Jan. 26, 2014
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The Rice men's tennis team enjoyed a brief respite from a rash of winter weather, blanking Prairie View 7-0 on Sunday afternoon at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
After an ice storm forced the Owls indoors for their match on Friday against Texas-Arlington and forced the cancelation of a match with New Orleans that was to have also been played on Sunday, Rice head coach Efe Ustundag was glad to get his team on their home courts.
"The original idea for today was to have two matches and have the opportunity to play everyone, plus we had some guys who were not able to finish matches on Friday," Ustundag said. "I felt like they needed to get another win under their belts with the tough set of matches we have coming up. It's a tough schedule this year and any win helps build confidence. I thought we accomplished that today."
Freshman Henrik Munch earned his first collegiate dual win with a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Carlos McIntyre, joining Srikar Alla, Tommy Bennett, David Warren, Zach Yablon and Leif Berger with singles wins.
The Owls will face a pair of ranked teams next weekend in Lubbock, with duals scheduled against 13th ranked Mississippi State on Saturday and #53 Texas Tech on Sunday. Both teams will likely rise in the next poll after successful runs in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. MSU advanced to the National Indoor Championships with wins over Harvard and Memphis, while Tech reached the finals of the UCLA bracket.
"It's going to be tough, no doubt. Both teams are playing very well right now. Both of them have to be feeling pretty good about their results this weekend. We have to play better than we did this weekend, but I am confident that we can rise to the occasion in the same fashion as we did last weekend against LSU. We have to play hard, play unified and play with a lot of intensity, we've got a very good shot," Ustundag stated.