Oct. 19, 2004

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Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team will make its annual trip to face the best players in the Midwest region at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships Thursday-Tuesday at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

ITA Regional Setup
The ITA Midwest Regional Championships are part of 17 ITA Regional Championships for NCAA Division I men and women taking place over the last two weekends of October at campuses throughout the country. The singles finalists and doubles champion from each event will earn spots in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, Nov. 4-7, at the University of Michigan.

Five Buckeyes will are scheduled to compete in the main singles draw: Emily DeCamilla, (Sr., Sacramento, Calif./Maryland), Lindsey Adams, (Sr., Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island), Caitlin O’Keefe (Fr., Troy, Mich./Troy), Lindsay Bryan (Sr., New Orleans, La./Ursuline Academy), and Kristin Messmer (So., Lutherville, Md./McDonogh).

Last Year at The ITA Midwest Regional Championships
The 2003 ITA Midwest Regional Championships were held in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Ohio State senior duo Eric Fisk and Jackie Leskovar advanced to the Round of 16 by defeating Hilde Jansma and Hilary Tyler of Iowa, 8-3, in the first round and Teresa Gonzaga and Shana McElroy of Wisconsin, 8-4, in the second round.

Also in Kalamazoo, each won first round matches in the singles draw. Fisk defeated Cassie Drake of Northern Illinois while Leskovar upset No. 66 ranked Michelle DaCosta of Michigan.

Messmer and Ruzimovsky Lead Way at Eck Classic
Sonia Ruzimovsky (Soph., Brooklyn, Ny./Brooklyn Tech) led the Buckeyes last weekend at the Eck Classic in South Bend, Ind., by winning seven total matches. Sunday, Ruzimovsky and Kristin Messmer combined to beat Virginia’s Lauren Brech and Rachel Del Priore, 8-2, to close out a perfect 4-0 doubles weekend that also included wins over Notre Dame’s Liz Donohoe and Bailey Louderback, 8-1, Michigan State’s Pascale Schnitzer and Karen Gustafson, 8-2, and Kansas’ Luiza Loureiro and Stephanie Smith, 8-3.

In singles, Ruzimovsky beat Loureiro in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, Friday, Schnitzer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, Saturday and Bruch,2-6, 7-6, 1-0(3), on Sunday.

Early Leaders
After three tournaments, sophomore Sonia Ruzimovsky leads the team in singles victories with seven.=

In doubles, Kristin Messmer is Ohio State’s individual leader with six wins. Messmer and Ruzimovsky are the top Buckeye duo, together compiling a record of 5-1.

Freshmen Get It Going
Through three tournaments this season, trio of Ohio State freshman have earned their first collegiate singles wins.

Caitlin O’Keefe earned a three-set victory over Emily Vest of Middle Tennessee State, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, in the first round for her first win Sept. 17 in Knoxville, Tenn., at the University of Tennessee/St. Mary’s Fall Classic.

The following weekend at the Kentucky Fall Classic in Lexington, Ky., Silvia Prajescu (Fr., Dollard-Des-Orneaux, Quebec/Des-Sources) beat.Alex de Guzman of William and Mary, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, for her first victory.

This past weekend at the Eck Classic in South Bend, Ind., it was Nidhi Shah’s (Fr., Mithibai, India/Mumbai College) turn to break into the win column as she topped Virginia’s Dora Bechliwanis in an eight-game pro set, 8-6.

Kentucky Fall Tournament Recap
The Buckeyes faced stiff competition Oct. 1-3 at the Kentucky Fall Classic in Lexington, Ky. Competing on the Wildcats’ home courts, Ohio State was led by the senior tandem of Lindsay Bryan and Meredith Vincent, who claimed the title in the green flight. In the flight championship match, Bryan and Vincent (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Virginia Tech) beat host Kentucky’s Foster and Sober, 9-7. The Buckeye duo reached the final with a pair of 8-6 victories over Marshall and White of Louisville and Yan and de Guzman of William and Mary.

Silvia Prajescu and Kristin Messmer led the Buckeyes in singles, both posting three victories against just one defeat.

