Ohio State to Compete in Blue Gray National Tennis Classic

Go Buckeyes! Sophomore Kelsey Dieters is ranked No. 53.
Go Buckeyes!
Sophomore Kelsey Dieters is ranked No. 53.
Go Buckeyes!

March 14, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 40-ranked Ohio State women’s team (7-4, 1-1 Big Ten) will travel to Montgomery, Ala., to participate in the 65th-annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. The Buckeyes will be joined by Pepperdine, No. 47 Virginia, Boise State, Marshall, Michigan State, No. 50 Tulane and No. 34 Yale in the event.

Ohio State is the No. 2 seed and will take on Boise State at 1:30 p.m. CT Friday. Other first-round matchups include No. 1 seed Yale vs. Pepperdine, No. 3 seed Virginia vs. Michigan State and No. 4 seed Tulane vs. Marshall. Semifinals will be Saturday with the championship match Sunday. Backdraw matches will also take place.

A tournament rich in southern traditions, the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic will recognize a team champion, most valuable player and sportsmanship award at the conclusion of the tournament Sunday.

Live scoring and draws will be available throughout the tournament at http://www.bluegraytennis.com.

Stay up to date with all of the latest happenings at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic on these social media sites: Facebook: www.facebook.com/bluegray.tennis Twitter: @bluegraytennis Instagram: @bluegraytennis

Virginia returns to the field to defend its 2012 team title and individual honor at the 2013 event after the Cavaliers took the championship with a 4-3 victory over Alabama. Virginia senior Hana Tomljanovic was named Most Valuable Player last season after sealing the team title with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win over Alabama’s Alex Clay on court four.

As participants in the 2011 edition of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, the Buckeyes advanced to the semifinals of the tournament before dropping back-to-back matches to Virginia and Oklahoma. Ohio State defeated local team Auburn in the opening round of the event, before facing off against Virginia in the semifinals. Despite a resilient effort, the Buckeyes fell to the Cavaliers 4-1. In the battle for third place, Ohio State dropped the doubles decision as well three singles matchups in straight sets against Oklahoma. Ohio State did not compete in 2012.



The Buckeyes have not faced any of their upcoming opponents so far this season. A matchup against Pepperdine or Boise State for the Buckeyes would result in the first meeting between the schools.

0-0: all-time vs. Pepperdine
3-4: all-time vs. Virginia
0-0: all-time vs. Boise State
0-1: all-time vs. Marshall
30-13: all-time vs. Michigan State
0-1: all-time vs. Tulane
1-1: all-time vs. Yale

Ohio State will face Big Ten rival Michigan State again April 19 in East Lansing, Mich.

Ohio State has posted a .617 singles and .571 doubles winning percentage this season. The Buckeyes have compiled a 2-3 record vs. nationally ranked opponents, with their most recent win coming against No. 35 Penn State March 3. On the road, the Buckeyes are 2-1.

The Buckeye duo of Kara Cecil and Kelsey Dieters lead all Buckeye pairings with 10 wins this season, including a 4-1 record on court one. Grainne O’Neill and Gabby Steele have secured five consecutive doubles victories this season.

The Buckeyes have notched an impressive 10-1 record on court four this season. This .909 winning percentage leads all courts with wins coming from Fidan Manashirova, Grainne O’Neill and Gabby Steele. At the No. 4 position, O’Neill and Steele are both undefeated this season.

Steele and Manashirova lead the Buckeyes with 17 and 16 singles wins this season, respectively. Steele has tallied eight dual match wins, while Manashirova has totaled seven. Classmate Kara Cecil has posted 11 victories this season on courts one and two, including wins in five of her last 10 matches.

Steele leads the Buckeyes with a .739 winning percentage in singles matchups, followed by classmate Manashirova who has attained a .696 winning percentage.

Manashirova has captured four consecutive singles matches, including a three-set thriller vs. Penn State’s Jacqueline Zuhse, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 to help the Buckeyes topple the Nittany Lions, 5-2. Earlier this season, Steele recorded nine-consecutive singles victories, dating back to Nov. 11. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native’s streak was snapped by Tennessee’s Caitlyn Williams Feb. 17.

Ohio State tallied back-to-back victories March 3 against Penn State and Youngstown State at the Varsity Indoor Center. The Buckeyes earned their first Big Ten victory of the season with a 5-2 win over No. 35-ranked Penn State. After claiming the doubles point with a comeback victory on court three, the Buckeyes went on to collect wins on courts two, three, four and six to claim the victory.

The Buckeyes notched their second win of the day with a 7-0 shutout over Youngstown State. The Scarlet and Gray blanked the Penguins without dropping a single set to secure their fourth shutout this season.

Stay tuned for more blog posts from senior Fidan Manashirova about the team’s travels and experiences throughout the season at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

The Buckeyes will compete in their first Big Ten road matches of the season at Purdue March 22, followed by Indiana March 24. The Buckeyes will return to Columbus, Ohio and the Varsity Indoor Center March 31 to take on Iowa at 11 a.m.