The Ohio State women’s tennis team’s historic season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion Monday evening when the No. 3 Buckeyes (32-3) fell to No. 7 Stanford (26-2) 4-3 in the NCAA semifinals in Athens, Georgia.
OSU, in the final four for the first time in program history, came out strong, winning two doubles matches to pick up a point.
Sophomore phenom Francesca Di Lorenzo gave the Buckeyes their second point of the night, defeating Stanford’s Caroline Doyle 6-1, 6-0.
The Cardinal then began to turn the tides of the match. Stanford got on the scoreboard when Emily Arbuthnott defeated senior Sandy Niehaus 6-4, 6-3. Two Cardinal players – sophomore Melissa Lord and freshman Emma Higuchi – won matches to give their team the lead.
With her team down 3-2, teetering on the edge of elimination, OSU senior Miho Kowase battled and won a tightly contested match 7-6 (7-5) against sophomore Caroline Lampl.
Tied at three points apiece with a chance to face Florida in the national championship on Tuesday on the line, OSU senior Gabriella De Santis forced a third set in her match against Stanford senior Taylor Davidson. But she could not complete the comeback. Davidson extended her career and her team’s season one final match, defeating De Santis 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.
OSU entered Monday’s match on an 18-match win streak. It dropped only two points during the streak. Undefeated in the Big Ten, at home and on the road, the Buckeyes only losses this season came at neutral sites.
Stanford will take on Florida on Tuesday in the NCAA championship at 5 p.m. in Athens, Georgia.