COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Buckeyes women’s tennis team, which finished last season ranked No. 33, will face 12 teams that finished in the Top 75 of the Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Associate polls last season in dual match competitions this year, including four Top 25 programs. The Scarlet and Gray will compete in six fall tournaments before hosting 12 dual matches in the spring.
The Buckeye netters hit the courts at the Notre Dame Invite Oct. 1-3 before traveling to Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the ITA All-American Championships Oct. 2-10. Next up is the ITA Midwest Regional, hosted by Michigan Oct. 21-26. The team will be spread across the country during the first week of November as the Buckeyes compete in three tournaments. The ITA National Indoors takes place Nov. 4-7 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., while the ASU Thunderbird Invite and Big Green Invite will be held simultaneously Nov. 5-7 in Tempe, Ariz., and Hanover, N.H., respectively.
The spring schedule kicks off with a home doubleheader in the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center against Cincinnati and Cleveland State Jan. 23. The Buckeyes then travel to face Tennessee, who finished with a No. 13 ranking last season, in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 30-31 in Knoxville, Tenn. The winner of the match will then face the winner of the match between Mississippi (No. 17) and Southern Methodist (No. 29).
Ohio State returns to action Feb. 9 against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., before its first conference match of the year at home against Penn State Feb. 11. Two days later the Buckeyes face William and Mary (No. 56) at home in a rematch of the exciting, 4-3 Ohio State victory on the road last season in Williamsburg, Va.
The team will then travel to Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 25-27 to play in the Blue-Gray Tournament. The event will showcase eight Campbell’s/ITA Top 75 teams. Alabama (No. 71), Auburn (No. 58), DePaul (No. 34), Notre Dame (No. 5), Oklahoma (No. 42), Utah (No. 40) and Virginia (No. 25) will join Ohio State in the tournament.
The Buckeyes return home to face Louisville March 4 before traveling to Lincoln, Neb., March 11 to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (No. 35) in the first of five March matches against NCAA Championship participants from the 2010 season. Ohio State then hosts South Florida (No. 26) and Eastern Michigan March 20 for the second doubleheader of the year, followed by a challenging end to the month, traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., for the second match against Tennessee and a two-match homestand against conference foes Iowa (No. 28) and Illinois (No. 24).
April holds seven conference matches to end the regular season. OSU will face off with Northwestern (No. 7) April 1 at home before a road series in Michigan against the Wolverines (No. 8) and Spartans April 9 and 10, respectively. The Buckeyes then return to Columbus for their last home matches of the season when they take on Wisconsin (No. 75) April 15 and Minnesota (No. 74) April 17.
Big Ten regular-season play wraps up the weekend of April 23-24. Ohio State will face a pair of Indiana foes on the road, taking on the Hoosiers (No. 45) and Purdue (No. 49).
Michigan will host the Big Ten Championship April 28-May 1 in Ann Arbor, Mich., with the winner receiving the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. NCAA tournament play starts May 13-15 with regional action on campus sites and the NCAA team, singles and doubles championships will be held in Palo Alto, Calif., May 19-30.
Ohio State finished with a program-record 20 wins last season while earning its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2004 with a 4-1 win against DePaul in the first round. The Buckeyes have made trips to the NCAA Tournament nine times under head coach Chuck Merzbacher, including the past three seasons.