April 6, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State women’s tennis team (12-7; 2-2 Big Ten) returns to Big Ten play as the Buckeyes host the Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday and the No. 30 Indiana Hoosiers Sunday. Both matches will be held at 11 a.m. Weather permitting, both matches will be held at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus. Otherwise, the match will be held at the Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in Columbus.

Penn State at A Glance
Penn State is led by head coach Buffy Baker. Baker led the Nittany Lions to an 8-12 overall record last season. Penn State finished tied for eighth in the Big Ten last year with a 2-9 conference mark.

Penn State is currently 7-8 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are led on the court by Lauren Holzberg, who is 11-4 in singles matches this spring. The leading doubles teams for the Nittany Lions are the duo of Holzberg and Sasha Abraham as well as Katelyn BeVard and Jenny Shular, each at 5-3.

Ohio State is 19-16 all-time against the Nittany Lions. Last year, Penn State won the meeting in State College, Pa., 4-3.

The last time the schools met in Columbus, the Buckeyes won, 7-0, on February 15, 2004.

A Look at Indiana
The Hoosiers are coached by Lin Loring, who led Indiana to a 14-12 overall record a year ago while finishing third in the Big Ten at 8-3 in the conference last season.

Indiana is currently ranked No. 30 in the latest ITA rankings and is 14-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference. The Hoosiers are led on the court by Sara Batty, who is 12-7 in singles matches in the spring. The leading doubles team is the duo of Batty and Laura McGaffigan, who are 15-4 in dual matches and ranked No. 57 in the ITA rankings.

The Buckeyes are 5-27 all-time against the Hoosiers with the match last year resulting in a 7-0 Hoosier victory in Bloomington, Ind.

The last time Ohio State hosted Indiana, the Buckeyes won 5-2 on March 30, 2003.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes opened a six game homestand with two victories. The Buckeyes defeated the Xavier Musketeers, 6-1, April 5 in the first game of a doubleheader then defeated Ohio Northern, 7-0. In their match against Xavier, the Buckeyes swept the doubles matches to earn the doubles point. At No. 1, the tandem of Angela DiPastina (Fr., Titusville, N.J.) and Sonia Ruzimovsky (Jr., Brooklyn N.Y./Brooklyn Tech) downed Kristen Clary and Kara Courtney, 8-3. At No. 2, Ciara Finucane (Jr., Dublin, Ireland/Georgia Southern) and Kristin Messmer (Jr., Lutherville, Md./McDonogh) defeated Sarah Potts and Emily Tuchscherer by the score of 8-5. At No. 3, Julie Blackmore (Fr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) and Emily Howard (Sr., Akron, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) defeated Jeanette Feider and Kate Lohner, 8-3.

In singles at No. 1, Ruzimovsky defeated Clary, 6-1, 6-1. At No. 2, Blackmore dropped Courtney, 6-4, 6-4. Finucane defeated Vilines, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3. At No. 4, Messmer downed Papa by the score of 6-2, 6-1. At No. 5, DiPastina won over Tuchscherer, 6-1, 6-4. At No. 6, Nidhi Shah (So., Mumbai, India/Mithibai) was defeated by Potts, 6-3, 6-4.

In the Ohio Northern match, the Buckeyes swept the doubles matches to earn the doubles point. At No. 1, the tandem of DiPastina and Ruzimovsky shut-out Kaitlyn Macdonald and Bridget Larson, 8-0. At No. 2, Finucane Messmer defeated Courtney Anderson and Natalie Larew by the score of 8-2. At No. 3, Blackmore Howard defeated Kim Heckbert and Ashley Jones, 8-1.

In singles at No. 1, Finucane defeated Macdonald, 6-0, 4-6, 1-0 (6). At No. 2, Messmer dropped Larson, 6-0, 6-0. Julie Voss (Fr., San Angelo, Texas/St. Stephen’s) defeated Anderson, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 3. At No. 4, Howard downed Jones by the score of 6-1, 6-1. At No. 5, Nidhi Shah (So., Mumbai, India/Mithibai) won over Larew, 6-1, 6-1. At No. 6, Sara Kinning (So., Grand Blanc, Mich./Powers Catholic) defeated Yontz, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4).

Leaders Heading Down the Stretch
After the fall and 19 spring matches, freshman Angela DiPastina leads the Buckeyes in singles with 19 overall victories. Junior Kristin Messmer is only one win off the lead with 18 overall victories.

In doubles, Sonia Ruzimovsky leads the way with 20 overall individual victories. The doubles team that leads the way is DiPastina and Ruzimovsky, who now are 17-7 on the season.

Spring Leaders
In the spring, junior Kristin Messmer is leading the Buckeyes in singles with a career-high 13 dual-match victories.

Ciara Finucane and Kristin Messmer are the leading doubles team at 11-6 in the spring, while the duo of Angela DiPastina and Sonia Ruzimovsky is 10-6.

Facing Ranked Opponents
Of the remaining eight regular-season matches for the Buckeyes, they will face three teams currently ranked in the Fila Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Those teams include No. 9 Northwestern, No. 30 Indiana and No. 36 Michigan.

Buckeyes Achieve Milestone Victory
Wednesday, Ohio State earned its 100th overall singles victory this season. The Buckeyes are now 109-88 in singles on the year.

Bottom of Lineup Leading the Way
The bottom three spots of the Buckeye lineup are a combined 38-15 in singles, while Nos. 1-3 are a combined 31-24.

Looking Forward to the Homestand
With victories over Xavier and Ohio Northern, the Buckeyes are 9-2 when playing in Columbus this season.

Up Next
The Buckeyes return to action next weekend when they host the Michigan Wolverines April 15 and the Michigan State Spartans April 16 in the last home matches of the season. Both matches will be held at 11 a.m. Weather permitting, both matches will be held at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus.