April 20, 2017

No. 5 Buckeyes Host Big Ten Opponents This Weekend


April 20, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 5-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (23-2, 9-0 B1G) returns home to host two Big Ten opponents and conclude regular season play this weekend. The Buckeyes will face Indiana (12-12, 3-6 B1G) at 3 p.m. Friday before taking on Purdue (6-14, 1-8 B1G at noon) Sunday on Senior Day.

The match Friday vs. Indiana will be played outside at the Varsity Tennis Courts. The match Sunday vs. Purdue is scheduled to be played outside, but will be moved inside the Varsity Tennis Center in the case of inclement weather. Check OhioStateBuckeyes.com and the team’s social media accounts on match day to confirm location. Admission to both matches is free.

Live scoring will be available for outdoor matches (HERE), with live video and scoring available for indoor matches (HERE).

Thank You Seniors
• This weekend marks the final home regular season matches for the four members of the Buckeye senior class – Ferny Angeles Paz, Gabriella De Santis, Miho Kowase and Sandy Niehaus.
• The group is the winningest senior class in program history with 93 team victories and has appeared in the last three NCAA Tournaments. They led the squad to the first outright Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in program history in 2016.
• As a class, they have totaled 366 singles wins and 339 doubles victories overall, with 277 dual match singles wins (against just 68 losses) and 235 dual match doubles triumphs. They all rank in the Top 16 in program history for career singles wins.
• Angeles Paz, from Lima, Peru, is 94-31 in singles overall and 64-16 in dual match play. A four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an ITA Scholar-Athlete, she is 27-5 in singles this year, with a 19-1 dual match ledger. She has 72 career doubles victories, including 18 this season.
• De Santis, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, is 13-4 in dual match singles this spring and 16-8 overall this season. In her career, she has a 70-45 singles record playing nearly all on courts one and two. She has also posted 81 doubles victories for the Scarlet and Gray.
• Kowase, who hails from Tokyo, Japan, became the program’s all-time leader in singles wins last week with 105 career victories, including 83 in dual match play. This season she is 28-3 overall and is undefeated this spring with a 20-0 mark. A four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, she has 90 career doubles victories.
• Cincinnati native Niehaus has 97 career singles victories, with a 74-8 mark in dual match play. She is second in program history with 96 career doubles victories. This season, she is 25-3 overall and 19-1 in dual matches. She is 21-8 in doubles, with a 14-6 mark in dual matches.

In the B1G
• Ohio State and Michigan both enter the weekend 9-0 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes take on Indiana and Purdue this weekend, while the Wolverines host Northwestern at 3 p.m. Friday and play at Illinois at noon ET Sunday.
• The Buckeyes and Wolverines met this season in a nonconference match in Columbus Feb. 17, a 5-1 Buckeye win.
• Ohio State is the defending Big Ten regular season champion after going 11-0 last season.
• The squad has won 21 consecutive Big Ten regular season matches.
• This year, the Buckeyes have outscored their opponents in B1G matches 62-1. The squad is 53-1 in singles and 20-1 in doubles in league matches.

Buckeye Snapshot
• Ohio State enters the weekend 23-2 this spring, with its losses to No. 1-ranked Florida and No. 3-ranked North Carolina at neutral sites.
• Overall, the Buckeyes are 9-2 vs. ranked opponents this season, with six wins over teams in the Top 15 at the time of the match.
• The squad is 9-0 in Big Ten matches, shutting out Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern and Maryland, and also defeated Rutgers, 6-1. The Scarlet and Gray also posted a nonconference win against Michigan (5-1).
• The team has won the doubles point in 22 of 25 matches, losing to Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Florida.
• The squad enters the weekend on a nine-match winning streak and with wins in its last 30 home matches.

In the Rankings
In the ITA Rankings released this week, Ohio State was slotted at No. 5. Other ranked B1G teams include No. 10 Michigan and No. 36 Northwestern.

