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Women’s Tennis: No. 2 Ohio State defeats Virginia, move forward to No. 1 Florida

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Members of the women’s tennis team huddle before their match against Virginia on March 8. Credit: Magee Sprague | Lantern reporter

The No. 2 Ohio State women’s tennis team notched the doubles point and four singles points to take down the Virginia Cavaliers 5-2 at the Varsity Tennis Center on Wednesday.

The Buckeyes improved to 14-1 overall and the Cavaliers fell to 5-4.

“We know Virginia is a good team,” OSU coach Melissa Schaub said. “They’ve always been a top program, so I think when you have a team like that coming into your building, you know you have to be ready.”

To start things off, Buckeye senior pair Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz dominated with a quick 6-0 win over Virginia’s freshman team Hunter Bleser and Camille Favero.

The No. 31 doubles team of seniors Gabriella De Santis and Sandy Niehaus was upset by Virginia’s No. 43 pair of junior Cassie Mercer and freshman Chloe Gullickson 6-2 on court one.

It came down to a battle on court two between OSU’s No. 63 pairing of sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and junior Anna Sanford and the Cavaliers’ freshman Rosie Johanson and sophomore Meghan Kelley for the doubles point. Di Lorenzo’s final serve was returned long by the Cavaliers which secured the set 6-3 and put the home team up, 1-0.

In singles play, OSU took 4-of-6 sets, thanks to Di Lorenzo, Kowase, Niehaus and Angeles Perez, each winning in two straight sets.

No. 1-ranked Di Lorenzo, the Big Ten Athlete of the Week, put the first singles point on the board by dominating Virginia’s No. 75 Mercer 6-1, 6-3.

Next, Niehaus took down junior Cavalier Teodora Radosavljevic 6-4, 6-3 in spite of being down 1-4 in the first set. Angeles Paz came back from a 1-3 deficit in the first set to top Favero 6-3, 6-3 on court six.

With that, the Buckeyes went up 4-0 and sealed victory.

“We always come ready to go and we play hard,” Angeles Paz said. “We performed really well as a team, I think that’s key. We know that every single match is going to be different and every single team is good.”

For Virginia, this marked the end of a three-match win streak before heading to its second Big-10 school in one week — Michigan on Friday.

Next up, OSU will travel to Orlando, Florida, to take on the No. 1 Florida Gators on March 14.

“I think every match is important for us,” Schaub said. “Every match is big, we need to be ready to go.”

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