Steele and Manashirova both earned singles wins after posting a doubles victory together
April 26, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 63rd-ranked Ohio State women's tennis team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, hosted by the Buckeyes, with a 4-2 victory over No. 50 Penn State Thursday afternoon inside the OSU Varsity Tennis Center. All four first-round contests in the tournament were forced inside because of weather and court conditions.
The eighth-seeded Scarlet and Gray (10-15, 4-7 Big Ten) will face No. 1 seed and No. 11-ranked Northwestern at 11 a.m. Friday at the OSU Varsity Outdoor Tennis Courts. The Buckeyes have reached the quarterfinals at the event six-consecutive years. A complete tournament schedule, as well as links to live stats, is on the tournament central page: go.osu.edu/2012WTENBTT. The women's tennis Twitter feed is updated throughout play as well: twitter.com/OhioState_WTEN.
In a reversal of the match between the teams earlier this season where Penn State clinched a 4-3 win with four singles victories, Ohio State rallied to take four singles decisions to advance in the tournament, including a pair of three-setters to close the contest.
"These were two really close teams on the courts today," Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said of the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions. "The last time we played we won doubles and they grinded out a win with singles and today it was the other way around. I'm really proud of this team."
Ohio State notched the first doubles win of the day as the duo of Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele downed Nina Sertic and Marie Bedard, 8-1, on court two. The Nittany Lions responded with two 8-6 wins on courts one and three to earn the doubles point.
The Buckeyes claimed the first two singles wins to establish a 2-1 lead. Junior Steele earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory on court five against Bedard before classmate Manashirova gave Ohio State the advantage with a 6-3, 6-3 win on court three over Fernanda Perrotta.
Penn State's Petra Januskova, ranked 76th nationally, evened the score at 2-2 with a win on court one. After dropping the first set, 6-1, to PSU's Chelsea Utting, junior Kara Cecil provided a spark for the Buckeye squad by taking the last two sets, 6-4, 6-3, to claim the win on court two and put OSU in the lead for good (3-2).
As Carmen Sandor of Penn State held match point against Kelsey Dieters on court five, sophomore Tiffany Dittmer sealed the victory for the Buckeyes on court six with a back-and-forth, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, win over Nina Sertic.
Tennis Match Results
Penn State vs Ohio State
Apr 26, 2012 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Courts)
#63 Ohio State 4, #50 Penn State 2
1. #76 Petra Januskova (PSU) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-4, 6-0
2. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Chelsea Utting (PSU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
3. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Fernanda Perrotta (PSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Kelsey Dieters (OSU) vs. Carmen Sandor (PSU) 6-4, 3-6, 4-5, unfinished
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Marie Bedard (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) def. Nina Sertic (PSU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
1. Petra Januskova/Chelsea Utting (PSU) def. Kara Cecil/Kelsey Dieters (OSU) 8-6
2. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Nina Sertic/Marie Bedard (PSU) 8-1
3. Fernanda Perrotta/Carmen Sandor (PSU) def. Kelsey Haviland/Noelle Malley (OSU) 8-6
Penn State 12-11; National ranking #50
Ohio State 10-15; National ranking #63
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,1,2,6)
Big Ten Tournament First Round
Singles order on court: 3, 5, 1, 4, 6, 2
Buckeyes Set to Open NCAA Tournament