April 3, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 53-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (5-4, 1-0 B1G) is slated to host a trio of matches this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes will take on No. 55 Minnesota at 3 p.m. Friday in a B1G battle before welcoming Wisconsin and Wright State for a doubleheader at noon and 6 p.m., respectively.

Freshman Gabriella De Santis nabbed her first career B1G Athlete of the Week Tuesday. De Santis tallied a pair of victories at No. 1 singles, including a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win over No.  44 Veronica Corning of Northwestern, marking her third victory over a ranked opponent this season. The Caracas, Venezuela, native also earned a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0 singles win over Illinois’ Allison Falkin and an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles alongside Miho Kowase vs. Illinois.

The Buckeyes are looking to defend their undefeated 7-0 record at home this season. Ohio State is 1-0 in conference play at the Varsity Tennis Center after defeating Michigan State, 5-2, March 23.

Freshman Sandy Niehaus leads the squad with a team-high 14 wins in the dual season, while Ferny Angeles Paz has defeated eight of her last ten opponents. Nicole Flower and Grainne O’Neill have each won seven of their last ten singles matches. In doubles play, Miho Kowase and Angeles Paz have combined for a 9-0 record this spring, while Gabriella De Santis and Sandy Niehaus have collected five-consecutive victories.

Overall, the Buckeyes hold a .659 win percentage in singles and .711 win percentage in doubles this season.

Two Buckeye duos check into the latest ITA poll. Grainne O’Neill and Noelle Malley, who hold a 5-5 record on court one this spring, hold the No. 69 spot. The freshman tandem of Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz are ranked No. 79 and have captured nine straight matches. The latest singles and doubles rankings were released March 25. 

No. 55 Minnesota, with former Ohio State head coach Chuck Merzbacher at the helm, has recorded a 14-4 record on the year with a 4-1 ledger in conference play. The Gophers have defeated two ranked opponents in their last five matches, most recently prevailing over No. 35-ranked Indiana, 5-2, at home. Minnesota is led by Tereza Brichacova who holds a 9-7 record on court one, Natalia Pintusavia with a 10-6 record and Aria Lambert who has won five straight matches in singles play.

The Buckeyes hold an 18-24 record vs. the Gophers all-time. Last season, Ohio State posted a 5-2 victory vs. Minnesota on the road.

Wisconsin has collected a 7-6 record this spring with a 2-3 ledger in B1G outings. The Badgers notched B1G wins vs. Iowa and Nebraska this season. Lauren Chypyha leads the squad with a 13-0 record at No. 1 singles, while the Badger duo of Nova Patel and Anastasia Tripolskay has claimed six straight doubles victories this season.

The Buckeyes are 12-31 all-time vs. the Badgers. Last season, Ohio State dropped a 5-2 decision vs. Wisconsin on the road.

Wright State holds a 7-12 record with a 1-3 record in the Horizon League. Earlier this season, the squad fell to B1G opponent Michigan State, 7-0, in East Lansing, Mich. Aby Madrigal has earned a team-high nine wins in the dual season, while Elaine Cloern and Linsey Verstrepen have notched a team-best four wins in doubles for the Raiders.

Ohio State is 2-0 all-time vs. Wright State. The two squads last met in 2007, a 7-0 Buckeye win in Columbus.

Last weekend, the Scarlet and Gray competed in back-to-back Big Ten matches on the road. The Buckeyes dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 11 Northwestern Saturday before falling to No. 37 Illinois, 4-3. After losing the doubles point vs. the Wildcats, De Santis posted the sole win for the Buckeyes as she triumphed vs. Corning on court one. In a back-and-forth battle with the Illini, De Santis, Kowase and O’Neill notched wins in singles competition.

Northwestern leads the seven B1G teams ranked in the latest ITA poll, coming in at the No. 11 spot. Michigan checks in at No. 17, followed by Illinois (No.34), Purdue (No. 37), Indiana (No. 43), Ohio State (No. 53) and Minnesota (No.55).

The Buckeyes will continue conference play at home as they take on Indiana April 11 and Purdue April 13. Seniors Noelle Malley and Kelsey Becker will be recognized prior to the April 13 match for Senior Day.