The No. 5 Ohio State women’s tennis team (24-2, 10-0 Big Ten) dominated the Indiana Hoosiers (12-12, 3-6 Big Ten) in Columbus on Friday by way of a 7-0 sweep. The Buckeyes continued their perfect conference record and notched their ninth Big Ten shutout of the season.
“I’m incredibly proud,” OSU coach Melissa Schaub said. “These guys put in a lot of work. I don’t think when you see 7-0 that that necessarily always happens on that day. I think it’s the work that you’ve put in leading into the season.”
The Scarlet and Gray went 2-1 in doubles play to get the first point on the board. In singles play, OSU won the first set on all six courts by a margin of no fewer than three points. The Buckeyes took the second set, and with it the match point, on every court except for two.
With OSU up 6-0, the final set between junior Anna Sanford and Indiana’s Paula Gutierrez remained. The pair was tied at 2 before Sanford pulled away to win 6-3 and seal the shutout for the Buckeyes.
“You definitely want to keep competing for your teammates,” Sanford said of being the last one on the court. “It’s bigger than just playing for yourself at that point. Having all of your teammates and the crowd cheering for you is definitely a lot of motivation to try and pull out the W.”
In doubles play, sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and Sanford quickly swept Indiana’s Gutierrez and Natalie Whalen, on Court Two. Next, OSU senior pairing of Ferny Angeles Paz and Miho Kowase defeated Hoosiers Pauline Jahren and Caitlin Bernard on Court Three to secure the doubles point for the Buckeyes.
Indiana’s No. 41 ranked doubles pair, Madison Appel and Kim Schmider notched their team’s lone win of the day with a victory over OSU’s No. 83 senior pair Gabrielle De Santis and Sandy Niehaus, 4-3.
In singles, Buckeyes No. 1 Di Lorenzo, De Santis, Kowase, Angeles Paz and Niehaus each won their match in two sets. Angeles Paz and Di Lorenzo both put up 6-1, 6-0 victories.
Next up, the Buckeyes will celebrate Senior Day as they play their final regular-season home match against Purdue on Sunday.
“We’re definitely excited for Sunday,” Sanford said. “We’ll come out tomorrow and have a good practice and probably just keep working on the things we’ve been working on and hopefully play with confidence on Sunday.”
The Buckeyes, the defending Big Ten regular-season champions, are currently tied with No. 10 Michigan (18-4, 10-0 Big Ten) for first in the Big Ten, and need a win on Sunday to clinch the title. Michigan will travel to Illinois on Sunday for its final conference contest of the regular season.
OSU beat Michigan 5-1 in February but it did not count as part of conference play.
“It’s very important,” Schaub said of how her team ends conference play. “(Michigan’s) a really good team, as is Northwestern, so we just try to take care of each match as it comes. Not try to make one match more important that the other.”