BATON ROUGE - The LSU women's tennis team (9-6, 2-2 SEC) battled through three rain delays and swirling winds to overcome Ohio State, (5-9, 0-1 BIG 10) 4-2 on Tuesday at W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium.
Yvette Vlaar broke a 2-2 stalemate in the dual match on court six with a straight-sets 6-4, 7-6 (5) triumph over Noelle Malley, bringing LSU within a point of the match. She battled back from a one break deficit in the second set to force what was a dramatic tiebreaker.
Olivia Howlett quickly seized that momentum on court two by earning a late break during the second set to clinch the team victory 6-3, 7-5.
"It seems like every time we step on the court, we are in a war," LSU head coach Tony Minnis said. "Ohio State, they're always a good team. I'm really pleased we were able to pull it out because it was really tough. We were down 5-3 on court two singles with Liv Howlett, and down 5-2 on court six singles with Yvette Vlaar, and we just found a way to fight back. It's good coming off a couple of tough losses last week to return to the win column."
LSU began the day by sweeping all three doubles courts, despite two rain delays. Howlett and Vlaar overcame Fidan Manashirova and Gabby Steele 8-6 on court two just before the afternoon's second suspension of play.
Courts one and three returned with LSU leading by a break on both following the lengthy interruption.
Kaitlin Burns and Ariel Morton clinched the doubles point 8-6 over Kelsey Becker and Kelsey Haviland on court three.
Whitney Wolf and Keri Frankenberger also came out firing after the break as they blasted through Kara Cecil and Kelsey Dieters 8-6 on court one. They have now prevailed in eight of their last 10 appearances, in addition to being 9-4 on court one this season.
Wolf continued her steady play into singles, cruising past Cecil 6-1, 6-3 on court one.
Ohio State then made things interesting, as the Buckeyes quickly ran off two singles results.
The Buckeyes' Kelsey Dieters beat Ebie Wilson 6-3, 6-1 on court five, before Gabby Steele toppled Frankenberger 7-5, 6-3 on court four.
That would be all Ohio State could muster, because Vlaar and Howlett answered back in singles to give the Lady Tigers the positive result. Howlett's result brings her to 5-2 on court two in 2012.
Burns dropped the first set 7-5 to Manashirova, but the junior was able to dig in and scrap back into the match pulling out a second-set tiebreaker 7-3 to force a decisive set. They couldn't beat the rain, however and the action was called before it could be completed.
Tuesday's scheduled match against Grambling was cancelled due to inclement weather. The teams will attempt to make it up later in the season.
For the latest information on the women's tennis team, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and on www.facebook.com/lsuwten.
#49 LSU 4, #66 Ohio State 2
1. Whitney Wolf (LSU) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Olivia Howlett (LSU) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-3, 7-5
3. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) vs. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 7-5, 6-7 (3)
4. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Keri Frankenberger (LSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Kelsey Dieters (OSU) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Noelle Malley (OSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
1. Whitney Wolf/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Kara Cecil/Kelsey Dieters (OSU) 8-6
2. Olivia Howlett/Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Fidan Manashirova/Gabby Steele (OSU) 8-6
3. Kaitlin Burns/Ariel Morton (LSU) def. Kelsey Becker/Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 8-6
Ohio State 5-9; National ranking #66
LSU 9-6; National ranking #49
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,5,4,6,2)
Match was delayed three times due to rain.
The match between K. Burns & F. Manashirova was abandoned after the second set.