by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The Rice women’s tennis team opened their 2018 campaign by splitting six of its first 12 matches of action on the first day of the Florida Gulf Coast University Spring Invitational at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Saturday.
The Owls opened action by taking five of six doubles matches against Denver and the host Eagles, but they saw Kansas take five of six singles matches to close out the day.
“It was good to get back out on the competition court,” Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. “Overall, the team did a nice job in doubles being steady from the back and aggressive at the net. In singles, the good news is that, on several courts, we put ourselves in positions to win games and sets. The bad news is we weren't effective enough at closing them out so Kansas got us in those matches,” she added.
The Owls will face South Carolina in singles on Sunday at 8 a.m., followed by a set of singles against Denver at 11 a.m. Action concludes on Monday and the Owls will open their 2018 dual season next weekend with matches against Lamar and Baylor.
“These early season battles with other NCAA caliber teams really tests us both physically and mentally which is great as it truly shows us where we are and what areas we can continue to grow,” Schmidt noted.
Singles Day One
Despoina Vogasari (Kansas) def. Wendy Zhang (Rice) 6-0, 6-1
Janet Koch (Kansas) def. Lindsey Hodge (Rice) 6-4, 7-6 (5-0)
Nina Khmelnitckaia (Kansas) def. Michaela Haet (Rice) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Maria Toran Ribes (Kansas) def. Priya Niezgoda (Rice) 7-6, 7-6
Tatiana Nikolaeva (Kansas) def. Anna Bowtell (Rice) 1-6, 6-2, 7-6
Sofie Moenster (Rice) def. Carla Pons Martorell (Kansas) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles Day One
Maja Ornberg/Madison Gallegos (Florida Gulf Coast) def. Wendy Zhang/Priya Niezgoda (Rice) 6-4
Fernanda Astete/Michaela Haet (Rice) def. Laura Falceto Font/Patricia Villar (Florida Gulf Coast) 6-1
Anna Bowtell/Sofie Moenster (Rice) def. Sofia Perez/Bridget Forster (Florida Gulf Coast) 6-1
Wendy Zhang/Michaela Haet (Rice) def. Bianca Mok/Julia O'Loughlin (Denver) 6-2
Priya Niezgoda/Lindsey Hodge (Rice) def. Arisha Ladhani/Gracia Mboko (Denver) 6-1
Anna Bowtell/Sofie Moenster (Rice) def. Hada Chang/Anna Riedmiller (Denver) 6-4