The squad has six ranked singles players and two ranked doubles tandems. Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo remains ranked first, junior Anna Sanford is No. 59, senior Gabriella De Santis is No. 91, No. 92 is senior Sandy Niehaus, No. 97 is senior Miho Kowase and No. 119 is senior Ferny Angeles Paz.

In doubles, the pair of Di Lorenzo and Kowase check in at No. 19, while the duo of De Santis and Niehaus are No. 83.

Scouting Indiana
The Hoosiers are 12-12 and 3-6 in conference play this spring. In Big Ten play, the team picked up wins against Rutgers, Purdue and Wisconsin. Indiana has one ranked doubles tandem, with the duo of sophomore Madison Appel and senior Kim Schmider slotted at No. 41.

The Buckeyes are 12-32 all-time vs. Indiana. The squads squared off last season, a 4-0 Ohio State victory on the road. The teams met in Columbus in 2014 and 15, with Ohio State winning both contests.

A Look at the Boilermakers
Purdue is 6-14 and 1-8 in Big Ten play this season. The Boilermakers picked up their lone conference win against Wisconsin last weekend. The team will face Penn State Friday before taking on the Buckeyes. The squad has one ranked doubles tandem. The pair of freshman Rafaella Baquerizo and senior Andjela Djokovic checks in at No. 55.

Ohio State is 27-23 all-time vs. Purdue. The teams played last season, a 4-0 victory for the Scarlet and Gray in West Layfette. The last match in Columbus was a 4-3 Ohio State win in 2015.

In the Record Books
• Senior Miho Kowase, who enters the weekend on a 20-match winning streak, has 105 career singles victories. She is now ranked first in program history in career singles wins, moving ahead of Kristy Dascoli who had 104 from 1998-01.
• Senior Sandy Niehaus has 97 career singles wins and leads the current Buckeyes with 96 doubles victories, the second most wins in program history. The program’s career doubles wins leader is Wendy Stewart, who had 99 from 1975-79.
• Head coach Melissa Schaub posted win No. 100 at the helm of the Buckeyes at Iowa this season. She is the third Buckeye head coach to hit the century mark.
• Ohio State has 16 shutouts this year, including in each of the last six matches, passing the program 15 the team posted last year.

By the Numbers
• Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and senior Sandy Niehaus are both on 14-match winning streaks heading into the weekend.
• The Buckeyes have combined for a 166-38 record overall in singles this year, with a 120-15 mark in dual matches. In doubles, the squad is 64-25 overall, and 48-13 in dual match play.
• Di Lorenzo leads the team in singles wins with 29 this season, followed by Kowase with 28. Kowase leads the team with 20 dual match wins, while Di Lorenzo, senior Sandy Niehaus and senior Ferny Angeles Paz each have 19.
• In doubles, Kowase is first with 22 wins, followed by Niehaus with 21. The tandem of Di Lorenzo and Kowase has a team-best of 13 victories overall and also is first with 13 dual match victories as a pair.
• The squad has a 21-1 mark on court one, 14-7 on two, 16-4 on three, 21-1 on four, 23-0 on five and 19-2 on six. In doubles, court one is 16-6, court two is 17-3 and court three is 15-4.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes picked up two shutouts during their last pair of away matches of the regular season.

Friday at Illinois, the team clinched the doubles point with wins by the pair of Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase on court one and Sandy Niehaus and junior Olivia Sneed on court three. Di Lorenzo, Anna Sanford, Kowase, Ferny Angeles Paz, Niehaus and Sneed all posted singles wins to sweep the Illini.

Against Northwestern, Ohio State picked up the doubles point with wins on all three courts. The Buckeyes posted five straight set singles victories and one three set victory to win the match and improve to 9-0 in the Big Ten.

Up Next
The squad will head to Champaign, Ill., for the Big Ten Tournament. Ohio State has clinched a first round bye and will open play April 28 in the quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for April 29 and the championship will be at noon April 30, televised live on BTN.