CORAL GABLES, Fla. – For the second consecutive weekend, the University of Miami women’s tennis team is hosting a competition. Visiting Coral Gables for the ITA National Kickoff Weekend are No. 59 South Florida, No. 65 LSU and No. 72 Ohio State.
Play begins this Friday, Jan. 24, when the Hurricanes take on the Buckeyes at 10 a.m. and LSU and South Florida compete at 1 p.m. The winners of Friday’s matches will play each other on Saturday with the winner qualifying for the ITA National Indoor tournament on Feb. 7-10.
Ohio State enters the weekend with a spring record of 1-1, including a 7-0 sweep over Prairie View A&M last Saturday in Waco, Texas. The Buckeyes were defeated the following day by No. 19 Baylor, 4-3. Despite the loss, freshman Gabriella De Santis used a tiebreak to upset No. 38 Kiah Generette 4-6, 6-0 (10-4). De Santis was ranked second in her home country of Venezuela and has peaked at No. 161 in the world rankings. She recorded seven wins during the fall season.
De Santis is set to match up against Miami’s No. 32 sophomore Stephanie Wagner. Wagner had a solid showing a week ago at the Miami Spring Invite, in both singles and doubles action, completing the weekend with an overall record of 4-1. She had four victories in the three days of competition, including a win over No. 78 Sydney Campbell of Vanderbilt.
The most impressive outing of the opening spring weekend for the Hurricanes belonged to sophomore Kelsey Laurente. Laurente capped an undefeated Miami Spring Invite (5-0) upsetting Texas’ No. 22 Breaunna Addison 5-7, 6-1, (10-7) along the way.
Laurante is slated to face Miho Kowase and will also compete in doubles alongside Melissa Bolivar. Kowase finished her fall campaign with a record of 6-5, but has started her spring at 1-1.
In doubles action, Miami’s ranked duos of No. 29 Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobeuno and No. 55 Stephanie Wagner and Brittany Dubins will compete this weekend as well.
Ohio State’s three pairs of doubles teams are a combined 2-2 on the season. Ferny Angeles Paz and Noelle Malley led the team in wins during the fall with a 6-1 record.
South Florida and LSU also head into the Neill Schiff Tennis Center after active first weekends of competition.
The Bulls participated in the Michigan Invitational, highlighted by 4-3 victory over Syracuse. Kayla Rizzolo nearly defeated Michigan’s No. 21 Emina Bektas, but fell short 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8).
LSU is 2-0 in the young spring season with wins over Nicholls State and Southern University.
The University of Miami is the only school participating this weekend with players or doubles duos ranked in the top-118.
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