March 24, 2013
The 27th ranked Rice women's tennis team used a late surge in doubles and three singles wins over nationally-ranked opponents to grind out a 5-2 win over 33rd ranked TCU at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Owls (13-4) handed the Horned Frogs (12-2) only their second loss of the season, but needed over four hours to earn their eighth consecutive victory of the year while both teams battled gusty winds.
"What a great college tennis match," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "I could not say enough about the fight that our team showed today. We fought from first point to last point through a 4 ½ hour fight. We kept coming back and coming back and I am really proud of the team for what they did today."
The doubles point was in doubt until the final games on all three courts, with Rice emerging with a 1-0 lead thanks to 8-6 wins on Court 1 where Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath won their 11th straight and on Court 3 where Solomiya Zinko and Daniela Trigo improved to 10-2 with their point-clinching win.
Rice sprinted to a 3-0 lead after capturing the doubles point and picking up quick wins by Natalie Beazant on the stadium court and Katie Gater on Court 4. Beazant, who entered the weekend ranked 59th, defeated 79th ranked Olivia Smith, butt after the Horned Frogs trimmed the lead to 3-2 with wins on Courts 5 and 6, the Owls would need a second win over TCU's trio of nationally ranked singles players to clinch the win.
Both Harmath and Liat Zimmermann opened by winning their first sets against #65 Stefanie Tan and #104 Simona Parajova, but saw their tie things up and send the match into its fourth hour with third sets.
Zimmermann raced to a 4-1 lead over Parajova on Court 3 and then withstood a late challenge to deliver the clinching victory, while Harmath rallied from a 4-2 deficit against Tan to win in a tiebreaker and round out the scoring.
The Owls will be on the road next weekend for matches against Cal-State Northridge and Santa Clara. They return home to host SMU and Jake Hess on April 6.
Tennis Match Results
TCU vs. Rice
3/24/2013 at Houston, Texas
(Jake Hess Tennis Stadium)
#27 Rice 5, #33 TCU 2
1. #59 Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. #79 Olivia Smith (TCU) 6-0, 6-4
2. #105 Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. #65 Stefanie Tan (TCU) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
3. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. #104 Simona Parajova (TCU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
4. Katie Gater (RICE) def. Millie Nichols (TCU) 6-1, 6-4
5. Federica Denti (TCU) def. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) 7-6, 6-1
6. Monika Sirilova (TCU) def. Solomiya Zinko (RICE) 6-3, 7-5
1. #30 Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Millie Nichols/Olivia Smith (TCU) 8-6
2. Katie Gater/Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Kelsey Sundaram/Stefanie Tan (TCU) 9-8
3. Daniela Trigo/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Simona Parajova/Monika Sirilova (TCU) 8-6
TCU 12-2; National ranking #33
Rice 13-4; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,4,5,6,3)