May 3, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team has been selected at-large to participate in the 64-team 2001 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship, the NCAA today announced. In addition, senior Kristy Dascoli (Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Academy) qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships for the fourth-consecutive year and Dascoli and doubles partner Monica Rincon (Jr., Lapeer, Mich./West) qualified to the NCAA Doubles Championship for the second year in a row. This is the third-consecutive season the Buckeyes will send the team, a singles player and a doubles tandem to the NCAA Championships.%^$

%^$The No. 33-ranked Buckeyes (17-10) will travel to Athens, Ga., to face No. 32 Mississippi State (8-12) in the first round at 10 a.m. Friday, May 11. Host Georgia (19-4), the defending national champion and fourth-ranked team, will go up against Coastal Carolina (20-1), who earned the Big South’s automatic bid, in the first round. The Ohio State/Mississippi State winner will play the Georgia/Coastal Carolina winner in the regional final at 4 p.m. Saturday. The winner of that match advances to the NCAA Championship at the Lincoln Tennis Center in Stone Mountain, Ga., May 17-20.%^$

%^$The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will follow the team championships in Stone Mountain, Ga. The singles tournament, which includes 64 players, will run May 21-28 and the 32-team doubles tournament will be held May 22-28.%^$

%^$This is the second-consecutive season the Buckeyes will play their first/second round matches in Athens, Ga. Last year the Buckeyes topped Miami (Fla.) in the first round before falling to host Georgia in the regional final.%^$

%^$In addition to Ohio State, five other Big Ten teams were invited to the NCAA Team Championship: Big Ten regular season and tournament champion Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Penn State.%^$

%^$Quoting Ohio State Head Coach Chuck Merzbacher…%^$

%^$”We know what it is all about to go down to Athens with playing there last year,” Merzbacher said. “It will be good to have been there before. Although we will be away from home we will be in familiar surroundings. We know what we want to do and going to Athens will work to our advantage because we have been there before.%^$

%^$”I am glad for this recent heat wave in Columbus because it is going to be hot down there. We are looking forward to playing a very good Mississippi State team from the SEC.%^$

%^$”Kristy (Dascoli) has made it four years in a row. What else can you say? This gives her and Monica (Rincon) the opportunity to shoot for All-American honors. Kristy has shown great consistency. She is just an all-around great player.%^$

%^$”It is always good to get the triple crown in tennis with getting the team, a singles player and a doubles team in.”%^$