May 5, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State has been selected to compete in the 2004 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship, the NCAA announced Wednesday. It marks the sixth consecutive and seventh overall appearance for the Buckeyes in the 64-team field.

Ohio State (13-13, 6-5 Big Ten), ranked 39th in the nation, will open play vs. No. 34 Harvard (14-9) in Cambridge, Mass. No. 17-ranked Kentucky (17-11) will take on Boston University (15-6) in the other first-round matchup on Harvard’s home courts. The matches will be held May 14-16, although exact dates and times have not yet been announced. The bracket winner advances to the Round of 16, which will be held May 20 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The final three rounds also will be played in Athens.

“We’re excited to get in,” Chuck Merzbacher, OSU eighth-year head coach, said. “We look to bring the momentum we gained at the Big Ten tournament into the NCAA tourney.”

Ohio State is 0-1 all-time against the Crimson, with its loss coming in 1980. The Buckeyes are 4-9 all-time against Kentucky, including a 4-3 loss to the Wildcats in Columbus this season. OSU topped Boston University in 2002 in the lone meeting between the schools.

The Buckeyes are 1-6 all-time in NCAA play, with their win coming over Miami (Fla.) in 2000. Ohio State was defeated by Virginia, 4-0, in the first round of the tournament last season in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Buckeyes, 13-13 on the year, finished second in the Big Ten Conference by virtue of advancing to the championship match of the league tournament. The sixth-seeded squad won three matches before falling to No. 1-seed and No. 11-ranked Northwestern in the final round. The loss to the Wildcats ended a five-match winning streak for the Buckeyes.