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Women’s tennis: Di Lorenzo and Kowase win first NCAA doubles championship in OSU history

Ohio State senior tennis player Miko Kowase is the all-time winningest singles player in program history. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Athletics

For the first time in Ohio State women’s tennis history, a pair of Buckeye players will return to Columbus with an NCAA doubles championship.

Sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and senior Miho Kowase — the all-time winningest player in OSU women’s tennis history — bested Alabama freshman Maddie Pothoff and senior Erin Routliffe on Monday, splitting the first two sets 6-7 and 6-4 before winning the super-tiebreaker, 10-7.

The first set came down to the wire, with both pairs tied at six games apiece. Each team traded points in the tiebreaker, until eventually the Crimson Tide pair was able to win two straight, winning the tiebreak 7-5 and sealing the first set with a 7-6 victory.

The Buckeyes seemed to set the tone from the start of the second set, shutting out their opponent with four straight points to win the first game on break, and winning their serve in the next game. But the Crimson Tide pair won their second game serving, and added a break back to even the set at 2-2.

After Alabama took a 3-2 lead, the Buckeyes went on a three-game win streak, tallying two wins while serving and one on break. The Scarlet and Gray pair lost one more game in the set, but were able to seal a 6-4 victory.

Now heading to a super-tiebreaker, Di Lorenzo and Kowase needed at least 10 points and a margin of victory of at least two to win the match. The pair jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, and though the Crimson Tide duo fought back to keep it close, the Buckeyes were able to lock up the 10-7 win over Routliffe and Pothoff.

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