Buckeyes capitalize on doubles point, knock off Tigers behind strong performances from Flower and DiPastina

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 32 Ohio State women’s tennis team (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) opened up the 2009 dual season Saturday at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center by defeating Missouri (0-2, 0-0 Big 12), 6-1.

“This was a tough opening match with very solid Big 12 team,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said following the match. “I think we were able to get over the first match jitters and compete well. I also felt Missouri played well in doubles as well as the middle of the singles lineup. I’m looking forward to coming back tomorrow and playing one of the best teams in the nation at home.”

Doubles was tightly contested by each team, as every match was tied at 6 entering the 13th frame. Buckeyes Cami Hubbs and Christina Keesey powered their way to a 5-0 advantage in No. 1 doubles, but saw that lead vanish as Mallory Weber and Jamie Mera stormed back to take a 6-5 lead. The Buckeye duo retook the lead, 7-6, after winning two-consecutive sets and Hubbs slammed home the winning point to take the game, 8-6.

Junior Kirsten Flower made her Buckeye debut in No. 3 doubles with Angela DiPastina, downing Kaitlyn Ritchie and Jessica Giuggioli, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point for Ohio State. In No. 2 doubles it was Paloma Escobedo and Julie Blackmore falling to the Tigers’ Sophia Ayala and Danielle Day, 8-6.

In singles, DiPastina staked the Buckeyes to a 2-0 lead after knocking off Ayala in No. 6 singles, 6-1, 6-4. Flower was sharp in her first turn at the No. 1 singles spot for Ohio State, using a mix of power and agility to keep Giuggioli off balance. She took the match, 6-0, 6-1 to move the team match score to 3-0.

Julie Blackmore provided the clinching point on court four by defeating Ritchie, 6-3, 6-4. Freshman Kelsey Haviland kept it going for the Scarlet and Gray by taking care of Day in No. 5 singles, 7-5, 6-3.

Hubbs proved to be a tough out for Mera in No. 3 singles, battling hard but falling, 7-5, 7-6 (8). Escobedo took Weber into a tiebreaker in No. 2 singles and came out on top, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (8).

Ohio State returns to the court Sunday at noon to face the 17th-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and again at 6 p.m. against Eastern Kentucky. Live stats are available for both matches on

Tennis Match Results
Missouri vs Ohio State
Jan 24, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio

#32 Ohio State 6, Missouri 1

Singles competition
1. Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. Jessica Giuggioli (MIZZOU) 6-0, 6-1
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Mallory Weber (MIZZOU) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4)
3. Jamie Mera (MIZZOU) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 7-5, 7-6 (10-8)
4. Julie Blackmore (OSU) def. Kaitlyn Ritchie (MIZZOU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) def. Danielle Day (MIZZOU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Angela DiPastina (OSU) def. Sofia Ayala (MIZZOU) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Cami Hubbs/Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Mallory Weber/Jamie Mera (MIZZOU) 8-6
2. Sofia Ayala/Danielle Day (MIZZOU) def. Paloma Escobedo/Julie Blackmore (OSU) 8-6
3. Angela DiPastina/Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. Kaitlyn Ritchie/Jessica Giuggioli (MIZZOU) 8-6

Match Notes:
Missouri 0-2
Ohio State 1-0; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,1,4,5,3,2)