May 22, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team gathered at the Ohio State University Golf Course Sunday afternoon to celebrate the 2011-12 season and the career of senior Kelsey Haviland, as well as the individual efforts of each of the nine members of the team.
Junior Fidan Manashirova shared co-Most Valuable Player honors for the second-consecutive year, this time with classmate and doubles partner Gabby Steele. Last season Manashirova and then-senior Cami Hubbs split the award.
Steele, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, led the team with 21 singles wins, including a 7-3 Big Ten ledger while playing at the No. 5 spot. Manashirova was first on the team in conference singles victories with eight and finished tied for second on the squad with 19 overall wins. The Elk Grove, Calif., native tallied a 13-3 record at No. 3 singles where she downed a pair of nationally-ranked opponents and earned a spot at No. 123 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings Feb. 16. Manashirova and Steele set the pace as a doubles team with 17 victories.
Sophomore Tiffany Dittmer picked up Most Improved accolades as her transition from red clay courts in Germany to the red hard courts of Ohio State is complete, according to head coach Chuck Merzbacher. The Hamburg, Germany, native improved from seven singles wins as a freshman to 16 this year, including a vital three-setter to help the Buckeyes down Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. Dittmer also nabbed the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award this season.
Sophomore Kelsey Becker was the recipient of the 2012 Coaches’ Award. The Granite Bay, Calif., native was rewarded for her endless enthusiasm and positive demeanor throughout the season. Her hard work paid off as she climbed in the doubles lineup late in the season and produced a win at No. 3 alongside freshman Kelsey Dieters
Ohio State finished the season at 10-16 through a schedule that included 17 ranked opponents, including 11 in the Top 35 of the ITA polls. The Buckeyes reached the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament for the sixth year in a row after downing Penn State, 4-2, in the opening round.