Feb. 15, 2014
The 23rd ranked Rice women's tennis team celebrated at quick return to familiar surroundings and a dose of springtime weather with a 7-0 shutout of McNeese State at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on Saturday.
The Owls won all three doubles matches and captured all six singles matches in straight sets to even their record at 3-3. Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt was happy to see her team take command early and maintain their focus throughout the match/
"It was nice to get back in the win column, but even better than that was the way that we played," Schmidt said. "I thought we played focused. We played with discipline and controlled our emotions well. Those are things we worked on this week. I was pleased to see our players come out today and execute some of the things we had worked on during the week in a competitive environment."
Schmidt was also happy to see blue skies and bright sun after several weeks of matches hampered by the weather.
"I told them before the match that it was a beautiful day and they should take a minute to appreciate that. We've had a lot of strange weather this spring and have not been able to practice outside that much and the matches we have played outside have usually had a threat of rain or it's been cold. It was nice to be back outside in normal Houston weather."
The win snapped a three-match losing streak for the Owls and also provided some momentum as they prepare for another weekend of action against ranked opponents when they compete in the 68th annual Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Owls are one of five teams currently ranked in the top 30 who will compete next weekend, joining Alabama (#16), Texas Tech (#19), Auburn (#20) and Oklahoma State (#29) as well as Yale (#34), Illinois (#43) and Tulane (#66). First round match pairings will be announced on Tuesday after the latest ITA poll is released.
"Now we have to get back to work and get ready for the Blue-Gray next weekend. We know some of the teams we could face, but as we always do, we will put the focus on the next opponent on the schedule. We will get as much information as we can on all the teams that will be there, but in the end, it's about us working to refine what we do well and working to improve upon our weaknesses."
Tennis Match Results
McNeese vs Rice
2/15/2014 at Houston, TX
(Jake Hess Tennis Stadium)
#23 Rice 7, McNeese 0
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Sara Castellano (MCN) 6-2, 6-3
v 2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Julia Kral (MCN) 6-3, 6-2
3. Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Vivien Borbely (MCN) 6-1, 6-1
4. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Anastasia Surkova (MCN) 6-1, 6-2
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Annabelle Peacock (MCN) 6-3, 6-3
6. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Andreea Nenu (MCN) 6-1, 6-0
1. Natalie Beazant/Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Anastasia Surkova/Vivien Borbely (MCN) 8-2
2. Katherine Ip/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Sara Castellano/Annabelle Peacock (MCN) 8-4
3. Solomiya Zinko/Alison Ho (RICE) def. Andreea Nenu/Julia Kral (MCN) 8-2
Rice 3-3; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,3,4,2,1,5)