April 4, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State women’s tennis team (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) travels to Michigan for two matches this weekend . The Buckeyes will face off against Michigan at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor. The No. 36 Buckeyes round out the weekend with another Big Ten matchup vs. Michigan State at 10 a.m. Sunday at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts. The matches are scheduled for outdoors at each site but may be moved inside if the weather is not cooperative.
In the Rankings
The Buckeyes were ranked 36th in the most recent release of the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (April 3rd). Michigan is at No. 66 and Michigan State is No. 74.
Four Buckeyes hold positions in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings in singles. Senior Monica Rincon is at a career-best 51st in the nation, while sophomore Erica Fisk is ranked No. 63. Sadhaf Pervez moved back into the rankings at No. 117. The doubles team of Rincon and Meaghan Colville is ranked 43rd in the nation. The next individual rankings will be released April 17th and will be available on-line at www.itatennis.com.
The Buckeyes are unbeaten at home this season, going a perfect 13-0 to set the program record for consecutive home wins.
Scouting the Michigan Wolverines
Michigan enters this weekend with a record of 1-4 in the Big Ten and an overall record of 7-8. The Wolverines are ranked 66th in the nation and recently picked up their lone conference win against Minnesota.
Bitsy Ritt is in her 18th season as head coach at Michigan. Freshman Leanne Rutherford, the Wolverines’ No. 4 player, ranks first on the team with 14 wins. Kavitha Tipirneni and Chrissie Nolan both were named to the All Big-Ten Conference team last year. Michigan will play Miami (Fla.) Friday before they play host to the Buckeyes Saturday. The Series
The Wolverines lead the series against the Buckeyes with an overall series record of 26-12. Last season, Ohio State posted a 4-3 victory over Michigan in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won the last four meetings with UM.
In Ann Arbor Lately
In 2000, the Buckeyes faced Michigan twice in Ann Arbor. OSU won the regular season match, 5-2, before topping the Wolverines in the Big Ten tournament, 4-1.
Scouting the Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State enters the match Sunday with an overall mark of 10-7 on the season. The squad is 2-3 in the Big Ten Conference, with wins over Michigan and Minnesota, and ranked 74th in the nation. The Spartans play host to the Penn St. Nitany Lions Saturday before they play Ohio State in their second match in as many days.
The Spartans have a lot of experience in their third doubles team. Trine Lise Juliussen, who makes up half of the team, has won three Norwegian National Women’s Tennis Titles and has competed throughout Europe. Caroline Lay leads the team with 20 wins on the season.
Tim Bauer is in his third season at the helm of the Michigan State women’s tennis team.
Michigan State and Ohio State are very familiar with each other, as this will be the 31st meeting in series history. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 19-12. The Buckeyes and Spartans met once last season. OSU prevailed with a 6-1 victory at home and has won the last five meetings.
A Season of Streaks
Ohio State opened the season with eight consecutive wins and is on a six-match winning streak entering its weekend matches with Michigan and Michigan State.
Climbing the Charts
Monica Rincon’s 96 career wins place her second on OSU’s all-time singles wins list. At the ITA Midwest Regional Tournament Oct. 28, Rincon picked up her 81st and 82nd career wins, catapulting her ahead of Maria Olazagatsti (1977-79, 81-20) into second place. OSU’s all-time singles wins leader is Kristy Dascoli, who finished her career (1998-01) with 104 wins.
With 70 and 68 career singles wins, respectively, Sadhaf Pervez and Michelle Matko are now in the Top 10 all-time in program history in singles wins. Pervez is fifth, while Matko is tied for the sixth spot. Monica Rincon is second, just eight behind all-time leader Kristy Dascoli.
All-Time Singles Wins at OSU 1. Kristy Dascoli, 104 (1998-01) 2. Monica Rincon, 96 (1999-present) 3. Maria Olazagatski, 81 (1977-79) 4. Linda Magid, 78 (1995-96) 5. Sadhaf Pervez, 70 (2000-present) 6. Leann Grimes, 68 (1975-78) 6. Michelle Matko, 68 (1999-present) 8. Ann Wilson, 67 (1974-77) 9. Abigail Villena, 66 (1990-93) 10. Ann Beaudoin, 65 (1971-82)
Moving Up In Doubles
Monica Rincon has posted 88 doubles wins in her career, tying her for fifth all-time (with Abigail Villena). Kelly Story (1989-92) is the program record holder with 118.
The Buckeyes posted 7-0 shutout wins over seven opponents so far this season. All of Ohio State’s shutouts have happened at home.
OSU’s Last Time Out
OSU 5, Iowa 2 The Ohio State women’s tennis team improved to 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference with a 5-2 victory over Iowa today at Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. The win, the sixth consecutive for Ohio State, gives the Buckeyes their program-record 13th consecutive victory at home.
The No. 40-ranked Buckeyes improve to 15-2 overall on the season, 3-1 in the Big Ten. The No. 50 Hawkeyes drop to 4-7 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
The Buckeyes won matches at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions to clinch the doubles point. The No. 56-ranked duo of Monica Rincon (Sr., Lapeer, Mich./West) and Meaghan Colville (So., Toronto, Ontario/Western Michigan) upset No. 36 Toni Neykova and Deni Alexandrova, 8-5, at No. 1. Michelle Matko (Jr., Aurora, Ill./Aurora West) and Lindsay Williams (So., Beverly Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves) also won, topping the Hawkeye duo of Cassie Haas and Gloria Okino, 8-3, at No. 3. The No. 2 match was not completed because of travel considerations for Iowa. In singles, the Buckeyes won at the Nos. 3-6 positions to clinch the victory. At No. 3, Sadhaf Pervez (Jr., Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) led the way, easily defeating Haas in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Matko beat Alexandrova at No. 4 and Colville topped Jennifer Hodgman at No. 6, with each Buckeye winning the first set 6-2 and winning the second in a tiebreaker. Williams recorded the fourth Ohio State victory, as she came back from a set down to defeat Pascale Veraverbeke at No. 5, 4-6, 6-4, 4-3.
