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OSU Women's tennis wins first-round NCAA match, senior reaches milestone

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COLUMBUS -- The No. 2-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team posted a 4-0 win over Buffalo in the opening round of the NCAA Championship Saturday at the OSU Varsity Tennis Courts. Ohio State, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, will take on Notre Dame, a 4-3 winner over Kansas in the first round, at noon Sunday in Columbus for a spot in the Round of 16.

Ohio State won the doubles point and three singles matches in straight sets for the NCAA victory. It was the squad’s 15th straight win and its 11th shutout in the last 12 matches. Ohio State, hosting NCAA matches for the second year in a row, has won its last 32 home matches and is 16-0 at home this year.

Buckeye senior Sandy Niehaus had milestone singles and doubles wins in the victory over the Bulls. Her doubles victory was the 99th of her career, tying Wendy Stewart (1976-79) for the program record. Her singles victory was the 100th of her career for the Scarlet and Gray. She is the fourth Buckeye to hit triple digit singles wins.

Ohio State won 6-1 on courts two and one for the doubles point. Niehaus and junior Anna Sanford posted the first victory, downing Chantal Martinez Blanco and Anna Savchekno, while the No. 18-ranked duo of sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and senior Miho Kowase won over Tanja Stojanovska and Margarita Kotok. Seniors Gabriella De Santis and Ferny Angeles Paz led 5-1 on their court when play was abandoned. Di Lorenzo and Kowase are 16-1 this spring, with wins in 11 straight matches.

In singles, No. 1-ranked Di Lorenzo did not drop a game on court one against Stojanovska, extending her winning streak to 19 and improving to 24-1 this spring. Niehaus followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Savchenko on court five. Niehaus has won her last 17 matches and is 22-1 in dual play this year. On court three, De Santis clinched the Buckeye win, downing Emel Abibula, 6-2, 6-3, marking her 12th consecutive victory.

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