Feb. 18, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 5 Ohio State women’s tennis team (9-1, 0-0 B1G) takes on No. 64 Tennessee at noon Saturday in the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center (880 West Henderson Road) in Columbus.

Saturday is Kids’ Day in the VTC. There will be free racquet stenciling and free pizza for kids, along with a postmatch meet and greet.

Ohio State moved up to No. 5 in the ITA Rankings this week after its two wins last weekend. This year marks the first time the Buckeyes have been in the Top 10 in program history.

No. 8 Michigan joins Ohio State in the Top 10. Other ranked B1G teams include No. 26 Northwestern, No. 47 Purdue, No. 52 Illinois, No. 58 Minnesota, No. 59 Indiana and No. 75 Michigan State.

Singles and doubles rankings were not released this week. Last week, freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo was the No. 1 ranked player in the nation, while the doubles team of junior Miho Kowase and sophomore Anna Sanford was ranked eighth. New rankings will be released Wednesday.

No. 64 Tennessee has one ranked singles player, No. 100 freshman Sadie Hammond. The Volunteers are 4-3 this season and 0-1 on the road. Last weekend, Tennessee fell at home to No. 24 Georgia Tech 5-2 and then lost at No. 63 Indiana, 4-3. The Volunteers have four returning players on their roster and welcomed six freshmen.

Ohio State is 4-13 all-time against Tennessee. The Buckeyes swept the Volunteers 7-0 in Knoxville last year.

Buckeye head coach Melissa Schaub played four years for Tennessee (2003-06), where she was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally in doubles, earned All-America honors, and the squad reached the No. 4 spot in the national polls during her career.

The Buckeyes posted two wins over Top 25 teams last weekend inside the Varsity Tennis Center.

Ohio State topped No. 5 Vanderbilt Saturday for the second time this season, posting a 4-2 victory. The No. 8-ranked tandem of Anna Sanford and Miho Kowase recorded a 6-win 3 on court one over Vanderbilt’s No. 6-ranked duo. Francesca Di Lorenzo and Olivia Sneed notched a 6-4 victory on court three to clinch the doubles point for the Scarlet and Gray. Sneed and Kowase both posted singles wins as well. Ferny Angeles Paz topped her opponent in a third set tiebreak on court five to claim the victory for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes defeated No. 24 Georgia Tech Sunday, 6-1. Ohio State claimed the doubles point after wins on courts three and one, with the No. 1 tandem prevailing in a tiebreak. Sneed, Di Lorenzo, De Santis, Angeles Paz and Kowase all posted straight-set singles wins for the Buckeyes.

Junior Miho Kowase was named the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week after going 4-0 in singles and doubles combined last week in the Buckeyes’ wins over No. 5 Vanderbilt and No. 24 Georgia Tech.

Kowase had two wins at No. 1 doubles and two straight-set victories at No. 4 singles. Saturday against Vanderbilt, Kowase and Anna Sanford, the No. 8-ranked doubles team in the nation, topped No. 6-ranked Colton and Campbell of Vanderbilt, 6-3, as the Buckeyes claimed the doubles point. Kowase put the Buckeyes up 3-0 with a straight-set win on court four, losing just four total games.

Sunday against Georgia Tech, Kowase and Sanford won in a tiebreaker over the nation’s No. 58-ranked squad to clinch the doubles point for the Buckeyes. Kowase then won in straight sets on court four, as the Buckeyes posted a 6-1 win over the Yellow Jackets.

Freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo and junior Ferny Angeles Paz are tied with 16 singles wins on the season to lead the Buckeyes. Paz and sophomore Olivia Sneed are tied with eight dual match wins each to lead Ohio State this spring. Di Lorenzo follows with seven wins in dual matches.

In doubles, junior Miho Kowase leads the Buckeyes with 16 overall wins. The tandem of Kowase and sophomore Anna Sanford continues to hold the team-best record with 14 victories on the year.

The pair of Di Lorenzo and Sneed began the spring undefeated in its first nine matches and leads the Buckeyes with nine dual match wins.

As a team, Ohio State has dropped just one match on courts one, four, five and six this spring. The squad has combined for a 39-15 dual match ledger in singles and is 18-7 in doubles.

The Buckeyes have earned the doubles point in each of their last three matches and in seven of 10 matches on the year.

The Buckeyes will travel to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State at 5 p.m. Feb. 26 to open their Big Ten slate. The team will return to Columbus to host Arizona State at noon Feb. 28 inside the Varsity Tennis Center.