May 13, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 seed Buckeyes (14-10, 6-4) battle No. 2 seed Louisiana State (12-10, 3-9) in the first round of the NCAA Championships Saturday in Malibu, Calif. The match marks the first time Ohio State and LSU have ever competed against each other.

%^$No. 1 seed Pepperdine plays host to the first and second round of the NCAA regionals and competes against the No. 4 seed Boston University at 11 a.m.(PST) Saturday. Winners will advance to the second round and compete on Sunday at noon (PST). All matches will be played at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. The winner of the match Sunday will compete in the Sweet Sixteen in Gainesville, Fla. The final 16 team competition will be held May 20-23.

%^$For the second year in a row, Kristy Dascoli will compete in the 64-player NCAA Singles Championships May 24-28 in Gainesville, Fla. Last year, Dascoli made history being the first Ohio State womens tennis player ever to compete in the NCAA singles tournament. Dascoli with partner Briana Harris will also compete in the 32-team doubles team. They are only the second OSU doubles team ever to advance to the NCAAs in OSU history.

%^$The Buckeyes have this season: %^$ Tied the most wins ever in the Big Ten for an OSU squad with six wins. %^$ Garnered the highest ranking in school history when the squad peaked at No. 26.%^$ Recorded the second highest most wins in school history with a 14-10 overall mark.%^$ For only the second time in OSU womens tennis history are competing in the NCAAs.

%^$Ohio State will be making only its second appearance in school history at the NCAA Tournament. The last time Ohio State, as a team, competed in the NCAAs was in 1995, where they lost to Minnesota in the first round.

%^$After a first round bye, the Buckeyes competed against Illinois at the Big Ten Tournament April 30. Ohio State battled hard, but would lose to the Fighting Illini, 5-2. Northwestern went on to win the championship after defeating Wisconsin, 4-1.

%^$On May 5, head coach Merzbacher received the highest honor by his peers after being named the 1999 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Merzbacher is the first OSU womens tennis coach to ever receive this honor. With this seasons 14-10 record, Merzbacher now has a 36-37 mark at Ohio State and a career record of 169-100.

%^$Sophomore Kristy Dascoli was named to the All-Big Ten team. Dascoli is the first womens tennis player to receive All-Big Ten honors back to back.

%^$No. 29-ranked Louisiana State has compiled a 12-10 record and a 3-9 conference record against tough SEC opponents. This dual season, the Lady Tigers, defeated No. 10 Tennessee, 5-4, and No. 17 Arkansas, 5-4. Led by junior Ana Paula Mores, who is 9-7 at the No. 1 singles spot and is 24-11 overall. Mores received the regions Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award. She also pairs with freshman Brunu Colosio on the nations 39th-ranked doubles team.

%^$Kristy Dascoli and Briana Harris are No. 17 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association doubles rankings. Dascoli also received a No. 66 ranking in singles. Dascoli has had another impressive year posting a 17-6 dual record and an 18-11 overall mark. The Buckeyes garnered a No. 49 ranking in the latest polls with their 14-10 overall record and 6-4 Big Ten mark.

%^$This season, the sophomore tandem of Kristy Dascoli and Briana Harris have amassed a 17-8 record as the No. 1 singles player and a 23-13 overall mark. The mark this season surpassed their freshmen record of 19-14. They now have a career record of 42-27.

%^$As only a freshman, Michelle Matko has dominated her opponents, compiling a 21-11 overall mark. Prior to moving up to the No. 2 spot, she posted a 4-0 record at the No. 3 spot and then went eight-consecutive matches without a loss. With just three more wins, Matko can move up on the single-season singles ladder. Former Buckeye Kerry Singer sits in at ninth with a 23-10 record posted in 1987.

%^$Michelle Matko and Monica Rincon have both notched over 20 wins in singles this season. Matko leads the team with the best singles record of 21-11 and Rincon follows with a 22-13 mark.

%^$The Buckeyes six wins in the Big Ten ties the record of most wins ever by an OSU squad. The 1982-83 squad accomplished six conference wins.

%^$In the dual season, Ohio State defeated Michigan, 4-3, which was a first since 1989. A win over Indiana, 4-3, was a first since 1978.

%^$The week of April 6, Kristy Dascoli was honored as the Big Ten Athlete of the Week. Dascoli, after beginning the season with a 1-4 record, went on a roll winning 11-consecutive matches, including her win over No. 18 Lioundmilla Skavronskaia of Miami (Fla.), 6-4, 6-2. She has since won 15 of her last 17 matches to compile an 18-11 record.

%^$The Buckeyes added two new players onto its 1998-99 roster. Laura Maloney, a native of Barrington, Ill., competed at the No. 1 singles and doubles position at Colorado State before transferring to Ohio State. This season as OSUs No. 6 singles player, Maloney has posted an 8-11 record and a 9-8 mark with partner Claudia Castro as the No. 3 doubles team. Erika Sandor is a walk-on, who competed at Hawken in Cleveland, Ohio. She is from Bentleyville, Ohio and has posted a 1-0 record this season in singles.

%^$The Buckeyes received its highest ranking ever in the Spring II announcement of rankings. As a team, the Buckeyes moved to No. 26 in the nation, which was the highest in Ohio State womens tennis history.

%^$The Buckeyes took on six schools that were ranked in the Top 35 in the ITA rankings. Ohio State defeated No. 35 Marquette, 7-2, and No. 18 Kentucky, but lost to No. 26 Tennessee, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 2 Duke and No. 26 Miami (Fla.).

%^$In five of the Buckeyes loses, the matches came down to one point. Against Tennessee and Georgia Tech, Ohio State lost by a score of 5-4 and against Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Buckeyes fell 4-3.

%^$This season, Ohio State posted six-consecutive wins at home, tying the record set in 1990. Beginning Feb. 16, Ohio State did not lose a match at home until April 18 against Wisconsin, 4-3.

%^$Seniors Kadri Kanepi and Monica Koplas competed in their last home match of the season against the Minnesota Gophers. Kanepi, a native of Haapslau, Estonia, has an 8-6 overall record this season and has been used primarily in the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles spot. In her senior campaign, Kanepi has posted a seven-match winning streak that carried through from her fall season until the end of January. Kanepi had her best%^$season as a sophomore when she recorded a stellar 18-6 dual match mark. In her career, Kanepi has posted a 44-73 overall mark in singles and a 50-63 doubles record. Koplas in her last season has recorded a 2-7 mark in singles, posting a 43-35 career mark in singles and a 34-33 doubles record. Her best season came as a freshman, when she finished second on the team with 20 wins and notched a solid 13-9 dual match mark.

%^$Six Big Ten schools are competing in the NCAAs: Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Illinois and Northwestern will compete against each other in the first round in Phoenix, Arizona.

%^$Last year, Kristy Dascoli became the first OSU player ever to qualify for the NCAA Singles Championships. Dascoli breezed through the first round, defeating Ivy Wang of Harvard, 6-1, 6-3, but would drop her second match to Julie Scott of Stanford, 6-0, 6-2. In 1992, Kelly Story and Abigail Villena became the first ever doubles team to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The duo finished the season with a 27-10 overall record, after losing in the first round to Boston Colleges Lane/Piorkowski, 6-3, 6-4.