Owls Blitz Pioneers to Reach Third Straight Regional Final
Face winner of Baylor-Texas A&M CC at 5 p.m. Saturday
May 9, 2014
The 20th ranked Rice Owls showed little effect from a nearly three-week layoff and opened play in the 2014 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship with a swift 4-0 win over 67th ranked Denver at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas on Friday afternoon.
The Owls will face the winner of the match between Baylor and Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Saturday at 5 p.m. for a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in Athens, Georgia.
The Owls (18-6) stormed the courts at the Hurd Center, grabbing the doubles point by winning 16 of 17 games on courts two and three. They kept up their torrid pace in singles, winning five of six first sets in singles before Alison Ho, Natalie Beazant and Katherine Ip closed out their opponents in straight sets to provide the clinching points.
"It was nice that we came right out and took care of business," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "Even though we had practiced well, you never know for sure if you are going to show some rust after such a long layoff but we came out right away and were ready to go."
The win was the Owls' third consecutive in an opening round of the NCAA Tennis Championship, the first time in school history that either the women's or men's team have advanced in three consecutive NCAA appearances.
Saturday's regional final start time is approximate as it will follow the opening two matches in the men's regional, but Schmidt said a potential delayed start is not a concern.
"This team has proved to be very adaptable all year, so I don't think they'll have any trouble adjusting to a change in the start time. They know what they are playing for and they have shown all year the ability to not lose their focus."
Tennis Match Results
Denver vs Rice
5/9/2014 at Waco, Texas
(Hurd Tennis Center)
#20 Rice 4, #67 Denver 0
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Maureen Slattery (DENVER) 6-1, 6-0
2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) vs. Caroline Schnell (DENVER) 6-2, unfinished
3. Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Sonja Radosevic (DENVER) 6-2, 6-3
4. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) vs. Kathryn Hughes (DENVER) 3-6, unfinished
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) vs. Evy Van Genechten (DENVER) 6-1, unfinished
6. Alison Ho (RICE) def. Charlotte Derbyshire (DENVER) 6-1, 6-3
1. #54 Natalie Beazant/Liat Zimmermann (RICE) vs. Sonja Radosevic/Kathryn Hughes (DENVER) unfinished
2. Dominique Harmath/Alison Ho (RICE) def. Caroline Schnell/Maureen Slattery (DENVER) 8-1
3. Solomiya Zinko/Katherine Ip (RICE) def. Natalie Dunn/Evy Van Genechten (DENVER) 8-0
Denver 14-9; National ranking #67
Rice 18-6; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,1,3)
NCAA Waco Regional