March 1, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - Coming off a runner-up finish in the prestigious Blue-Gray Collegiate Classic last weekend and with a showdown with No. 17 nationally ranked Tulsa looming tomorrow, the No. 21 ranked Rice Owls maintained its focus and defeated New Mexico State 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Jake Hess Stadium.
The Owls upped their record to 6-4 while New Mexico State dropped to 4-7.
"I thought we did what we needed to do today to secure the win," said Rice Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt. "I was very pleased that we won all three doubles match which needs to be a focus for us tomorrow against Tulsa."
Not only did the Owls win all three doubles matches, they did so in dominant fashion as all three matches ended up 8-2. Seniors Dominique Harmath and Kim Anicete were matched together for the first time this season at No. 2 and defeated Denise Van Der Ben and Susana Alcaraz. Natalie Beazant and Liat Zimmerman fell behind early but rebounded to beat Brittany Collens and Chloe Jolliff while freshman Alison Ho and Solomiya Zinko defeated Annemieke Witte and Ashvaraya Shrivastava.
Schmidt shuffled her singles lineup when she opted to rest Beazant, who broke into the ITA rankings on Tuesday at No. 72, at No. 1 singles. As a result, Harmath (#1), No. 74 Katherine Ip (#2), Zimmerman (#3), Anicete (#4) and Ho (#5) all moved up one position while junior Stephanie Nguyen was inserted in the lineup at No. 6.
After New Mexico State tied the match 1-1, Ip and Zimmerman seized control of the match for the Owls with dominant straight set wins. Zimmerman, who notched her fifth consecutive win on Saturday, blanked Van Der Ben 6-0, 6-0 while Ip won her first set against Jolliff by an identical 6-0 score before closing out her match with a 6-2 second set victory. Rice's other two singles wins came via straight sets - Harmath defeated Alcaraz 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 while Ho handled the move up to the No. 5 spot with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Witte.
"It was nice to see everyone step a spot in singles and come through," said Schmidt.
This afternoon's win sets the stage for tomorrow's contest vs. Tulsa, which matches two teams ranked in the Top 25 and the perennial contenders for the Conference USA title. The last time the two teams squared off, the Owls claimed the Conference USA championship.
"Tomorrow's match with Tulsa is going to be a great college tennis match," added Schmidt. "Tulsa is an excellent team. They play aggressive doubles and they make you work for everything you get. We are very much looking forward to the challenge.
The Rice-Tulsa match is slated for *11 a.m.* tomorrow at Jake Hess Stadium. Please note the new start time of 11 a.m.
Tennis Match Results
New Mexico State vs Rice
3/1/2014 at Houston,TX
(Jake Hess Tennis Stadium)
#21 Rice 5, New Mexico State 2
1. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Susana Alcaraz (NMSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. #74 Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Chloe Jolliff (NMSU) 6-0, 6-2
3. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Denise Van Der Ben (NMSU) 6-0, 6-0
4. Ashvarya Shrivastava (NMSU) def. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
5. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Annemieke Witte (NMSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Brittany Collens (NMSU) def. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) 5-2, retired
1. Liat Zimmermann/Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Brittany Collens/Chloe Jolliff (NMSU) 8-2
2. Dominique Harmath/Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Denise Van Der Ben/Susana Alcaraz (NMSU) 8-2
3. Alison Ho/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Annemieke Witte/Ashvarya Shrivastava (NMSU) 8-2
New Mexico State 4-7
Rice 6-4; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,2,3,5,1,4)
Ip’s NCAA Run Ends in Round of 16
05/27/2016 - Once again Rice’s Katherine Ip found herself in a third set of a match in the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship, but unlike the...
Ip Rallies Late to Earn All-American Status
05/26/2016 - Katherine Ip stared down elimination and responded with wins in four consecutive games to upset Georgia Tech’s Paige Hourigan in three sets...
Ip Stuns 4th Seed to Advance in NCAA Singles
05/25/2016 - Rice junior Katherine Ip made her NCAA singles debut one to remember as she upset fourth seeded Brooke Austin of Florida in the opening round of...
Ip and Smith Set for NCAA Debuts
05/24/2016 - Rice junior Katherine Ip will face two-time SEC Player of the Year Brooke Austin of Florida at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the opening round of singles...
Zinko Named Ashe Award Finalist
05/20/2016 - Rice senior Solomiya Zinko, who became the first women's tennis player to win four Conference USA titles in her career, has been named a finalist...
Vanderbilt Ends Owls Season
05/14/2016 - Katherine Ip and Emily Smith defeated their second top 20 doubles opponent of the season, but defending NCAA champion Vanderbilt earned a return...
Owls Upset Clemson to Advance to Fifth Straight...
05/13/2016 - Katherine Ip downed the 26th ranked player in the country to cap a stellar effort in singles as the 41st ranked Rice women’s team upset No....
Ip and Smith Earn NCAA Berths
05/04/2016 - Katherine Ip and Emily Smith have been selected by the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Subcommittee to compete in the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's ...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store