tur Mari (OKST) 7-5
3. #79 Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (OKST) def. Francesca Di Lorenzo/Olivia Sneed (OSU) 6-1

Match Notes:
Oklahoma State 28-4; National ranking #12
Ohio State 31-3; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,3,6,4,5)
NCAA Championship Quarterfinals