Manashirova won in a super tiebreaker to earn her team-high six B1G win.
April 12, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team (10-10, 3-5 B1G) fell to Illinois (11-9, 4-4 B1G), 5-2, Friday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeye duo of Kelsey Becker and Grainne O’Neill posted their second-consecutive doubles victory, while Nicole Flower and Fidan Manashirova recorded singles wins in the loss.
The Buckeyes will remain at home this weekend to host No. 16-ranked Northwestern at noon Sunday at the Ohio State University Outdoor Courts, weather permitting, in Columbus, Ohio.
The No. 27-ranked Illini tandem of Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski struck first with an 8-2 win over Kelsey Dieters and Kara Cecil on court one. Becker and O’Neill defeated Audrey O'Connor and Breann Smutko on court three to even the score to 1-1 in the battle for the doubles point. Leading 5-2 in the deciding doubles match, the senior tandem of Manashirova and Gabby Steele fell to Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski in a 9-8 (4) tiebreaker to give Illinois a one-point advantage heading into singles competition.
Illinois won the first four singles matches off the court in straight sets to earn the team victory. White handed Steele her second loss of the season on court four in a 6-1, 6-2 victory. At the No. 1 position, Falkin added to the Illini lead with a win over No.45-ranked Dieters in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. No. 117-ranked Kopinski clinched the victory for the Fighting Illini with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Cecil. On court five, O’Neill dropped her match against Kedzierski, 6-4, 6-4.
Flower put the Buckeyes on the board with a three-set triumph over Julia Jameson. The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native broke away at a 4-4 tie in the third set to claim the victory, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. The win marks her third victory in Big Ten contests.
After dropping the first set tiebreaker, Manashirova rallied to force a super tiebreaker against Smutko. The two exchanged points throughout the tiebreaker until Manashirova prevailed over Smutko, 11-9, to earn another point for the Buckeyes and earn her team-high sixth conference win this season. Manashirova has won three consecutive singles matches and is tied for a season-high 22 wins with Steele.
Tennis Match Results
Illinois vs. Ohio State
April 12, 2013 at Columbus, Ohio
(Varsity Tennis Center)
#59 Illinois 5, #62 Ohio State 2
1. Allison Falkin (ILLINOIS) def. #45 Kelsey Dieters (OSU) 6-3, 6-1
2. #117 Melissa Kopinski (ILLINOIS) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Breann Smutko (ILLINOIS) 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 1-0 (11-9)
4. Rachael White (ILLINOIS) def. Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Misia Kedzierski (ILLINOIS) def. Grainne O'Neill (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Nicole Flower (OSU) def. Julia Jamieson (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
1. #27 Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (ILLINOIS) def. Kelsey Dieters/Kara Cecil (OSU) 8-2
2. Allison Falkin/Misia Kedzierski (ILLINOIS) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 9-8 (7-4)
3. Grainne O'Neill/Kelsey Becker (OSU) def. Audrey O'Connor/Breann Smutko (ILLINOIS) 8-3
Illinois 11-9; National ranking #59
Ohio State 10-10; National ranking #62
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,1,2,5,6,3)
Official: Mark Anderson T-4:24 A-59
No. 5 Buckeyes Set for B1G Tourney