Buckeyes travel to Gainesville, Fla., for opening-round match with No. 29 Auburn

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 35 Ohio State women’s tennis team (19-7, 6-5 Big Ten) received an at-large bid to the field of 64 teams for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The Buckeyes will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for an opening-round match with No. 29 Auburn at 3 p.m. May 9.

The winner of that match will advance to play either Jacksonville or host and sixth-seed Florida, which will take place at 4 p.m. May 10.

“Being in the NCAA tournament puts our program in a national spotlight,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said following the announcement. “I’m very proud of this team because they’ve put in all the work needed to get to this point, beginning in the summer.”

The Buckeyes have made seven trips to the NCAA tournament, with all but one coming during Merzbacher’s tenure. The first appearance came in 1996, when Ohio State was knocked out by Minnesota in the opening round.

An appearance in 1999 was the first in a string of six consecutive trips to the tournament for the Scarlet and Gray. Ohio State has reached the second round of the tournament twice, once in 2000, and again in its last tournament appearance in 2004, when it toppled host Harvard, 4-2 in the opening round.

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