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Ohio State University Women Team News
Ohio State Wins Third Consecutive Match, Downs No. 33 Minnesota, 4-3
Sunday, 04/08/2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s tennis team finished the weekend 2-0 after picking up a win against No. 33 Minnesota, 4-3, Sunday afternoon. The victory is the Buckeyes’ third in a row, including a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin Friday, and improved the team’s record to 2-0 when playing outside at the new OSU Varsity Tennis Courts.

Ohio State (8-12, 3-4 Big Ten) dropped the doubles point to the Gophers (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten), but claimed the win with four singles victories from Kara Cecil, Tiffany Dittmer, Kelsey Dieters and Gabby Steele. The Buckeyes have now won nine-consecutive meetings against Minnesota.

"Minnesota is a very tough team and we showed how tough we are today," Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State head coach, said after the match. "It was a total team win."

The Scarlet and Gray take on No. 19 Illinois on the road Friday before traveling to face No. 14 Northwestern Sunday.

"We are on a mission," Merzbacher said of the team's three-consecutive conference wins. "We restarted our talks about goals before Big Ten season and we have some goals we are chasing."

The Golden Gophers opened the match with a strong doubles performance, taking all three decisions and the 1-0 lead. The Minnesota duo of Doron Muravnik and Alexa Palen downed Haviland and Cecil, 8-2, on court two before UM’s Natalia Pintusava and Magdalena Wiecha, ranked 39th nationally, defeated Fidan Manashirova and Steele, 8-3, on court one. The Gophers wrapped up the doubles sweep with Julia Courter and Aria Lambert’s 8-5 win over Dieters and Dittmer on court three.

Ohio State responded in singles, with four-consecutive wins to clinch the match. Junior Kara Cecil tied the score, 1-1, with the contest’s only straight-set decision, 6-2, 6-4, over Palen on court two. Classmate Steele provided the Buckeyes with the lead following a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory against Yuliana Umanets on court five. Moments later, Dittmer extended the lead to 3-1 with her own three-set win on court five, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, over Lambert.

On court four, Dieters surrendered a two-game advantage to tie the final frame, 4-4, before bouncing back to a 5-4 lead against Courter. Down 40-0, the freshman rallied to send the game to deuce and finally took the game and the match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, to clinch the team victory for the Buckeyes.

The Gophers captured the No. 1 singles match as Pintusava rallied to take the last two sets to defeat Haviland, 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-2, and the No. 3 decision as Muravnik outlasted Manashirova in a super tiebreaker, 10-8, to win, 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-8.

Tennis Match Results
Minnesota vs Ohio State
Apr 08, 2012 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Courts)
Ohio State 4, #33 Minnesota 3

Singles competition

1. Natalia Pintusava (MINN) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 6-2
2. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-2, 6-4
3. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 10-8
4. Kelsey Dieters (OSU) def. Julia Courter (MINN) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
5. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Yuliana Umanets (MINN) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
6. Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) def. Aria Lambert (MINN) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Doubles competition

1. No. 39 Natalia Pintusava/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 8-3
2. Doron Muravnik/Alexa Palen (MINN) def. Kelsey Haviland/Kara Cecil (OSU) 8-2
3. Julia Courter/Aria Lambert (MINN) def. Kelsey Dieters/Tiffany Dittmer (OSU) 8-5

Match Notes:

Minnesota 13-5 (3-4 Big Ten); National ranking #33
Ohio State 8-12 (3-4 Big Ten)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,5,6,4,1,3)