COLUMBUS, Ohio The 43rd-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (8-6, 2-0 Big Ten) fought off a strong challenge from Big Ten foe and 75th-ranked Purdue (5-6, 1-2 Big Ten) and came out a winner, 4-3, Friday evening at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center.

“This was a huge Big Ten victory over a team that has been playing very well as of late,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach said following the match. “I was pleased with every position today because everyone had an opportunity to win.”

The doubles point proved to be vital, and Christina Keesey and Angela DiPastina were winners for the fifth time in six matches at No. 1. Taking on Michelle Sammons and Stephanie Wooten, the Buckeye pair broke the Purdue serve at 3-2 and jumped to a 4-2 lead. After trading points to 7-5, Keesey and DiPastina took the match, 8-5, after a Boilermaker shot fell short of the net.

Ohio State picked up a win at No. 2 as well, with Julie Blackmore and Cami Hubbs getting out to a quick 3-1 lead over Remi Martin and Jennifer Rabot. The Boilermakers closed that down to a 4-3 lead before the Buckeyes won three consecutive games to take a 7-3 advantage. The deficit proved too large for Purdue, as Blackmore and Hubbs took an 8-4 win.

No. 3 doubles was never in question, as Kirsten Flower and Paloma Escobedo won their fifth straight doubles match, taking an 8-1 decision over Anna Dushkina and Tatiana Ganzha. The doubles point win was the sixth in a row for the Buckeyes this season, their longest of 2009.

In singles, Flower took the first set at No. 1 against Michelle Sammons decisively, winning 6-2, but had a tough time breaking Sammons’ serve in the second set. Tied at 5-all in the second frame, Flower was finally able to break serve, taking a 6-5 advantage, before finishing off Sammons, 7-5, to win the match.

After a hard fought 7-5 first set win at No. 5, Keesey dropped Remi Martin with relative ease in the second frame, winning the clinching match, 7-5, 6-1.

Blackmore proved to be too much at the No. 6 spot for Anna Dushkina, running out to a 5-0 first set lead and a then a 4-2 second set lead on her way to a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Boilermaker freshman.

Escobedo responded from a 6-2 opening set loss to Stephanie Wooten at No. 2 singles by opening up the second set 5-0, on her way to winning the second frame 6-1. Wooten rebounded well from her loss in the second set, taking a 4-1 lead in the third and then the match, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

After dropping the first set 6-2, and finding herself on the losing end of a 4-2 deficit at No. 3 in the second set, Hubbs stormed back against Tatiana Ganzha, winning four games in a row and taking the frame, 6-2. Hubbs had to again fight back in the third set, this time from 3-1, tying the match at 3-all. Hubbs jumped into the lead at 5-4, but Ganzha ran off three wins and took the match, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

DiPastina lost in her first set at No. 4 against Jennifer Rabot, 6-3, took the second set, 6-4, and then fell behind, 4-3, in the third set. The Boilermaker freshman was able to push her advantage, taking the third set and the match, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Ohio State will take a break from the Big Ten for their final non-conference opponent, Utah, which they will face March 23 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Tennis Match Results
Purdue vs Ohio State
Mar 13, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio

#43 Ohio State 4, #75 Purdue 3

 Singles competition
1. Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. Michelle Sammons (PU) 6-2, 7-5
2. Stephanie Wooten (PU) def. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
3. Tatiana Ganzha (PU) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
4. Jennifer Rabot (PU) def. Angela DiPastina (OSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
5. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Remi Martin (PU) 7-5, 6-1
6. Julie Blackmore (OSU) def. Anna Dushkina (PU) 6-1, 6-3

 Doubles competition
1. Angela DiPastina/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Stephanie Wooten/Michelle Sammons (PU) 8-5
2. Julie Blackmore/Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Jennifer Rabot/Remi Martin (PU) 8-4
3. Paloma Escobedo/Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. Anna Dushkina/Tatiana Ganzha (PU) 8-1

Match Notes:
Purdue 5-6 (1-2 Big Ten); National ranking #75
Ohio State 8-6 (2-0 Big Ten); National ranking #43
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,1,5,2,4,3)
T-2:20  A-110