Youngsters Lead Singles at Tennessee
Competing for the first time since losing four seniors from the 2003-04 squad to graduation, the Buckeyes were led by a pair of underclassmen who both earned a pair of victories at the University of Tennessee/St. Mary’s Fall Classic Sept. 17-19 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Sophomore Sonia Ruzimovsky and freshman Caitlin O’Keefe earned third place finishes with Day Three victories in their flights. Competing in Flight Six, Ruzimovsky swept Bonnie Baird of Furman, 7-6, 6-1, for her second victory of the weekend while O’Keefe earned her second win by topping fellow-Buckeye Lindsay Bryan, 6-5, 6-4, in Flight Three. Ruzimovsky also dispatched Alisha Talbot of Wake Forest and O’Keefe beat Emily Vest of Middle Tennessee State in first round action.

Returnees Enjoy Doubles Success
In contrast to singles action at Tennessee, Ohio State’s doubles play was dominated by upperclassmen. The senior doubles team of Emily DeCamilla and Lindsey Adams picked up two wins, a number matched by another upperclassmen duo, Emily Howard and Meredith Vincent.

DeCamilla and Adams beat Marti Morris and Mary Neill Hagood of Furman, 9-7, on Day Two to earn fifth place in Flight One. They also topped Barbara Orlay and Julia Roach of North Carolina State previously.

Vincent and Howard defeated Emily Vest and Claudia Szabo of Middle Tennessee State, 8-4, in Round One of Flight Three and teammates Silvia Prajescu and Lindsay Bryan in a third place match.

Previewing the Schedule
After opening the 2004 fall season, as they did in 2003, at the St. Mary’s/University of Tennessee Fall Classic, Sept. 17-19, in Knoxville, Tenn., Ohio State also will make a return trip to the University of Kentucky Fall Tournament October 1-3 in Lexington, Ky. Two new tournaments appear on the schedule, the Notre Dame Fall Invitational Oct. 7-10 in South Bend, Ind., and the Milwaukee Tennis Classic Nov. 3-8 at Milwaukee, Wis.

The 2005 spring season kicks off Jan. 23 as the Buckeyes play host to perennial power Notre Dame at noon and in-state foe Cleveland State at 6 p.m. Those matches are the first of a seven-match homestand, the Buckeyes’ longest since 2002.

Ohio State’s 24th season of Big Ten play begins with a match against Iowa at 3 p.m. March 25 in Iowa City, Iowa. After a facing Minnesota on March 27 in Minneapolis, Minn., Ohio State plays host to Illinois on April 2 and Purdue April 3, before embarking on its longest road trip of the year. The four-team trip sees the Buckeyes travel to Penn State, Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State between April 8 and April 17. The regular season concludes with home matches against defending Big Ten champion Northwestern April 23 and Wisconsin April 24.

Among the Buckeyes’ 25 matches are 12 with 2004 NCAA Championship qualifiers.

Home Cooking
Once the spring season begins, Ohio State will hope to continue its recent dominance at home, where it has won at a .750 percentage over the past two seasons. In only nine home matches a year ago, the Buckeyes posted a 7-2 record, with both losses coming at the hands of teams ranked in the Top 20.

Recapping Last Season
The Buckeyes were 7-2 on their home courts and secured a program-record sixth consecutive NCAA bid with a run to the final match at the Big Ten championship. By virtue of their runner-up finish at the Big Ten championship, the Buckeyes finished second in the final conference standings.

Once in the NCAA tournament, the Buckeyes marked another milestone by defeating host Harvard, 4-2, to advance to the second round, where they were defeated by No. 17 Kentucky. In the win against Harvard, the Buckeyes won the doubles point for the 15th time in 2004 and a got a trio of three-set singles victories. Jackie Leskovar and Lindsay Bryan (Jr., New Orleans, La./Ursuline Academy) scored victories at the No. 3 and No. 6 positions, respectively, before Emily DeCamilla (Jr., Sacramento, Calif./Maryland) earned the clincher at No. 4. The win was the second in school history in the NCAA championship. The Buckeyes defeated Miami (Fla.), 5-3, in 2000 in Athens, Ga.

Next Up
After concluding play in Minneapolis, the Buckeyes conclude the fall season Nov. 3-8 at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic in Milwaukee, Wisc.