Women’s Tennis: No. 8 Ohio State earns senior day victory, wins 7th straight over Iowa

The Buckeyes huddle together during the Ohio State-Michigan match April 1, 2022. Ohio State won 4-3. Credit: Athena Markowski | Managing Editor for Design

The No. 8 Ohio State women’s tennis team finished off its home slate with an emotional senior day sweep of Iowa.

The Buckeyes (15-5, 7-0 Big Ten) swept the visiting Hawkeyes (9-8, 4-2 Big Ten) 7-0 on a sunny day outside at the Ty Tucker Tennis Center. Contributions from the five honored seniors played a key role in the victory, which marked Ohio State’s seventh win in a row.

Head coach Melissa Schaub said Ohio State’s graduating class of five — including graduates Isabelle Boulais and Danielle Willson, seniors Kathleen Jones and Lucia Marzal as well as fifth-year Kolie Allen, has left an impact on the program.

“It’s been a special group for sure, and it’s hard to lose them, but we are better off because they choose to come here,” Schaub said.

The duo of Allen and Willson claimed a 6-3 victory versus Iowa fifth-year Samantha Mannix and junior Vipasha Mehra, while Boulais and sophomore Shelly Bereznyak secured the doubles point with a 6-1 win over Hawkeyes sophomore Marisa Schmidt and freshman Daianne Hayashida.

Ohio State carried the momentum into singles action as all six Buckeyes jumped ahead 1-0 in their first set. Five of the six Buckeyes won their first set including all four seniors competing in singles action.

No 98. Israel native Bereznyak, who entered with a record of 13-1, was the first Buckeye to claim a singles victory with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Mehra. The seniors followed suit with No. 21 senior Irina Cantos Siemers winning 6-2, 6-3 and Willson clinching the team victory with a score of 6-3, 6-4.

Allen led 6-2, 5-4 to the enjoyment of a crowd of friends and family before her match went unfinished. Marzal, who’s from Valencia, Spain, held a 6-2, 3-3 lead which kept her winning streak of 10 matches intact.

Allen, a Lombard, Illinois, native, said the support she received from friends and family felt special to her.

“It’s awesome to have them here on senior day,” Allen said. “There is not a lot of times where all out-of-state family and friends can come see you if you’re not from Ohio.”

The only Buckeye trailing was No. 33 sophomore Sydni Ratliff in a competitive 4-6, 3-2 matchup versus Schmidt.

Ohio State’s season is far from over as an upcoming four-match road trip is up next before Big Ten Tournament play. A matchup with No. 3 Michigan April 16 is looming large.

The Buckeyes cannot get ahead of themselves according to Schaub. 

“We will go one match at a time, but we are feeling confident,” Schaub said. “I think we are playing at a good level right now and just need to keep it going.” 

Ohio State’s next step will be in East Lansing, Michigan, Friday against the Spartans at 6 p.m.

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