COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team begins play this weekend with two tournaments. Senior Anna Sanford will compete in Malibu, Calif., at the Oracle ITA Masters, while the rest of the squad will play in the Debbie Southern Fall Classic hosted by Furman.
2017 Oracle ITA Masters
The 2017 Oracle ITA Masters, which has a 32-player draw, runs Thursday through Sunday. Live scoring for all matches is available HERE, with live streaming available for matches at the Malibu Racquet Club HERE.
Sanford, ranked 33rd, will open play vs. No. 97 Claudia Herrero Garcia at 1 p.m. ET Thursday at the Malibu Racquet Club.
The tournament also includes a 32-team mixed doubles tournament, with players from the same conference partnered whenever possible. Sanford will play with Matic Spec of Minnesota. The tandem will take on Marianna Petrei of Idaho and Tim Handel of Northern Arizona at 11 a.m. ET Thursday on Pepperdine’s courts.
The winner of the Masters tournament earns automatic entry into the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which will be held Nov. 1-5 in Palm Desert, Calif. The tournament replaces the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Sanford ended the 2017 season ranked 61st by the ITA. She is a three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection and is 63-38 in singles in her career. She won the ITA Midwest Regional championship in 2015 with Miho Kowase and was a 2016 NCAA Doubles Championship qualifier. Sanford has a 70-37 doubles ledger as a Buckeye.
Debbie Southern Fall Classic
Furman will host the Debbie Southern Fall Classic Friday through Sunday at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C. The Buckeyes will be joined by the host Paladins, Clemson, Florida State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. The tournament includes flights in both singles and doubles.
Doubles play starts at 9 a.m. Friday, with singles action starting at 1 p.m. Matches will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday as well.
Ten of the 11 teams in the tournament were ranked in the Top 50 of the final ITA rankings last season – No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 5 North Carolina, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 22 Texas, No. 24 Tennessee, No. 30 Florida State, No. 31 Clemson, No. 32 Mississippi and No. 33 Wake Forest. The field includes 20 ranked singles players and 10 ranked doubles teams from the ITA’s preseason rankings.
Redshirt freshman Shiori Fukuda is in Flight 1, senior Olivia Sneed is in Flight 2, redshirt freshman Maria Tyrina is in Flight 4, redshirt sophomore Danielle Wolf is in Flight 5, freshman Marybeth Hurley is in Flight 6 and junior Andrea Ballinger is in Flight 7.
In doubles, the duo of Fukuda and Tyrina is in Flight 1, Sneed and Hurley are in Flight 2 and Wolf and Ballinger are in Flight 3.
The Fall Slate
Up next for the Buckeyes, Anna Sanford has received a spot in the qualifying singles draw of the Riviera ITA Women’s All-American Championships, while Sanford and classmate Olivia Sneed are in the doubles qualifying draw. Sneed was selected for prequalifying singles. The tournament, held in Pacific Palisades, Calif., starts Sept. 30 with prequalifying. Qualifying begins Oct. 3 and the main draw is Oct. 5-8.
The annual ITA Midwest Regional begins Oct. 12 and will be hosted by Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Buckeye squad is also set to compete at the Tennessee Fall Invite Oct. 27-29, the ASU Thunderbird Nov. 3-5 and the Lakewood Ranch Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic that same weekend.