April 24, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 70-ranked Ohio State women's tennis team (No. 9 seed) will compete in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament 10 a.m. Thursday vs. Iowa (No. 8 seed). The tournament, hosted by Indiana University, will be played at the IU Varsity Tennis Courts in Bloomington, Ind.
The winner of Thursday's match between the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes will move on to face No. 6-ranked Michigan (No. 1 seed) 10 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.
2013 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Tournament play begins Thursday with first-round matchups, including Ohio State taking on Iowa at 10 a.m. The quarterfinals will be Friday, with semifinals Saturday and the championship match Sunday. The tournament champion will earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA championship field.
Big Ten Network will air the championship match on tape delay on Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m. ET.
A complete schedule, including links for live stats for all matches, can be accessed from the tournament central website: http://go.osu.edu/big102013.
IN THE TOURNAMENT
The Buckeyes have advanced to the quarterfinals six consecutive years, including semifinal runs in 2009 and 2011. Last season, tournament host Ohio State defeated Penn State, 4-2, after claiming four singles victories in the contest at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes fell to Northwestern in the quarterfinals, 4-0.
CONFERENCE COMPETITIONS THIS SEASON
Ohio State tied with Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin with a 3-8 ledger in Big Ten play to create a four-way tie for eighth place. The Buckeyes, who faced every member of the Big Ten this season, notched three wins in conference play with victories over Penn State, Iowa and Minnesota. Ohio State tallied a 26-39 singles record and 12-19 doubles record in Big Ten outings this season.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State posted a 6-1 victory over Iowa inside the Varsity Tennis Center March 31 to record their second Big Ten win of the season. The Buckeyes claimed the doubles point with wins on courts two and three, then clinched five matches in singles competition to earn the victory. No. 61 Kelsey Dieters, defeated then-unranked Ruth Seaborne in straight sets in the match. Seabourne currently holds the No. 89 spot in the latest ITA poll. Kara Cecil, Gabby Steele, Grainne O'Neill and Nicole Flower notched singles victories in the win.
Iowa is led by junior Ruth Seaborne, who is currently ranked No. 89 in the ITA poll, and holds a 12-8 record at the No. 1 position and a 4-5 ledger against ranked opponents. Seaborne teams up with sophomore Moreven McCulloch to form the No. 43-ranked Iowa doubles tandem. The duo has earned 15 doubles victories this season, including one win over Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley March 31. Iowa recorded a .561 winning percentage in singles and doubles competition in the regular season. The eighth-seeded Hawkeyes tallied two Big Ten victories this season against Illinois, 5-2, and Michigan State, 4-3.
The Scarlet and Gray have defeated the Hawkeyes in five of their lat six matches, while Iowa holds the all-time series advantage at 22-18.
The Scarlet and Gray hold an 8-3 record vs. lower-ranked or unranked opponents this season and are 10-1 when earning the doubles point. The Buckeyes are 4-8 on away or neutral courts this season.
Fidan Manashirova leads the Buckeyes with 24 wins this season, including a team-high 15 wins in dual matches and team-high eight conferences victories. Gabby Steele is close behind with 23 singles victories this season, with 14 in dual matches.
At the No. 1 position, sophomore Kelsey Dieters has earned nine wins on court one, including a team-best four wins against ranked opponents. Dieters moved up to No. 61 in the latest ITA poll this week.
Kara Cecil and Dieters form the winningest doubles tandem with 11 wins this season, including five on court one. Manashirova and Steele tie with Kelsey Becker and Grainne O'Neill for a team-high three conferences wins as a duo. Dieters and Steele tie for a team-high 17 doubles wins this season. Steele has totaled a team-best 12 wins in dual matches, while O'Neill has earned a team-best six conferences doubles wins this season.
In the past four seasons, the senior class of Kara Cecil, Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele, have compiled a 58-49 record and 19 Big Ten wins. Steele has earned 90 career singles wins to tie for fourth in all-time career singles wins in program history, while Manashirova sits at fifth place all-time in career singles wins with 89. The trio combines for 226 singles wins and 187 doubles victories the past four seasons.