In the Ranks
The Buckeyes hold three top spots in the singles category under most wins on the season in the Big Ten Conference. At No. 1 Monica Rincon was the only one in the Big Ten Conference with 20 wins as of April 3. Erica Fisk is in the exact same situation as Rincon, as she is the only No. 2 singles player to have 20 wins so far this season. Lastly, OSU’s Lindsay Williams holds the top spot in overall season victories at No. 5 with 16. Among the doubles rankings, OSU’s No. 3 doubles team of Michelle Matko and Lindsay Williams has the most wins among their competition with 18.
The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten Conference in winning percentage overall, posting wins in 88. 2 percent of their matches. The squad is third in conference winning percentage at 75.0 percent.
The Buckeye State
The Buckeyes are a perfect 4-0 on the season against in-state teams. Ohio State topped Dayton, Akron, Bowling Green and Cincinnati. The meeting between OSU and Bowling Green marked the last in-state match of the season for the Buckeyes.
Rincon is Player of the Month
Monica Rincon recently was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Player of the Month March.
Rincon, the Buckeyes’ No. 1 singles player, moved up to the No. 53 spot in the national rankings, the highest ranking of her career. During the month, she went 6-1 in singles, including a five-match winning streak. Rincon, with a career record of 96-43, is just four wins away from becoming just the second player in program history to reach the 100-win mark for her career. Rincon is 13-2 in the spring and 20-7 overall this season, tied for the team lead in wins.
Three Buckeyes enter the weekend on extended winning streaks. Michelle Matko and Sadhaf Pervez both have won their last six matches, while Meaghan Colville has been victorious in her last five.
A Good Stretch
Monica Rincon and Lindsay Williams both have posted 13-2 records this spring.
On A Roll
Meaghan Colville, on a five-match winning streak, has won 13 of her last 14 matches. She is 9-1 this spring, with her only loss coming to Lindsay Martin of Wisconsin. Colville is 1-0 at No. 3 and No. 4, 2-0 at No. 5 and 5-1 at No. 6 this spring.
Monica Rincon and Erica Fisk are tied for the team lead with 20 singles wins each. In doubles, Sadhaf Pervez ranks first with 23 victories. Lindsay Williams leads the squad with a perfect 4-0 mark in Big Ten play.
13 x 13 x 13 x 13
Four Buckeyes have 13 wins this spring to tie for the team lead – Michelle Matko, Sadhaf Pervez, Monica Rincon and Lindsay Williams.
Down the Line
The Buckeyes face ranked teams in each of their last seven regular-season matches. They will go up against No. 66 Michigan, No. 74 Michigan State, No. 15 Kentucky, No. 47 Purdue, No. 35 Indiana, No. 72 Illinois and No. 19 Northwestern.
Senior Monica Rincon is 13-2 in the spring season, with all of her matches at the No. 1 position. Her only losses in the spring came against No. 71-ranked Vanessa Rauh of Wisconsin and the Hawkeyes No. 120-ranked Toni Neykova. Against Notre Dame, Rincon topped No. 73 Becky Varnum in a match tiebreaker. Rincon moved from No. 85 to a career-best ranking of No. 51 in the most recent rankings. On the year, Rincon is 20-7 in singles.
A Good Sign
When the Buckeyes win the doubles point this season, they are 15-1. The squad has failed to win the doubles point in just one match this season (at Wisconsin) and won the doubles point at Notre Dame but lost the match (5-2).
The Buckeyes’ 8-0 record (with all the wins coming at home) was the best start to a season for the program since at least the 1985-86 season. The squad’s mark for consecutive wins is nine, set in the 2000 season.
On the Way to a New Record?
The Buckeyes have started a new streak with six consecutive wins after a mid-season lull when they dropped two of three matches.
A Record Tied
The Buckeyes posted four consecutive shutout victories, tying the program mark set in 1986. This season, OSU beat Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Drake and Boston University by 7-0 scores.
And a Record Set
The Buckeyes’ 13 home wins is the most in program history, breaking the mark of 11 set in 2000. The squad has two home matches remaining this season.
In The Conference
The Buckeyes are 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference so far this season. The squad has wins over Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa while they fell to Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have two conference matchups this weekend with the Wolverines and Spartans.
At the Helm
Chuck Merzbacher is in his sixth season at the helm. He has enjoyed much success since becoming the head man at OSU, compiling an 84-59 record. Under the guidance of Merzbacher the program has sent the team, a singles player and a doubles tandem to the NCAA Championships the past three years. In his tenure at OSU, Merzbacher has coached two All-Americans, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, a Big Ten Freshman of the Year and two ITA Midwest Region Players to Watch.
After their upcoming weekend in Michigan, OSU will continue on the road for an additional three matches, all of which are against ranked opponents. OSU plays at No. 15 Kentucky April 10th and has Big Ten matches with Purdue April 13 and Indiana April 14.
The 2002 Big Ten Conference Championship will be held in Bloomington, Ind., April 25-28. The winner receives the conference’s automatic bid to the 2002 NCAA Championships.