Feb. 12, 2012
Despite an early Sunday morning start time, Rice and Texas Tech staged and epic battle in the finals of the Lady Raider Shootout, with Tech emerging with a 4-2 win at the Lubbock Country Club.
The loss was the first for the 69th ranked Owls after opening the season with six straight dual wins, their longest streak since they won their first six in 2005. The 42nd ranked Red Raiders improved to 5-1 with the win.
"We didn't have a good start with that doubles point, but I thought our team did a nice job rebounding and put ourselves in position to have a chance to win this match with our play in singles," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "We fought our hearts out and, while we might not have gotten the W today, this effort will pay off in the long run. Credit to Texas Tech for pulling out the victory in what was a really high quality, hard fought college match."
Match time was moved to 8 a.m. in order to secure the necessary courts after weather forced the matches indoors. While the Red Raiders made quick work of the opening doubles point, the Owls rallied in singles, taking two matches to three sets before seeing their upset bid fall just short.
The top four singles matches were first on the courts, and freshman Natalie Beazant struck first for the Owls with a straight set win at No. 1 over Elizabeth Ullathorne. It was Beazant's third win over a member of Tech's singles lineup, having defeated both Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo in January at the UCF Invitational.
Tech re-took the lead with a win at No. 3, but sophomore Dominique Harmath bounced back from a first-set loss to down Adams in three sets at No. 2, winning the last by a 6-0 count to tie the score at 2-2.
While Gatie Gater (No.5) and Stephanie Nguyen (No. 6) began their matches after the conclusion of the earlier singles contests, sophomore Kimberly Anicete was locked in a tense dual at No. 4 with the Raiders' Nikki Sanders. Anicete grabbed the first set 6-2, while Adams responded with a 7-5 win in the second. The decisive third set went to a tie breaker and Anicete was serving for the match before double faulting. Adams took advantage and served out to win 9-7 and put Tech ahead to stay.
Kilgo closed out the match with a 6-0, 7-5 win at No. 6 over Nguyen, while Gater had split the first two sets of her match at No. 5 before it was called.
The Owls will face their fourth consecutive ranked opponent next weekend when they face #22 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday before wrapping up the trip with their C-USA opener at UAB on Sunday.
"We have two more tough road matches this next weekend and we will be working hard in practice this week to prepare for them," Schmidt stated.
#42 Texas Tech 4, #69 Rice 2
2/12/2012 at Lubbock, Texas
(Lubbock Country Club)
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTECH) 6-3, 6-2
2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Samantha Adams (TTECH) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
3. Rashmi Teltumbde (TTECH) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 6-2, 6-2
4. Nikki Sanders (TTECH) def. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7)
5. Caroline Starck (TTECH) vs. Katie Gater (RICE) 1-6, 6-2, unfinished
6. Kenna Kilgo (TTECH) def. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) 6-0, 7-5
1. #45 Samantha Adams/Kenna Kilgo (TTECH) def. Dominique Harmath/Natalie Beazant (RICE) 8-4
2. Caroline Starck/Nikki Sanders (TTECH) def. Ana Guzman/Katie Gater (RICE) 8-3
3. Elizabeth Ullathorne/Rashmi Teltumbde (TTECH) def. Stephanie Nguyen/Kimberly Anicete(RICE) 8-4
Rice 6-1; National ranking #69
Texas Tech 5-1; National ranking #42
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,3,2,4,6)