March 28, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 54 Ohio State women’s tennis team is set for a weekend road trip of B1G action. The Buckeyes, who have claimed eight of their last nine matches, will face No. 11 Northwestern (9-5, 3-0 B1G) at 11 a.m. Saturday in Evanston, Ill., before taking on No. 37 Illinois (8-6, 1-2 B1G) at noon Sunday in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.

Ohio State extended its home winning streak to seven consecutive matches with a 5-2 victory vs. Michigan State at the Varsity Tennis Center last Sunday. The Buckeyes captured two doubles matches and four singles matches en route to the victory.

Two Buckeye duos check into this week’s ITA polls after topping two ranked opponents from Michigan. Grainne O’Neill and Noelle Malley, who defeated No. 18 Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas on court one, hold the No. 69 spot. The freshman tandem of Ferny Angeles Paz and Miho Kowase downed No.75-ranked Sarah Lee and Amy Zhu in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (5), to extend their spring win streak to nine matches and are ranked No. 79.

Freshman Sandy Niehaus extended her win streak to 14-consecutive singles matches with a 6-2, 6-3 win vs. Michigan State’s Catherine Parenteau, 6-2, 6-3, on court three. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native has not dropped a match since Jan. 18 vs. Baylor and is 3-0 in B1G outings this spring.

No. 11-ranked Northwestern holds a 9-5 record with a 3-0 record vs. ranked B1G opponents. The squad has defeated No. 37 Indiana, No. 39 Purdue and No. 36 Illinois this season and returns to conference play after falling to No. 1 Duke, 5-2, on the road.

The Wildcat roster features a pair of ranked singles and doubles teams. No. 36-ranked Belinda Niu leads Northwestern with a 9-2 record at No. 2 singles, while Veronica Corning checks in at No. 44 in the ITA polls. With a 6-5 record at No. 1 doubles and five wins vs. ranked opponents, the Wildcat duo of Corning and Alicia Barnett holds the No. 21 spot. Maddie Lipp and Nida Hamilton are ranked No. 72 with a pair of wins vs. ranked opponents this spring.

Northwestern holds a 35-5 advantage vs. the Buckeyes. Last season, Ohio State dropped a 6-1 decision at home to the Wildcats.

Illinois notched back-to-back wins last weekend, defeating Southern Illinois, 6-1, and claiming its first conference win this season with a victory vs. Indiana, 5-2. The squad will host Penn State Saturday before facing the Scarlet and Gray Sunday to close out a four-match homestand.

Ohio State is 13-29 all-time vs. Illinois. Last season, the Illini downed the Buckeyes, 6-1, at home.

Northwestern leads the five B1G teams ranked in the latest ITA poll, coming in at the No. 11 spot. Michigan checks in at No. 15, followed by Illinois (No.37), Purdue (No.46) and Ohio State (No. 54).

Ohio State will return to Columbus, Ohio for a five match homestand starting April 4 vs. Minnesota.