COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team defeated No. 14 South Carolina in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 Friday in Athens, Ga. Ohio State, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will face No. 7 ranked and No. 6 seed Texas Tech in the quarterfinals at noon Sunday.
Ohio State, on a 17-match winning streak, is now 31-2 this year to tie the school record for wins in a season, first set last year. The squad is making its second straight (and overall) appearance in the quarterfinals and is looking for the first semifinal berth in program history.
Against South Carolina, the Buckeyes picked up the doubles point with victories on courts one and two. The No. 18-ranked tandem of Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase posted the first win, defeating No. 25-ranked Hadley Berg and Paige Cline, 6-1. South Carolina notched the next win with a 6-3 victory on court two. On court three, the Buckeyes’ senior duo of Ferny Angeles Paz and Gabriella De Santis prevailed over Rachel Rohrabacher and Caroline Dailey 6-3 to notch the team doubles point.
In singles, the Buckeyes’ No. 112-ranked senior Sandy Niehaus overcame an early deficit on court five to top Berg 6-3, 6-0, winning the last 11 games, for a 2-0 Buckeye lead. She is on a 19-match winning streak, with a 24-1 dual ledger this year. On court one, No. 1-ranked Di Lorenzo dropped just one game in each set to defeat No. 49-ranked Ingrid Gamarra Martins. Di Lorenzo, who has captured her last 21 matches, is 36-1 overall this year. The Gamecocks got on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 win by No. 47-ranked Mia Horvit over junior No. 67-ranked Anna Sanford on court two.
Kowase clinched a second straight NCAA match for the Buckeyes. Against Silvia Chinellato on court four, she trailed in the first set before posting a 7-5 win and then claimed the second set 6-2 for the match victory. Kowase is a perfect 25-0 this spring and extended her program record for career singles wins to 110.
The Buckeyes were up a set in the remaining two matches. De Santis won the first set 6-3 and was on serve against Cline in the second on court three. On court six, Angeles Paz won the first set in a tiebreaker and had notched the first game in the second set when play was halted.
#2 OHIO STATE (31-2) 4, #14 SOUTH CAROLINA (20-9) 1
1. #18 Francesca Di Lorenzo/Miho Kowase (OHIO STATE) def. #25 Hadley Berg/Paige Cline (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-1
2.Brigit Folland/Ingrid Gamarra Martins (SOUTH CAROLINA) def. Sandy Niehaus/Anna Sanford (OHIO STATE), 6-3
3.Gabriella De Santis/Ferny Angeles Paz (OHIO STATE) def. Rachel Rohrabacher/Caroline Dailey (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-3
1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OHIO STATE) def. #49 Ingrid Gamarra Martins (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-1, 6-1
2. #47 Mia Horvit (SOUTH CAROLINA) def. #67 Anna Sanford (OHIO STATE), 6-3, 6-2
3. #95 Gabriella De Santis (OHIO STATE) vs. Paige Cline (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 4-5, uf
4. #91 Miho Kowase (OHIO STATE) def. Silvia Chinellato (SOUTH CAROLINA), 7-5, 6-2
5. #112 Sandy Niehaus (OHIO STATE) def. Hadley Berg (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 6-0
6. Ferny Angeles Paz (OHIO STATE) vs. Brigit Folland (SOUTH CAROLINA), 7-6 (6), 1-0, uf
Doubles (1,2,3) Singles (5,1,2,4)