by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The Rice women's tennis team saw their hopes of taking down eighth ranked Texas Tech come down to a series of key points which the Red Raiders turned to their favor in a 4-0 win at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on Saturday.
Tech fought off multiple match points to battle back and win a tiebreaker to take the doubles point from the 50th ranked Owls and then turned back challenges in singles by winning both tiebreaker sets to improve to 8-2 on the year.
"Every point is a key moment, but credit to Tech for really sticking with it point after point," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "They had a little more belief in themselves than we did today and that is something we can really learn from. There were some really close matches out there but if they lost a point they just got right back up and were ready for the next one. They didn't question themselves but maybe we did a little bit."
After a Rice (6-4) win on court three and a Tech win on court two, the doubles point was decided in a showdown between a pair of top 25 duos.
Rice's Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang, who are currently ranked 16th and Tech's 21st ranked Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federici stayed on serve throughout the match, forcing a tiebreaker. Hodge and Zhang moved to a 6-4 advantage before Dvorak and Federici fought back to take a 7-6 lead. With the match knotted at 8-8, the Tech captured the final two points to take the match and give Tech a lead they would not relinquish.
The Owls will be back on the courts on Tuesday evening, hosting 47th ranked Baylor at 5 p.m. in a dual that was originally scheduled for the opening weekend of the dual season but moved because of weather concerns. The Bears are coming off a 4-1 win over No. 11 Ohio State on Friday in Waco.
Schmidt said it's important for the Owls to put the lessons learned on Saturday to work.
"We just have to keep believing and showing guts and courage on every single point," Schmidt noted. "We're really close and Tuesday is another opportunity to show what we can do."
Texas Tech vs Rice
3/3/2018 at Houston, TX
(George R. Brown Tennis Center)
#8 Texas Tech 4, #50 Rice 0
1. #7 Gabriela Talaba (TTU) def. Lindsey Hodge (RICEW) 7-5, 6-1
2. Wendy Zhang (RICEW) vs. #41 Felicity Maltby (TTU) 6-3, 2-6, 1-3, unfinished
3. #98 Sabrina Federici (TTU) def. Michaela Haet (RICEW) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
4. Fernanda Astete (RICEW) vs. #68 Sarah Dvorak (TTU) 6-7 (4-7), 2-3, unfinished
5. Alex Valenstein (TTU) def. Savannah Durkin (RICEW) 6-0, 6-4
6. Anna Bowtell (RICEW) vs. Lana Rush (TTU) 6-3, 4-6, 4-0, unfinished
1. #21 Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici (TTU) def. #16 Lindsey Hodge/Wendy Zhang (RICEW) 7-6 (10-8)
2. Felicity Maltby/Gabriela Talaba (TTU) def. Fernanda Astete/Priya Niezgoda (RICEW) 6-4
3. Savannah Durkin/Michaela Haet (RICEW) def. Lana Rush/Alex Valenstein (TTU) 6-3
Texas Tech 8-2; National ranking #8
Rice 6-4; National ranking #50
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,1,3)