Feb. 6, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 16 Ohio State women’s tennis team used four singles wins, including two in three sets, to defeat No. 1 ranked and defending NCAA champion Vanderbilt, 4-3, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship quarterfinals Saturday in Madison, Wis.

Ohio State needed four singles wins for the team victory after dropping the doubles point. Vanderbilt won the first singles match off the court to take a 2-0 lead. The Buckeyes then won three matches in a row to go ahead 3-2. Sophomore Oliva Sneed had the first Buckeye win, dropping just three games, followed by a victory from junior Ferny Angeles Paz, who won the second set in a marathon tiebreaker, 7-6 (11). Freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo battled to win in three sets before Vanderbilt answered quickly to tie the match at three. It all came down to court four, where junior Miho Kowase rallied after dropping the first set for a three set win to clinch the No. 8 seed Buckeyes’ victory over the top seeded Commodores.

The Buckeyes, now 7-0 this season, will take on No. 4 seed and No. 6-ranked Cal in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Sunday in Madison.

“This was just an absolute fight from the very beginning,” Melissa Schaub, Ohio State head coach, said. “I keep saying it, but this is just an incredibly special team. They play so hard for each other and for Ohio State. It’s definitely contagious and I am so happy for all of them.”

The doubles point was decided on court one, where the No. 11-ranked duo of Courtney Colton and Sydney Campbell topped the No. 6-ranked Buckeye duo of Anna Sanford and Miho Kowase, 7-5. Vanderbilt broke to go up 6-5, saving two match points, and then served out the match. The Commodores won the first match off the court, with Astra Sharma and Ellie Yates winning over juniors Gabriella De Santis and Ferny Angeles Paz, 6-2. On court three, Buckeye freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo and sophomore Olivia Sneed posted a 6-2 win over Frances Altick and Fernanda Contreras.

Vanderbilt went up 2-0 when No. 33-raned Sharma won 6-2, 6-2 over Sanford on court three. Sneed put the Buckeyes on the board when she beat Yates in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 6. Angeles Paz followed with a victory on court five to tie the match at two. Angeles Paz won the first set against Georgina Sellyn 6-1. The second set went to a tiebreaker, with the Buckeye prevailing, 13-11.

The final three matches went to three sets. On court one, No. 2-ranked Di Lorenzo and No. 24-ranked Campbell split the first two sets, with Di Lorenzo winning the first 6-4 and Campbell tying the match with a 6-1 win in set two. Di Lorenzo prevailed 6-3 in the third set to put Ohio State ahead 3-2. The match on court two finished soon after to deadlock the match at three. No. 15-ranked Altick won the last two sets vs. De Santis, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The match came down to court four. Kowase dropped the first set to Colton, 6-2. The Buckeye junior then won the second, 6-4, to force a third. In the third, Kowase went up 5-1. Colton held for 5-2 before Kowase was able to serve to close out the set, 6-2, and clinch the Buckeyes’ win.

The Buckeyes are undefeated on courts four (5-0), five (6-0) and six (6-0) this season. Angeles Paz and Sneed are both 6-0 in singles dual matches and the doubles duo of Sneed and Di Lorenzo is 6-0 this spring.

This is the Buckeyes’ second appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship and the first since 2001.

Ohio State and Vanderbilt will not wait long for a rematch, as the Buckeyes host the Commodores at noon Saturday inside the Varsity Tennis Center. Ohio State will then host Georgia Tech at noon Sunday inside the VTC. Admission is free to all Buckeye home regular season matches.

Ohio State vs Vanderbilt
Feb 06, 2016 at Madison, Wis.
(Nielsen Tennis Stadium)

#16 Ohio State 4, #1 Vanderbilt 3

Singles competition
1. #2 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. #24 Sydney Campbell (VANDY) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
2. #15 Frances Altick (VANDY) def. Gabriella De Santis (OSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. #33 Astra Sharma (VANDY) def. Anna Sanford (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Miho Kowase (OSU) def. Courtney Colton (VANDY) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Georgina Sellyn (VANDY) 6-1, 7-6 (13-11)
6. Olivia Sneed (OSU) def. Ellie Yates (VANDY) 6-0, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #11 Courtney Colton/Sydney Campbell (VANDY) def. #6 Anna Sanford/Miho Kowase (OSU) 7-5
2. Astra Sharma/Ellie Yates (VANDY) def. Gabriella De Santis/Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) 6-2
3. Olivia Sneed/Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. Frances Altick/Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) 6-2

Match Notes:
Ohio State 7-0; National ranking #16
Vanderbilt 4-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,6,5,1,2,4)
2016 ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship Quarterfinals
Ohio State No. 8 seed
Vanderbilt No. 1 seed