April 20, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team secured itself at least the No. 3 seed in the 2002 Big Ten Tournament, defeating Big Ten foe Illinois, 5-2, Saturday at the Stickney Tennis Center. The win was the Buckeyes’ 19th of the season, breaking the program record of 18 set in 1983 and 2000. The squad remains unbeaten at home (14-0), as it extended its program-record home winning streak to 14.

No. 35-ranked Ohio State, which has won its last three matches, improves to 19-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten. The No. 46 Illini drop to 10-11 overall, 5-4 in conference play.

Ohio State closes out the regular season at home Sunday when it faces No. 14 Northwestern at noon. The match is scheduled to be held at the Stickney Tennis Center but will be moved to Jesse Owens West Recreation Center in the event of inclement weather.

Ohio State opened the match by claiming the doubles point. The No. 49-ranked duo of Monica Rincon (Sr., Lapeer, Mich./West) and Meaghan Colville (So., Toronto, Ontario/Western Michigan) posted an easy 8-2 win over the Illini’s team of Michelle Webb and Cynthya Goulet, 8-2, at No. 1. At No. 2, OSU’s Erica Fisk (So., Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) and Sadhaf Pervez (Jr., Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) won over Jennifer McGaffigan and Eva Choe, 8-6. The No. 3 match was close, with Illinois’ duo of Tiffany Eklov and Eldina Fazlic topping OSU’s Michelle Matko (Jr., Aurora, Ill./Aurora West) and Lindsay Williams (So., Beverly Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves), 9-7.

Illinois tied the match at one, winning the first singles match off the court as Fazlic defeated OSU’s Matko, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 4. The Buckeyes regained the lead for good, with Williams topping Goulet in two sets, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5. Pervez followed, winning over UI’s Choe at No. 3, 6-2, 6-4. No. 64-ranked Rincon clinched the match for Ohio State, as she defeated No. 54 McGaffigan at No. 1, 6-3, 6-2. The win was the 101st of Rincon’s career, leaving her just three short of the OSU record of 104 set by Kristy Dascoli (1998-01). Fisk posted Ohio State’s last win, as she beat Eklov in a match-tiebreaker, 6-4, 4-6 (10-6), at No. 2. At No. 6, OSU’s Claudia Castro (Sr., Dublin, Ohio/Aquinas (Wis.) battled back after losing the first set to force a match tiebreaker against Webb, but Webb won the tiebreaker to clinch the match, 7-5, 6-7 (10-8).

No. 35 Ohio State 5, No. 46 Illinois 2 Stickney Tennis Center Columbus, Ohio

Singles No. 1 #64 Monica Rincon (OSU) def. #56 Jennifer McGaffigan (UI), 6-3, 6-2 No. 2 #80 Erica Fisk (OSU) def. Tiffany Eklov (UI), 6-4, 4-6 (10-6) No. 3 Sadhaf Pervez (OSU) def. Eva Choe (UI), 6-2, 6-4 No. 4 Eldina Fazlic (UI) def. Michelle Matko (OSU) 6-2, 6-4 No. 5 Lindsay Williams (OSU) def. Cynthya Goulet (UI), 6-3, 6-4 No. 6 Michelle Webb (UI) def. Claudia Castro (OSU) 7-5, 6-7, (10-8)

Doubles No. 1 #49 Rincon/ Colville (OSU) def. Webb/Goulet (UI), 8-2 No. 2 Fisk/Pervez (OSU) def. McGaffigan/Choe (UI), 8-6 No. 3 Eklov/Fazlic (IU) def. Matko/Williams (OSU), 9-7

Records: Ohio State 18-4 (7-2 Big Ten), Illinois 10-11 (5-4 Big Ten)