March 28, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 57th-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team (8-8, 1-3 Big Ten) will host No. 69th-ranked Iowa (8-6, 1-2 Big Ten) at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Ohio State University Varsity Outdoor Tennis Center, weather permitting, in Columbus, Ohio.
The match marks the first outdoor contest for the Buckeyes this season in Columbus, Ohio, and their fifth conference match of the season.
At an even 8-8 record, the Buckeyes have earned a .590 singles and .536 doubles winning percentage this season. Ohio State holds a 5-2 advantage when playing at home as well as a 2-7 record against ranked opponents.
Seniors Gabby Steele and Fidan Manashirova lead the Buckeyes with 19 singles wins each this season. No. 54-ranked Kelsey Dieters has collected 17 singles wins this year, including three over ranked opponents. Dieters and Stele both have 10 dual-match singles wins this spring. Manashirova has tallied wins in seven of her last nine outings in singles play.
Kara Cecil and Dieters form the winningest Buckeyes’ doubles tandem, as the pair holds a 10-6 record as well as wins in seven of its last 10 contests. Overall, Steele and Dieters tie for the most doubles victories with 15 each.
LAST TIME OUT – INDIANA ROAD TRIP VS. PURDUE, INDIANA
The Buckeyes look to bounce back after back-to-back losses against 17th-ranked Purdue and 40th-ranked Indiana last week, with both losses ending with a 5-2 decision.
Ohio State opened its weekend of Big Ten competition against No. 21-ranked Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., March 22. With close decisions on all courts in doubles play, the Boilermakers tallied victories on courts one and two to claim the doubles point. The Buckeye tandem of Noelle Malley and Kara Cecil wrapped up doubles competition on court three with a 9-7 win over Lynda Xepoleas and Daniela Vidal, 9-7. Dieters and Manashirova added points for the Buckeye with straight set wins on courts one and two.
The Buckeyes met the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind., for their second match of the weekend that ended in an identical 5-2 result. Steele captured a singles and doubles victory in the Big Ten contest. Steele and Manashirova rallied back from an early deficit on court three to prevail over Sophie Garre and Katie Klyczek in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (4). After winning the doubles point, Indiana proceeded to win four-consecutive singles matches to secure the victory. No. 53-ranked Dieters recorded her second singles victory of the weekend with a win against Hureau, 6-3, 7-5, to put the Buckeyes on the board. After the winning the tiebreaker in set one, Steele closed out Kauss, 6-2 in the second set.
A LOOK AT IOWA
This season, Iowa has earned a .621 singles and .581 doubles winning percentage en route to an 8-6 team record. In addition, the Hawkeyes have posted singles winning percentages exceeding .700 on courts one, two and five.
Ruth Seaborne and Shelby Talcott, who each have totaled seven singles wins this season, lead the 69th-ranked Hawkeyes. The Hawkeye tandem of Seaborne and Morven McCulloch is ranked 34th in the latest Campbell's/ITA National Rankings and has notched eight doubles victories this season at the No. 1 position to lead all Hawkeye duos.
On the road, the Hawkeyes have recorded a 2-2 record, including a 1-2 record in the Big Ten. Iowa captured its first Big Ten win March 10 against Illinois in a 5-2 decision. In its previous conference matches against Nebraska and Northwestern, the Hawkeyes fell 7-0 and 5-2, respectively.
Iowa holds a 0-3 record against ranked opponents this season.
Last season, Ohio State nabbed a Big Ten road win against Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, 4-3. The Buckeyes used a pair of doubles wins and a trio of singles victories to take the match.
The Scarlet and Gray have won four of the last five against Iowa, while the Hawkeyes hold the all-time advantage at 22-17.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Purdue, Nebraska and Michigan sit atop the Big Ten leaderboard with undefeated conference records. Ohio State is one of nine Big Ten squads to appear in the latest Campbell's/ITA National Rankings joining Michigan (10), Northwestern (11), Nebraska (12), Purdue (17), Penn State (30), Indiana (40), Illinois (52) and Iowa (69). Eleven individual players and nine doubles pairs have been ranked nationally in the ITA poll.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY OUTDOOR VARSITY TENNIS CENTER
The match marks the beginning of the second season of competition at the Ohio State University Varsity Outdoor Tennis Center, which opened in March 2012. The facility consists of 12 scarlet and gray painted tournament-style courts that are ideal for large spectator crowds. The tennis complex serves both the university and surrounding community for practice, competitions and youth camps.
The Buckeyes will go on the road to compete against Wisconsin April 5 in Madison, Wis.