January 26, 2017

Quartet of Seniors to Serve as Buckeye Captains


Jan. 26, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seniors Ferny Angeles Paz, Gabriella De Santis, Miho Kowase and Sandy Niehaus have been named captains for the 2017 Ohio State women’s tennis team, head coach Melissa Schaub announced. The quartet has been a part of more than 70 team wins and helped the squad to Big Ten regular season and tournament championships a season ago.

“These four seniors have been a part of so much for our program,” Schaub said. “They are one of the greatest groups I have ever been around and lay it on the line for Ohio State each and every day. It’s only fitting for Sandy, Ferny, Gaby and Miho to lead us through this season. I am not only proud of them as tennis players, but even more so of the kind of people they are. They represent themselves, their family and all of Buckeye Nation phenomenally and are the pinnacle of what our program and Ohio State are all about.”

Angeles Paz, a native of Lima Peru, is in the Top 10 in program history in singles and doubles winning percentage and is in the Top 10 in career singles wins. She has 77 singles wins for the Scarlet and Gray, along with 60 doubles victories. Angeles Paz is a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.

“I am grateful and honored to have been named a captain for this season,” Angeles Paz said. “As a captain, I will strive to guide my teammates toward the pursuit of our goals and I will endeavor to proudly represent Ohio State’s culture of tradition and excellence on and off the court.”

De Santis, who hails from Caracas, Venezuela, is a three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, just the third Buckeye to earn first team all-conference honors three times. The 2014 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, she is in the Top 10 in program history in career doubles winning percentage and has 59 singles victories and 71 doubles wins for the Scarlet and Gray.

“It’s a great honor to be named one of the captains,” De Santis said. “I’m excited for this season and to be part of such an amazing program. We have worked really hard as a team and I hope to contribute as a captain and a player to make this season the best one yet.”

Tokyo, Japan, native Kowase is a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection. A two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and ITA Scholar-Athlete, Kowase was in the Top 10 in Buckeye history in singles winning percentage, doubles winning percentage and career singles wins with 86 singles victories and 74 doubles triumphs. Kowase was an NCAA Doubles Championship qualifier in 2016 with Anna Sanford and the duo won the ITA Midwest Region title in 2015.

“It has been amazing experience so far at Ohio State and I am honored to lead this team as one of the captains,” Kowase said. “I will do whatever it takes to make our last season the best one yet.”

Niehaus, who hails from Cincinnati, is the Buckeyes’ leader in career singles winning percentage (.814) and is in the Top 10 in career singles and doubles wins. A Second Team All-Big Ten selection, she has 79 singles wins and 84 doubles victories for the Scarlet and Gray in her career. She posted 32 singles wins in 2014, the third-highest total for a single season in program history.

“These past four years have been some of the best years of my life and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this team along with Miho, Ferny and Gaby,” Niehaus said. “I cannot thank my coaches, teammates, family, friends and The Ohio State University enough for all of the privileges and opportunities they have given me, not only as an athlete but as a student. I hope to make this season the best yet.”

The No. 7-ranked Buckeyes, 2-0 on the year, will host ITA Kick-Off Weekend Saturday and Sunday inside the Varsity Tennis Center. The Scarlet and Gray will face Florida State in round one Saturday and then take on either Alabama or Harvard on day two Sunday. Admission is free to all matches.