Jan. 18, 2014
The Rice women's tennis team opened their 2014 dual season with a 7-0 shutout of Lamar at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on Saturday.
The 22nd ranked Owls started fast, clinching the doubles point with quick wins at the No. 3 and 1 position and moved swiftly to clinch the match with straight set singles wins on five of six courts.
"I was real proud of the team for the match today," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "I told them before the match that we were not only setting a tone for today but for the season and they had an opportunity show people what our team was all about. I was really pleased that in the middle of the match, Lamar's coach came up to me and said `your team has a lot of fight'. A compliment like that from an opposing coach is a great compliment and it was exactly what I wanted to see from our team," Schmidt added.
The new scoring rule shortening the number of games to win at doubles to six made an early impression on the day, as Alison Ho and Solomiya Zinko race to a 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles while Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath followed shortly after with a 6-2 win at No. 1.
The match was the first collegiate dual experience for Ho and fellow freshman Katherine Ip, and both responded with straight set wins in singles.
"They are great additions to our team and I was happy that they were able to get their feet wet and experience a win in the team environment. It's totally different than the experience of playing junior tennis and a lot of fun," Schmidt noted.
The Owls will travel to Austin next weekend to face 24th ranked Florida State in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Saturday. Those two schools join 17th ranked Texas and 23rd ranked Auburn in one of the toughest opening weekends of the event.
"We're excited about that. There are three other great teams there. We played Florida State in the first round last year and had a tough match with them (Rice lost, 4-2) but we're excited to play them again. They're a great team, well coached and there are fighters. It's going to be an exciting weekend of college tennis," Schmidt added.
#22 Rice 7, Lamar 0
1/18/2014 at Houston, TX (Jake Hess Tennis Stadium)
1. Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Carolina Masó/Alicia Porte (LAMAR) 6-2
2. Liat Zimmermann/Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Katya Lapayeva/Anna Spengler (LAMAR) 4-1
3. Alison Ho/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Hanna Elfving/Dariya Dashutina (LAMAR) 6-1
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Carolina Masó (LAMAR) 6-2, 6-0
2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Alicia Porte (LAMAR) 6-0, 7-5
3. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Dariya Dashutina (LAMAR) 4-6, 6-2, 10-7
4. Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Anna Spengler (LAMAR) 6-2, 6-0
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Hanna Elfving (LAMAR) 6-2, 6-0
6. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Katya Lapayeva (LAMAR) 6-1, 6-3
Rice 1-0; National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,5,6,4,2,3)