Hubbs tiebreaker win clinches best Big Ten season for Buckeyes (14-9, 7-3 Big Ten) since 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 39 Ohio State women’s tennis team (14-9, 7-3 Big Ten) may have saved their best match of the year for the last day of the regular season, as sophomore Cami Hubbs saved the day by breaking a 3-all match tie with a win in the third set tiebreaker against Wisconsin sophomore Jessica Seyferth, spoiling Senior Day for the Badgers at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wis.

“That was an unbelievable effort from Cami today, coming from two games down in the third set to win the match for us,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach said following the match. “Our team battled and fought against this Wisconsin team that is playing great tennis. I couldn’t be more proud of Cami and everyone else who played today. It was a great win.”

The win gave the Buckeyes their seventh Big Ten win, the most since the 2001-02 season and locks up the No. 4 seed for the Scarlet and Gray in the Big Ten championships. The loss halted Wisconsin’s three match Big Ten winning streak and moved them to 8-14 overall.

Hubbs opened up the match with Seyferth at No. 4 singles with a 6-2 first set win, an advantage Seyferth erased with a 6-4 victory in the second set. Hubbs, a native of Omaha, Neb., captured two of the three games to open the third set before Seyferth ran off three in a row, running the third set score to 4-2. The match was moved inside due to a rainstorm, where Hubbs started her comeback. She held her serve in the next game and then broke Seyferth, bringing the set to a 4-all tie, before taking yet another game from the Badger sophomore, advancing to 5-4. Seyferth claimed the next game, tying it at 5-all, and each held serve to go to 6-all and enter a tiebreaker.

The third set tiebreaker opened in the same style as the third set, with Seyferth racing out to a 4-2 point advantage. That was all Hubbs would allow in the tiebreaker, however, running off five consecutive points to claim the tiebreaker, the set, the match and the overall match win for Ohio State.

Christina Keesey also came up big in the Buckeye win, tying the match at 3-all late with a big win at No. 3 singles against Aleksandra Markovic. The Ohio State junior was a winner in a long first set by the score of 7-5, and then put Markovic away with a 6-4 second set, denying the Badgers a clinching win.

Wisconsin moved within a point of the win by taking three of the first four singles matches, including a win from Badger senior Liz Carpenter over Kirsten Flower at No. 1, 6-4, 6-2, a 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 5 for Angela Chupa over Buckeye senior Angela DiPastina and Katya Mirnova’s 6-2, 6-2 win over Ohio State’s Paloma Escobedo at No. 2 singles. The Scarlet and Gray came up with a win from freshman Kelsey Haviland at the No. 6 spot, winning 6-2, 6-1 against Dana Larsen.

The deciding factor in the match came from the doubles point, which Ohio State swept through. Keesey and DiPastina, ranked as the No. 89 doubles team in the nation, knocked off Carpenter and Seyferth at the top doubles spot, 8-3. Blackmore and Hubbs followed suit at No. 2 doubles, winning a tight 9-7 decision over Mirnova and Emese Kardhordo. Ohio State added their third doubles win from Escobedo and Flower at No. 3 doubles, winning 8-6.

The Buckeyes now roll into postseason action, with the Big Ten tournament getting under way on Friday against likely opponent and 5th-seeded Indiana.

Tennis Match Results
Ohio State vs Wisconsin
4/19/2009 at Madison, Wis.

#39 Ohio State 4, #74 Wisconsin 3

 Singles competition
1. Elizabeth Carpenter (WIS) def. Kirsten Flower (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Katya Mirnova (WIS) def. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Christina Keesey (OSU) def. Aleksandra Markovic (WIS) 7-5, 6-4
4. Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Jessica Seyferth (WIS) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Angela Chupa (WIS) def. Angela DiPastina (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Kelsey Haviland(OSU) def. Dana Larsen (WIS) 6-2, 6-1

 Doubles competition
1. #89 Christina Keesey/Angela DiPastina (OSU) def. Elizabeth Carpenter/Jessica Seyferth (WIS) 8-3
2. Julie Blackmore/Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Emese Kardhordo/Katya Mirnova (WIS) 9-7
3. Kirsten Flower/Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Angela Chupa/Aleksandra Markovic (WIS) 8-6

Match Notes:
Ohio State 14-9, 7-3 Big Ten; National ranking #39
Wisconsin 8-14, 3-7 Big Ten; National ranking #74
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,5,2,1,3,4)
Match played outdoors and moved inside due to rain