Ohio State Ready for Road Contest vs. Kentucky

Noelle Malley
Noelle Malley

Feb. 13, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's tennis team continues its nonconference slate with a match vs. No. 38 Kentucky at 1 p.m. Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky. The Buckeyes look to claim their first road win and victory over a ranked opponent of the spring campaign vs. the Wildcats.

For the first time in her career, freshman Gabriella De Santis checks in the ITA singles poll at the No. 78 spot. The Caracas, Venezuela, is 2-0 vs. ranked opponents this season with a 2-1 record on court one this spring.

Freshman Sandy Niehaus, who led the squad with 10 singles wins in the fall campaign, has captured five-consecutive singles matches this spring. The Cincinnati, Ohio, has won 7 of her last 10 matches. Teammate Miho Kowase has won three straight singles matches.

No. 38-ranked Kentucky is off to a strong start this season, notching an 8-1 record after claiming two wins in a doubleheader Tuesday vs. Eastern Kentucky and East Tennessee State. Duke, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the ITA poll, handed the Wildcats their only loss of the season during ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 25 in Durham, N.C., 4-0.  Kentucky responded with four straight wins in nonconference play.



The Buckeyes and Wildcats met earlier this year at the Tennessee Fall Invite Oct. 25-27 in Knoxville, Tenn., in the hidden-dual format tournament. Ohio State collected wins in all doubles matches and won four matchups in singles competition. No. 56 Nadia Ravita, who led Kentucky with a 20-5 singles record at the No. 1 position last season, did not compete vs. the Buckeyes in the Tennessee Fall Invite.

Ohio State is 6-14 all-time vs. Kentucky. The Buckeyes dropped a 4-3 decision to the Wildcats at home last season in a match featuring four singles matches that went to a third set.  Ohio State claimed the doubles point, but Kentucky won the first four matches off the court, with two in three sets, to secure the victory.

The Buckeyes claimed back-to-back shutouts in their doubleheader Jan. 31 vs. Syracuse, 4-0, and Youngstown State, 7-0. After claiming the doubles point vs. Syracuse, freshman Sandy Niehaus, redshirt sophomore Nicole Flower and freshman Miho Kowase collected wins in singles play to clinch the victory. The Buckeyes continued their momentum into their second match of the day taking the doubles point with wins on courts and three. In singles, freshman Ferny Angeles Paz, senior Noelle Malley, Niehaus, Flower and Noelle Malley all won in straight sets, while Kowase won in a 10-6 super tiebreaker to complete the shutout.

The Scarlet and Gray raised $636 at its Buckeyes Go Pink match vs. Youngstown State at the Varsity Tennis Center Jan. 31. The funds collected at the match will benefit the Stefanie Spielman Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

The Buckeyes will return to the Varsity Tennis Center to take on No. 27 Tennessee at 5 p.m. Feb. 21.