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Ohio State’s Shiori Fukuda Wins Big Ten Athlete Of The Year

By June 1, 2020 (1:00 pm)Sports, Tennis

Shiori Fukuda – a fourth-year junior on the Ohio State women’s tennis team, was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year 

Fukuda became the third Buckeye to win Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joining two-time recipients Kristy Dascoli (2000, ‘01) and Francesca Di Lorenzo (2016, ‘17). The Tokyo, Japan native also earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades in 2018. 

A two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Week in 2020, Fukuda posted a 9-3 record in dual matches, all on court one. She recorded a 24-7 overall mark, leading Ohio State in wins in both categories. 

The Meguro, Tokyo, Hinode High School product also became the fifth Buckeye to earn three First Team All-Big Ten laurels and the fourth to be honored each of her first three seasons, having been a unanimous All-Big Ten choice each time. Ohio State’s four-time honorees include Dascoli (1998-01), Gabriella De Santis (2014-17) and Anna Sanford (2015-18), while Miho Kowase (2014, ’16-17) and Monica Rincon (2000-02) were both named first-team All Big Ten thrice.

 Earlier in the spring of 2020, Fukuda was named an ITA All-American. She ended the year ranked No. 11 in the ITA rankings, which marked the highest spot for a Big Ten player in the final 2020 rankings. Fukuda ascended from No. 79 in the 2019-20 preseason rankings to a then-career best No. 11 at the end of the fall. She then climbed to a career-high mark of No. 8 in February before finishing back at No. 11.

 During her dominant fall, Fukuda was runner-up in singles play at the USTA Fall Ranked Spotlight and a finalist in both singles and doubles at the ITA Midwest Regionals. Additionally, she advanced to the doubles final and made it to the singles quarterfinals at an ITF $15K in Lubbock, Texas. 

A three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and likely three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Fukuda is studying strategic communications.

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