Senior Fidan Manashirova
Jan. 18, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team opens the 2013 season in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday vs. West Virginia University. The 57th-ranked Buckeyes will face the Mountaineers in their first match after nearly a two-month break from competition. The match is set to begin at noon.
IN THE POLLS
Sophomore Kelsey Dieters was ranked 41st in the first Campbell’s/ITA College Tennis Rankings of 2013. Dieters was 2-1 vs. nationally ranked players in the fall tournament season. Dieters claimed both wins over a ranked opponent at the Lady Vol Classic Oct. 26-28 in Knoxville, Tenn. She defeated No. 18 Brynn Boren of Tennessee (6-2, 1-0, ret.) and No. 19 Joelle Kissell of NC State, 7-6, 7-6. Dieters is the highest ranked Buckeye since Kirsten Flower was No. 41 in the Sept. 4, 2008 rankings.
Through five competitions in the fall, the Buckeyes compiled a 49-35 singles record and collected 21 doubles victories. Seniors Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele lead the team with nine singles victories each. Junior Kelsey Becker collected a team-high eight wins in the fall paired with Noelle Malley and Nicole Flower. Senior Gabby Steele ended the fall with four consecutive singles wins to reach the consolation final at ASU Thunderbird Nov. 11.
ON A ROLL
Junior Noelle Malley finished the fall campaign winning six consecutive singles matches and four consecutive doubles matches with Grainne O’Neill and Kelsey Becker. Dieters has won five consecutive singles matches including two over ranked opponents, while Steele has notched four straight singles victories.
Ohio State is 24-11 in season openers, after dropping last year’s opener versus South Florida 6-1. This is the second consecutive year the squad has opened a season away from Columbus.
Redshirt freshman Nicole Flower and freshman Grainne O’Neill saw their first action as a Buckeye in the fall. Flower compiled an even 7-7 singles record and qualified for a spot in the USTA/ITA Midwest main draw. O’Neill, who hails from Blessington, Ireland, posted a 1-2 singles record and 1-1 doubles record in the fall campaign.
The Scarlet and Gray will return to Columbus and begin their home schedule with a doubleheader vs. Toledo and Cincinnati. The Buckeyes will host the Rockets at 10 a.m. and the Bearcats at 6 p.m. in the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. Admission is free.