Feb. 22, 2014
For the second time in as many days, the 24th ranked Rice women's tennis team overcame a loss in doubles with a standout effort in singles, defeating #19 Auburn to advance to the finals of the 65th annual Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Owls (5-3) will face #14 Alabama on Sunday at noon.
"It was another extremely gutsy performance by our whole team," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt say. "Obviously, we would like to win the doubles point but, the way our team has responded in singles the last two days has been remarkable. The heart and fight from start to finish was awesome and we needed every ounce of that to be able to beat a very good Auburn team. We are looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."
After the teams split doubles matches on courts one and three, the Tigers took the opening point with a win on two. But just as they had in their win over Oklahoma State on Friday, the Owls rebounded immediate in singles, taking four of six first sets.
Senior Kimberly Anicete picked up her 86th career singles win with a straight set win on six to quickly even the score and junior Natalie Beazant gave the Owls the lead soon after with a straight set win over Auburn's 21st ranked Pleun Burgmans.
Auburn tied the match with a win on two, but freshman Alison Ho picked up her second win of the weekend, bouncing back from an early 4-2 deficit in the first set to win 6-4, 6-3 and put the Owls ahead to stay.
After grinding out a 7-5 first set win, Zimmermann had to withstand a second set rally from the Tigers' Reka Muller, who came back from being 5-2 down to take a 6-5 lead. Zimmermann then forced a tiebreaker, emerging with a 9-7 win and the clinching point for the Owls.
Tennis Match Results
Rice vs Auburn
2/22/2014 at Montgormery, AL
(Lagoon Park Tennis Center)
#24 Rice 4, #19 Auburn 2
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. #21 Pleun Burgmans (AUBURN) 6-0, 6-2
2. #68 Emily Flickinger (AUBURN) def. Dominique Harmath (RICE) 6-3, 6-4
3. Katherine Ip (RICE) vs. Paula de Man (AUBURN) no result
4. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Reka Muller (AUBURN) 7-5, 7-6 (9-7)
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Jackie Kasler (AUBURN) 6-2, 6-0
6. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Jen Pfeifler (AUBURN) 6-4, 6-3
1. #15 Pleun Burgmans/Emily Flickinger (AUBURN) def. Natalie Beazant/Liat Zimmermann (RICE) 6-2
2. Reka Muller/Michala Kucharova (AUBURN) def. Katherine Ip/Dominique Harmath (RICE) 6-4
3. Solomiya Zinko/Alison Ho (RICE) def. Jackie Kasler/Jen Pfeifler (AUBURN) 6-4
Rice 5-3; National ranking #24
Auburn 9-2; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,1,2,6,4)
65th Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic