Ohio State Set to Compete in ITA Midwest Regional Championships

Grainne O'Neill received a first-round bye in the singles qualifier.
Grainne O'Neill received a first-round bye in the singles qualifier.

Oct. 9, 2013

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team is set to begin competition in the 2013 ITA Midwest Regional Championships Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich. The tournament, hosted by Michigan, will feature representatives from 24 teams in the singles and doubles competitions and will run through Monday. Champions from each draw will earn a spot in the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships.

Freshmen Gabriella De Santis and Miho Kowase earned a spot in the singles main draw bracket, while Grâinne O’Neill, Ferny Angeles Paz, Sandy Niehaus and Noelle Malley will compete in qualifying singles, competing for one of eight spots in the main draw.  

Niehaus and De Santis, who recorded a 3-0 ledger last weekend at the Akron Invitational, will be joined by the Buckeye duo of Kowase and O’Neill in the main draw doubles competition. The senior tandem of Kelsey Becker and Malley will also compete in main draw doubles.



ITA Midwest Regional Championship Schedule

Thursday, Oct. 10
9 a.m. -- Qualifying Singles First Round
12:30 p.m. -- Qualifying Singles Second Round

Friday, Oct. 11
9 a.m. -- Qualifying Singles Round of 16 (eight players will qualify for main draw)
2 p.m. -- Main Draw Doubles First Round
4 p.m. -- Main Draw Doubles Second Round

Saturday, Oct. 12
9 a.m. -- Doubles Main Draw Round of 16
10 a.m. -- Singles Main Draw First Round
1:30 p.m. -- Singles Main Draw Second Round

Sunday, Oct. 13
10 a.m. -- Doubles Main Draw Quarterfinals
11:30 a.m. -- Doubles Main Draw Semifinals
1 p.m. -- Singles Main Draw Round of 16

Monday, Oct. 14
9 a.m. -- Doubles Main Draw Championship
10:30 a.m. -- Singles Main Draw Quarterfinals
1:30 p.m. -- Singles Main Draw Semifinals

Tuesday, Oct. 15
10 a.m. -- Singles Main Draw Championship

Akron, Bowling Green, Chicago State, Cleveland State, DePaul, Detroit, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois, IPFW, Marquette, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Toledo, Western Michigan, Wisconsin, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Youngstown State will join Ohio State in the six-day tournament.

Last season, the Scarlet and Gray notched five qualifying singles wins, with redshirt freshman Nicole Flower earning a spot in the singles main draw. Fidan Manashirova advanced to the round of 16 in main draw singles before falling to DePaul, while the Buckeye doubles duo was defeated in the doubles quarterfinal by Notre Dame.  In 2011, Ohio State hosted the tournament, collecting five victories in main draw singles and another five wins in main draw doubles.

The Buckeyes started off the 2013-14 fall campaign with a strong showing at the Akron Invitational in Akron, Ohio. The squad totaled 19 wins, including 12 singles victories and seven doubles wins in the hidden dual tournament. The Buckeyes faced Akron, Cornell and West Virginia and only dropped one doubles match during the weekend.

The freshman quartet of Gabriella De Santis, Ferny Angeles Paz, Sandy Niehaus and Miho Kowase all captured their first career singles victories at the Akron Invitational. De Santis posted a team-best six wins on the weekend, including three wins at the No. 1 singles position in straight sets for the Buckeyes, while Niehaus posted a 5-0 record on the weekend. Kowase added a pair of doubles and singles wins in the weekend, while Angeles Paz collected two singles victories in straight sets. The 2013 class joins the squad ranked as the No. 12 recruiting class by Tennis Recruiting Network.

Redshirt sophomore Nicole Flower led the veteran Buckeyes with a 4-0 record at the Akron Invitational. Sophomore Grâinne O’Neill, who earned the squad’s Most Improved Award last season, tallied three wins in the tournament, and senior Noelle Malley collected a pair of doubles victories paired with Flower. Senior Kelsey Becker did not see action at the Akron Invitational.

Ohio State will head to Knoxville, Tenn., to participate in the Tennessee Fall Invite Oct. 25-27.