Buckeyes (15-11, 7-3 Big Ten) finish memorable season in opening round of tournament

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 37 Ohio State women’s tennis team saw their season come to an end today in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Evanston, Ill., falling 4-0 to No. 26 Kentucky at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center. The Buckeyes end their season with a 15-11 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in conference play. Kentucky (13-10, 3-9 SEC) moves on to face top-ranked Northwestern tomorrow with a trip to the Round of 16 on the line.

“The fight was there today, but the matches just didn’t go our way,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach said. “I am very proud of this group and our seniors. It was a good year, and one we can build on for next year.”

The doubles point belonged to the Wildcats, winning at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Christina Keesey and Angela DiPastina made their final collegiate doubles match together memorable, knocking off the 31st-ranked Wildcat tandem of Carolina Escamilla and Caroline Lilley at No. 1 doubles, 8-6. Julie Blackmore and Cami Hubbs did not fare as well at No. 2, losing 8-5 to Christine Johnston and Megan Broderick. Blackmore finished her Ohio State career with 89 doubles wins, seventh all-time in Ohio State history. The doubles point was sealed at No. 3, where Kirsten Flower and Paloma Escobedo fell, 8-5, to Lauren Meier and Whitney Spencer.

The Wildcats staked themselves to a 2-0 overall match lead after Lilley defeated DiPastina in straight sets at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-0. DiPastina wraps her senior season with 73 career singles wins, seventh-most all-time at Ohio State.

The next point for Kentucky came at the No. 4 singles, where two set tiebreakers went Meier’s way against Hubbs, winning 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3). The match clinching point came at No. 3 singles, where the Upper Arlington native Johnston took a three-set win over Keesey, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

With the match wrapped up, the remaining singles matches went unfinished. Flower and the 111th-ranked Broderick were deadlocked at 1-1 in the third set after splitting the first two sets. Escamilla had edged out in front of Escobedo, 5-4, in the third set of their match, while Blackmore was leading 4-2 in the third as the match closed out.

Tennis Match Results
Ohio State vs Kentucky
5/8/2009 at Evanston, Ill.

#26 Kentucky 4, #37 Ohio State 0

 Singles competition
1. #111 Megan Broderick (UK) vs. Kirsten Flower (OSU) 7-6 (3-0), 5-7, 1-1, unfinished
2. Carolina Escamilla (UK) vs. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 4-6, 6-0, 5-4, unfinished
3. Christine Johnston (UK) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
4. Lauren Meier (UK) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3)
5. Caroline Lilley (UK) def. Angela DiPastina (OSU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Whitney Spencer (UK) vs. Julie Blackmore (OSU) 6-2, 3-6, 2-4, unfinished

 Doubles competition
1. Angela DiPastina/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. #31 Carolina Escamilla/Caroline Lilley (UK) 8-6
2. Megan Broderick/Christine Johnston (UK) def. Julie Blackmore/Cami Hubbs (OSU) 8-5
3. Lauren Meier/Whitney Spencer (UK) def. Kirsten Flower/Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Ohio State 15-11; National ranking #37
Kentucky 13-10; National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,4,3)
NCAA Tournament — First Round
T-3:51  A-125