COLUMBUS, Ohio – Using the doubles point and five singles victories, including straight-set wins at the Nos. 4-6 positions, the No. 38 Ohio State women’s tennis team defeated No. 15-ranked Fresno State on its home court, 6-1, in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Qualifier Saturday at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center in Fresno, Calif. The Buckeyes, now 5-0 on the year, advance to take on No. 25-ranked Florida State at 5 p.m. ET Sunday, with the winner earning a spot in the ITA National Team Indoors Feb. 12-15 in Madison, Wis.  

Ohio State won at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to earn the doubles point to open the match. At the No. 2 spot Paloma Escobedo and Christina Keesey defeated Laura Pola and Olga Kirpicheva, 8-3, and the No. 3 tandem of Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over Bianca Modoc and Melissa McQueen. The No. 1 match between Buckeyes Kelsey Haviland and Cami Hubbs and Anastasia Petukhova and Renata Kucerkova was suspended.

Manashirova put the Buckeyes ahead 2-0 with a straight-set win over Julia Gragera-Cano at the No. 6 singles position, 6-4, 6-0. Haviland followed with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Laura Pola at No. 4. Steele clinched the win for the Buckeyes, posting a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Modoc to record the Buckeyes’ fourth team point.

After Fresno State’s Petukhova, the nation’s fourth-ranked player, defeated No. 53-ranked Kirsten Flower in a super tiebreaker (4-6, 6-3, 10-4) to earn a point for the Bulldogs, Escobedo followed with a super tiebreaker win of her own. She downed Kucerkova at the No. 2 spot, 6-4, 2-6, 11-9. The final match also went to a super tiebreaker, where Christina Keesey defeated Kirpicheva, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 10-8.

Florida State beat No. 26 Virginia, in the opening round, 4-2. The Cavaliers and Bulldogs will meet in the consolation match Sunday.

Jan. 30, 2010 – Fresno, Calif.

No. 38 Ohio State 6, No. 15 Fresno State 1

Doubles (Ohio State won the doubles point)
1. Petukhova/Kucerkova (FS) vs. Haviland/Hubbs (OSU), DNF
2. Escobedo/Keesey (OSU) def. Pola/Kirpicheva (FS), 8-3
3. Manashirova/Steele (OSU) def. McQueen/Modoc (FS), 8-5
Order of Completion: 2, 3

1. No. 4 Anastasia Petukhova (FS) def. No. 53 Kirsten Flower (OSU), 4-6, 6-3, (10-4)
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Renata Kucerkova (FS), 6-4, 2-6, (11-9)
3. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Olga Kirpicheva (FS), 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, (10-8)
4. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Laura Pola (FS), 6-4, 6-2
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Bianca Modoc (FS), 6-3, 6-2
6. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Julia Gragera-Cano (FS), 6-4, 6-0
Order of Completion: 6, 4, 5*, 1, 2, 3