Buckeyes to Compete in ITA Midwest Regional
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State women's tennis team will compete in its second tournament of the 2012-13 season when it travels to the 2012 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional this week. Hosted by the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., the tournament runs Thursday through Tuesday. Singles finalists and the doubles champion from regionals around the country will earn a berth in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships, Nov. 8-11 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The tournament begins with a 48-player qualifying singles draw Thursday, with players who reach the third round advancing to the 48-player main draw, which kicks off Saturday. Doubles play begins Friday and features 48 of the region's top tandems. Doubles action concludes on Monday and the singles final will be Tuesday.
Ohio State freshman Grainne O'Neill will make her collegiate debut in the single qualifiers joined by teammates Kara Cecil, Noelle Malley and Nicole Flower. Senior Fidan Manashirova and sophomore Kelsey Dieters will represent the Buckeyes in the singles main draw. The duos of Manashirova/Gabby Steele, Dieters/Cecil, Flower/Kelsey Becker and Malley/O'Neill will contend for the doubles title.
In the first round of the qualifier O'Neill will take on Akron's Angelika Jogusuria at 9 a.m. and Malley will face Michigan State's Katrina Lingl at 11:30. Flower and Cecil have first-round byes and will play for the first time Thursday afternoon.
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Ohio State hosted the ITA Midwest Regional last year, posting five victories in main draw singles and another five wins in main draw doubles. After a pair of victories in the second and third rounds, the Buckeye tandem of Kara Cecil and Kelsey Dieters fell to third-seeded Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas of Michigan, 8-4, in the doubles quarterfinals. Steele and Cecil were each defeated in the Round of 16 of main draw singles.
In the first tournament of the year at the 2012 Muirfield Collegiate Tennis Invitational Sept. 14-16, the Buckeye squad notched nine main draw singles victories and four main draw doubles victories. Fidan Manashirova competed in the singles semifinals, but fell to eventual champion Becca Shine of Louisville. Gabby Steele was defeated 14-12 in the super tiebreaker of her quarterfinal match after splitting the first two sets (0-6, 6-4, 14-12). Manashirova and Steele paired up in doubles and advanced to the semifinals before falling to Chircosta/Reuland of Bowling Green, 8-6.
Redshirt freshman Nicole Flower rallied after dropping the first set for a win in a super tiebreaker for her first collegiate victory before falling in the Round of 16. After falling in the Round of 16, Flower and Malley both won in back draw singles. Dieters fell to Emily Reuland of BGSU in a super tiebreaker (6-4, 4-6, 11-9) in her second-round match. Kelsey Becker won a play-in match vs. Akron but lost in the Round of 32 in a super tiebreaker (6-4, 1-6, 12-10).
Ohio State will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to compete in the Tennessee Fall Invite Oct. 26-28. The fall wraps up in early November with the ITA National Indoors and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.