The Ohio State women’s tennis team overcame a slow start to cruise past South Carolina in its third-round NCAA tournament match Friday afternoon, defeating the Gamecocks 4-1 in Athens, Georgia.

Senior Miho Kowase clinched the victory for the third-seeded Buckeyes, winning at No. 4 singles 7-5, 6-2 over Silvia Chinellato.

Ohio State won the doubles point over 14th-seeded South Carolina with victories by Kowase/Francesca Di Lorenzo and Gabriella De Santis/Ferny Angeles Paz.

Di Lorenzo, a sophomore from New Albany who’s the top-ranked player nationally, then easily won her singles match 6-1, 6-1 over Ingrid Gamarra Martins at No. 1.

Several Buckeyes had to overcome slow starts. Senior Sandy Niehaus fell behind 3-1 before winning the final 11 games of her match for a 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 5.

Kowase trailed 4-1 before rallying, and Angeles Paz was down a service break before taking the first set in her unfinished match.

“It was a mixture of them playing really well and us not executing on a couple of big points,” OSU coach Melissa Schaub said. “But there was no panic by our guys.”

After taking control, Kowase faced two break points in the final game before closing it out.

“Miho has been in that position a lot of times in her career,” Schaub said. “We trust her when it’s time to clinch the match, and she always seems to come up with the goods.”

Ohio State will play sixth-seed Texas Tech in the quarterfinals on Sunday. The Red Raiders defeated Auburn in a third-round match.

The Buckeyes men's team, after a dramatic 4-3 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday, plays Texas Christian in the quarterfinals Saturday.