Ohio State Continues Big Ten Slate vs. Illinois, Northwestern
April 11, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 62-ranked Ohio State women's tennis team will host a pair of Big Ten matchups this weekend featuring Illinois and Northwestern. The Buckeyes will face No. 59 Illinois (10-9, 3-4 B1G) in a Big Ten matchup at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Columbus, Ohio, followed by No. 16-ranked Northwestern (11-8, 5-2 B1G) at noon Sunday.
Gabby Steele leads the Buckeyes with 22 wins this season, including a 13-3 record in dual matches. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native has collected an 8-1 record on court four and a 5-2 record at the No. 3 position this season. Steele has notched four-consecutive victories and wins in seven of her last eight outings.
As a team, the Scarlet and Gray have posted a 21-20 record in Big Ten singles matches, while seniors Fidan Manashirova and Steele tie for a team-high five conference wins. Manashirova is second on the team with 21 wins this season and 12 in dual matches.
Kelsey Dieters jumps nine spots in the ITA/Campbell's poll to check in at the No. 45 spot. The ranking marks her highest rank since holding the No. 41 spot at the start of the spring slate. Dieters has earned 19 victories this season, including three vs. nationally-ranked players. Playing at the No. 1 position, the Shelby Township, Mich., native has posted a 9-7 record and wins in five of her last nine matches.
Ohio State has earned the doubles point in 10 of their 19 outings this season en route to a .543 doubles winning percentage. The Buckeye duo of Manashirova and Steele has won three-straight doubles decisions at the No. 3 position with wins vs. Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana. Kara Cecil and Dieters lead all Buckeye tandems with 11 wins this season and a 5-1 record on court one. Steele leads the Scarlet and Gray with 5 conference doubles wins this season.
A LOOK AT ILLINOIS
After falling to Michigan April 6, Illinois bounced back with a 6-1 win over Michigan State at home. The Fighting Illini secured the doubles point and five doubles matches to claim their third conference victory of the season. Illinois posted 5-2 wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin in Big Ten contests earlier this season.
Illinois is led by Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White who check in at No. 27 in the latest Campbell's/ITA National Rankings as a doubles pair. The Illini are 6-1 when winning the doubles point and 0-7 when losing the doubles point.
Illinois is taking to the road after a five-match home stand to take on the Buckeyes, followed by road matches at Penn State April 14 and Indiana April 19. The squad has recorded a 2-4 record in away competitions this season.
Last season, Illinois snapped Ohio State's three-match winning streak with a 4-3 win over the Buckeyes in Champaign, Ill. Ohio State is 13-28 all-time vs. the Fighting Illini.
A LOOK AT NORTHWESTERN
Northwestern's roster features two ranked singles players as well as a ranked doubles pair in the latest Campbell's/ITA National Rankings. Senior Katy Turvy checks in at the No. 55 spot in Tuesday's ITA poll. The Dublin, Ohio, native has won four-straight singles contests with victories against Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and No. 33-ranked Georgia Tech in straight sets. At the No.1 position, Turvy is 5-7 vs. nationally ranked opponents this season.
With 10 wins in dual matches this season, junior Veronica Corning holds the No. 106 spot. Corning has collected three wins vs. nationally ranked opponents this season and 4-3 in B1G matchups.
The No. 9-ranked Wildcat tandem of Linda Abu Mushefova and Nida Hamilton has earned 18 wins this season along with an 8-8 record on court one. The duo is 5-4 against ranked opponents and 4-2 in conference play. In singles matches, Mushefova and Hamilton are undefeated in conference play with Mushefova on a four-game win streak and Hamilton on a five-game win streak.
Northwestern's Alicia Barnett and Coming have won five-consecutive doubles matchups and are 4-1 against conference competition. Turvy and Belinda Niu have posted a 10-1 record on court three this season and have won seven of their last ten matchups.
The Wildcats are 4-6 vs. ranked opponents and 1-3 on the road this season. Ohio State is 5-34 all-time vs. Northwestern.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Nebraska checks in at first place in the Big Ten standings with a 7-0 conference record this season. Michigan is second with a 6-1 record in conference play. Purdue and Northwestern tie for third at 5-2, while Indiana rounds out the Top 5 with a 4-3 record. The Buckeyes are in a four-way tie for sixth place in the Big Ten with Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota.
Ohio State is one of eight Big Ten squads to appear in the in the latest Campbell's/ITA National Rankings joining Michigan (7), Nebraska (12), Northwestern (16), Purdue (23), Indiana (34) and Illinois (59). Individually, 12 Big Ten women's tennis players and nine doubles pairs have been ranked nationally in the ITA poll.
LAST TIME OUT - B1G WIN OVER MINNESOTA
After claiming the doubles decision and a quartet of singles wins, the Buckeyes defeated Minnesota April 7 in Minneapolis, Minn., to earn their third Big Ten win of the season, 5-2. Ohio State took the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. With the score knotted at 2-2 in singles competition, the Buckeyes responded with three straight singles victories to claim the victory. Nicole Flower, Grainne O'Neill, Steele and Manashirova all tallied wins in the match.
BLOGGING WITH THE BUCKEYES
Senior Fidan Manashirova has been touching base with BuckeyeNation all season long on her blog, giving fans an inside glimpse into the team at home and on the road. Keep up with Manashirova and the rest of the Buckeyes as they head into the home stretch of this season at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Buckeyes will travel for the last time in the regular season to take on Michigan State April 19 and then celebrate Senior Day with the home finale April 21 vs. Michigan in Columbus, Ohio.