No. 35 Women's Tennis Falls to No. 55 Ohio State 5-2
March 3, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Nittany Lions (9-1, 0-1) fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-4, 1-1) Sunday afternoon losing 5-2 at the Varsity Tennis Center, for their first loss on the season.
For the second straight week and third time this season Penn State fell behind early heading to singles trailing 1-0 after dropping the doubles point. The Buckeyes quickly jumped out to go up 1-0 in the doubles competition with Kelsey Dieters and Fidan Manashirova's victory in the No. 2 doubles match over Katherine Whiteaway and Jacqueline Zuhse, 8-2.
Petra Januskova and Chelsea Utting evened the competition at one when they knocked off Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley 8-6. With the doubles play tied at one, the deciding point came down to the No. 3 singles match. Leading by four twice in the match at 5-1 and 7-3, the Nittany Lions duo of Carmen Sandor and Devan McCluskey were unable to hold off the late push from Gabby Steele and Grainne O'Neill, who won the match and the doubles point for the Buckeyes 9-8 (7-5).
No. 47 Januskova had a strong performance in the loss winning both of her matches on the day. After teaming with Utting getting the only victory in doubles for the Nittany Lions she finished her day knocking off No. 46 Dieters in singles. Januskova got off to a hot start taking the first set 6-1, before ultimately winning the match in three sets, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2.
The other Nittany Lions point in the match came in the No. 5 singles match where Sandor defeated Grainne O'Neill in straight sets 7-5, 6-0. The win give Sandor six wins this spring matching her total from last season.
Ohio State took a 3-1 lead in the match after Cecil topped Utting 6-3, 7-5 in the No. 2 position and Steele knocked off McCluskey 6-1, 6-2. The loss was Utting's first in singles play on the season after starting 9-0.
With the Nittany Lions needing all three matches to win the match, Ohio State sealed the victory when Malley came back from a set down to defeat Sarah Henderson 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. Januskova's victory over Dieters made the score 4-2, with one match remaining.
In the No. 3 singles match Zuhse took the first set 6-2, and lead at times in both of the following sets, but No. 122 Manashirova was too much to handle and capped off the victory for the Buckeyes winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. The loss was also Zuhse's first on the season in singles play after starting off her spring with eight straight victories.
With the loss Penn State is now 9-1 on the season and 0-1 in the conference. They will be back in conference action when they travel to Bloomington to face Indiana in two weeks. The Nittany Lions will look to rebound from the loss when they head to South Carolina where they will face No. 72 College of Charleston on Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m.