March 23, 2013
Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath defeated the fifth ranked doubles team in the country to highlight a doubles sweep as the 27th ranked Rice women's tennis team opened a weekend of action against Top 50 competition with a 5-2 win over 44th ranked William and Mary at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
Beazant and Harmath stormed back from an early 3-0 deficit to the Tribe's Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans to post their first win over a doubles team ranked in the top five and their 10th consecutive win of the season. The Owls rolled to wins in all three doubles matches, but Owls head coach Elizabeth Schmidt noted her squad had to overcome a sluggish start to take the early lead.
"We did a really nice job in doubles in shaking off some slow starts," Schmidt said. "We were down 3-0 at 1 and 2-0 at 2, but we didn't panic. We hung in there and kept fighting."
Beazant kept up her torrid play in singles, winning her eighth consecutive singles match in straight sets to run her season record to 11-3. Solomiya Zinko extended the Rice lead to 3-0 with a straight set win on court six, and Harmath clinch the day with a straight set win on court two.
Kimberly Anicete provided the Owls final point, shaking off a 6-0 loss in her opening set to win 0-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"I was really proud of Kim for fighting back the way she did after losing the first set 6-0," Schmidt said. "That can be so demoralizing and it came at a pivotal juncture in a key match. For her to fight back made a difference obviously on her court, but on the other courts as well."
The Owls will be back on the Jake Hess courts on Sunday at 11 a.m. when they face 33rd ranked TCU.
William and Mary vs. Rice
3/23/2013 at Houston, Texas
(Jake Hess Tennis Stadium)
#27 Rice 5, #44 William and Mary 2
1. #59 Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Maria Belaya (CWM) 6-3, 6-3
2. #105 Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Leeza Nemchinov (CWM) 7-5, 6-2
3. Jeltje Loomans (CWM) def. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) 7-5, 4-6, 10-8
4. Anik Cepeda (CWM) def. Katie Gater (RICE) 6-3, 6-4
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Hope Johnson (CWM) 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Sydney Smith (CWM) 6-4, 6-1
1. #30 Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. #5 Maria Belaya/Jeltje Loomans (CWM) 8-4
2. Katie Gater/Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Anik Cepeda/Hope Johnson (CWM) 8-2
3. Daniela Trigo/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Leeza Nemchinov/Sydney Smith (CWM) 8-2
William and Mary 12-4; National ranking #44
Rice 12-4; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,6,2,4,5,3)