by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The Rice women's tennis team had to wait a little longer than expected to kick off their 2018 dual campaign, but after enduring a pair of false starts due to weather, the Owls were able to take the courts on Saturday afternoon and defeat Lamar 7-0 at the George R. Brown Tennis Center.
The Owls and Cardinals originally moved up the start time for the dual in hopes of avoiding rains forecast for the afternoon, but a morning shower pushed back the start. After twice seeing warmups stopped by brief rain showers, plans were set in motion to move the match indoors. However a break in the weather allowed the match to remain outside and began after a delay of nearly five hours.
"It was a little bit of an odd day," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "Credit to our team and Lamar's team for being adaptable. That's what college tennis is all about. I told our team we are going to see a lot of times when you have to be adaptable and stay focused. It was a great opportunity for us to do that today. (I'm) glad our team came out with a discipline and focus and they did a nice job of taking care of business."
Once on the court, the Owls made quick work of the doubles point, clinching it with wins on one and three without dropping a game. They carried their momentum over to singles.
Senior Savannah Durkin raced to a straight set win on court five and she was followed in rapid succession by freshmen Anna Bowtell, Michaela Haet and Sofie Moenster, who each picked up their first collegiate dual wins in straight sets.
"With the change and not getting the (Baylor) match in tomorrow, I thought it was important for us to play a dual match--especially with three freshmen," Schmidt noted. "This was a new experience for them and I thought that they rose to the occasion. It was nice to get that first dual in before we head off to Kickoff."
The Owls will travel to Malibu, California next weekend to participate in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. They will face Oregon on Saturday, with the winner moving on to face the winner of the match between Pepperdine and Maryland for a berth in the ITA National Indoor Championship in February.
Tennis Match Results
Lamar University vs Rice
1/20/2018 at Houston, Texas
(George R. Brown Tennis Center)
Rice 7, Lamar University 0
1. Wendy Zhang (RICEW) def. Jasmin Buchta (LU-W) 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 10-8
2. Michaela Haet (RICEW) def. Amelie Vossgaetter (LU-W) 6-1, 6-2
3. Priya Niezgoda (RICEW) def. Sanja Jolic (LU-W) 7-5, 6-2
4. Anna Bowtell (RICEW) def. Kaela Di Giulio (LU-W) 6-0, 6-1
5. Savannah Durkin (RICEW) def. Natalia Molina (LU-W) 6-0, 6-2
6. Sofie Moenster (RICEW) def. Anita Bozhko (LU-W) 6-2, 6-1
1. #12 Wendy Zhang/Lindsey Hodge (RICEW) def. Jasmin Buchta/Natalia Molina (LU-W) 6-0
2. Fernanda Astete/Michaela Haet (RICEW) def. Amelie Vossgaetter/Kaela Di Giulio (LU-W) 6-1
3. Priya Niezgoda/Anna Bowtell (RICEW) def. Anita Bozhko/Sanja Jolic (LU-W) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,4,2,6,3,1)