Buckeyes Set to Open Spring Slate vs. No. 19 Baylor, Prairie View A&M

Senior Noelle Malley
Senior Noelle Malley

Jan. 17, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 72-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team is set to open the spring season Saturday with a doubleheader vs. No. 19 Baylor at 1 p.m. CT and Prairie View A&M at 6 p.m. CT in Waco, Texas. Matches will be played at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center and the Hurd Tennis Center.

Ohio State saw action in four competitions in the fall campaign. The Scarlet and Gray kicked off the fall slate collecting 19 wins at the Akron Invitational Oct. 4-6. Freshman Sandy Niehaus earned a spot in the main draw singles competition of the ITA Midwest Regional Championship, while the Buckeye duo of Miho Kowase and Grainne O’Neill advanced to the round of 16 of the doubles main draw of the event before falling to the Illinois tandem of Misi Kedzierski and Louise Kwong. The Buckeyes combined for 13 singles wins and eight doubles victories at the Tennessee Fall Invite, claiming eight of their nine doubles matches on the weekend vs. Kentucky, North Carolina State and Tennessee. Ohio State wrapped up fall competition at the Jack Kramer Invitational Nov. 10 with Ferny Angeles Paz and Noelle Malley reaching the doubles final of the event. In the tournament, the Buckeyes totaled seven singles win and five doubles victories.



Ohio State is 25-11 in season openers after posting a 6-1 win at West Virginia last season. This is the third consecutive season the squad has started the season on the road.

Baylor enters the 2014 spring season ranked No. 19 in the latest ITA poll. Sophomore Kiah Generette, who earned an at-large selection to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in November, is ranked No. 38 in singles. The doubles tandem of redshirt sophomore Victoria Kisialeva and freshman Blair Shankle holds the No. 37 spot in the doubles poll. The duo claimed the doubles title at The Racquet Club Invitational to start the fall slate.

Baylor opened the spring season with a 6-1 win at Hawai’i. The Lady Bears claimed the match with five singles wins and the doubles point. Ohio State holds a 1-0 record all-time vs. Baylor. The teams last met in 2003, where the Buckeyes edged the Lady Bears, 4-3.

The match marks the first meeting between Ohio State and Prairie View A&M.  Prairie View A&M collected a 4-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference record last season, with junior Christine Ngo Gwodog earning a spot on the All-Southwestern Athletic Conference Second Team. The Lady Panthers wrapped fall competition at the Cougar Classic, with Taylor LeFridge advancing to the third-place match of the 6 singles draw consolation bracket. Brittany Harrell and Ericka Bond reached the singles consolation championship match of the tournament before the squad withdrew from competition.

Senior Noelle Malley led the Buckeye squad with nine doubles wins in the fall campaign, advancing to the doubles final at the Jack Kramer Collegiate Invite Nov. 10 with freshman Miho Kowase. The Kansas City, Mo., product also recorded a perfect 6-0 ledger in singles and doubles competition at the Tennessee Fall Invite Oct. 25-27 vs. North Carolina State, Kentucky and Tennessee. Teammate Kelsey Becker, who did not compete in the fall campaign because of injury, is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Last season, the Granite Bay, Calif., native collected 12 doubles victories, including three in Big Ten play vs. Northwestern, Minnesota and Illinois.

The freshman quartet of Sandy Niehaus, Gabriella De Santis, Ferny Angeles Paz and Miho Kowase saw its first action as Buckeyes in the fall.  Sandy Niehaus tallied a team-best 10 singles wins in the fall slate. Gabriella De Santis claimed her first victory over a ranked player, knocking off No. 45 Joelle Kissell of North Carolina State Oct. 27 at the Tennessee Fall Invite. Ferny Angeles Paz recorded nine singles victories in the fall slate and advanced to the singles quarterfinals of the highly competitive Jack Kramer Collegiate Invite Nov. 7. Miho Kowase totaled eight doubles and six singles win in fall outings.

The Buckeyes will compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan.24-25 in Coral Gables, Fla., facing off against Miami and LSU or South Florida. The Buckeyes will return to the Varsity Tennis Center for their home opener Jan. 31 with a doubleheader vs. Syracuse at 1 p.m. and Youngstown State at 6 p.m.