Buckeyes Close Out Regular Season vs. Iowa, Nebraska
Senior Noelle Malley
April 17, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 34 Ohio State women’s tennis team will close the regular season this weekend, traveling for a match vs. Iowa at 4 p.m. ET Friday and against Nebraska at noon ET Sunday. The Buckeyes (16-7, 6-3 Big Ten) are returning to the courts after beating Purdue, 5-2, last Sunday to wrap up the home slate undefeated (12-0) in 2014.
BUCKEYES PERFECT AT HOME IN 2014
With a pair of wins last weekend at the Varsity Tennis Center, the Buckeyes moved to a perfect 12-0 in Columbus, Ohio, this season. The Buckeyes last notched 12 or more consecutive home wins in a season in 2002, when the squad captured a program-record 14-straight matches at home.
The Buckeyes have dominated doubles play this spring, compiling a 16-1 record when winning the doubles point in the dual season. The 82nd-ranked freshman tandem of Ferny Angeles Paz and Miho Kowase have notched a perfect 13-0 record with a 6-0 record in B1G outings, while the duo of senior Noelle Malley and Grainne O’Neill reentered the ITA rankings this week at the No. 78 spot with a 7-6 record at No.1 doubles.
Last’s week Big Ten Athlete of the Week Gabriella De Santis has tallied a team-best eight wins in B1G play, all at the No.1 singles position. The Caracas, Venezuela, native captured seven-straight victories with a team-high three wins vs. ranked opponents.
Kowase, Niehaus, De Santis, Ferny Angeles Paz and Grainne O’Neill have each tallied more than 20 singles wins this season.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With a team-high 28 singles wins this season, freshman Sandy Niehaus is second all-time in program history for single-season wins by a freshman. Former Buckeye Cami Hubbs is first with 36 victories in 2008.
LAST TIME OUT
In its home season finale, Ohio State topped Purdue, 5-2, on Senior Day, to secure a perfect 12-0 ledger at the Varsity Tennis Center this spring. After downing No. 41 Indiana 7-0 on Friday, the Buckeyes have now won five-straight matches heading into their final weekend of the regular season.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
With a 6-3 record in conference play, the Buckeyes are now tied for third in the B1G standings with Minnesota and Purdue. Michigan is in first place with a 9-0 record in B1G play, followed by Northwestern in second with an 8-1 ledger.
Eight Big Ten teams appear in the latest ITA rankings released Tuesday. The Buckeyes appear in the top 35 for the first time since the 2010-11 season, checking in at No. 34. Northwestern is the top-ranked conference team at the No. 13 spot, while Michigan is ranked No.16. No. 42 Purdue, No. 43 Illinois, No. 48 Indiana, No. 59 Minnesota and No. 67 Michigan State also check in to the ITA poll.
A LOOK AT IOWA
The Hawkeyes are 9-11 overall with a 2-7 mark before hosting the Scarlet and Gray this weekend. Last time out, the Hawkeyes lost, 5-2, at nationally-ranked Northwester April 13 in Evanston, Ill. Reigning B1G Athlete of the Week Ruth Seaborne is No. 75 in the nation in singles with a 14-5 overall and 7-2 record in conference competition. The Hawkeye has won five-straight singles match after defeating Northwestern’s No. 34-ranked Veronica Corning in straight sets.
The Buckeyes are 18-23 all-time vs. Iowa. Last season, the Buckeyes closed out the 2013 season with a 4-2 loss to the Hawkeyes at home.
Nebraska has posted an 8-14 overall record this spring after falling to Northwestern, 7-0, and Illinois, 5-2 this past weekend. The Huskers are led by Maggie Lehmicke who holds a 13-7 ledger on court one, while the Nebraska duo of Mary Hanna and Lehmicke has collected a team-high 12 wins. The Huskers will play Penn State Friday at home before facing Ohio State.
Nebraska leads the series, 5-2. Last time out, the Scarlet and Gray fell, 4-2, at home to the Huskers.
The Buckeyes will head to Evanston, Ill., to compete in the Big Ten Tournament April 24-27.