Oct. 19, 2012
Kimberly Anicete won a pair of matches to lead four Rice Owls into the singles round of 32 as the first day of competition at the USTA-ITA Texas Regional Championships wrapped up at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University in Waco.
Anicete opened her day with a rugged doubles match as she combined with freshman Solomiya Zinko to stave off elimination and take a 9-8 tiebreak win over Texas State's Melissa Hadad and Jessica Kahts. In singles, she downed Alicia Porte of Lamar in straight sets to win her opening match, then downed 12th seeded Kseniya Bardabush of North Texas in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
"Kim was a warrior out there today and it is really nice to see all her hard work paying off," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "First, she and Solo fought back from a match point down to win their doubles in a tiebreaker. And then, she closed out a full day on the courts by following up a first round singles victory with a gutsy three-set win over a very solid opponent in the 2nd round.
"Today was a solid start to the tournament for our whole team," Schmidt added. "Everyone showed improvement from our last two tournaments and we are looking to continue to build on that tomorrow."
Anicete is joined in the first round by three teammates who won third first matches after earning first round byes. Natalie Beazant, the tournament's second seed, downed Jacobea Junger of UTSA 6-2, 6-0. Dominique Harmath duplicated her teammate's efforts, downing Natalie Hand of UTSA by an identical score. Katie Gater also advanced by defeating a Roadrunner, downing UTSA's Daniela Garcia-Diaz 6-4, 6-0 to advance in singles.
Sophomores Stephanie Nguyen and Liat Zimmerman both won opening matches only to fall in the round of 32.
Nguyen downed North Texas' Dane` Joubert, closing out a straight set win by taking a second-set tiebreak before extending fourth seeded Aeriel Ellis of Texas to three sets before falling. Zimmerman downed Texas' Annat Rabinovich 6-3, 6-1 before falling to the tournament's third seed, Cristina Stancu of Texas A&M.
Freshman Solomiya Zinko dropped her opening singles match after her combining with Anicete for their comeback win in doubles.
Gater and Zimmerman also advanced in doubles with an 8-3 win over Sam Houston's Sheridam Currie and Natalie Petaia. Two of the Owls doubles teams, Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath and Daniela Trigo/Stephanie Nguyen earned byes in the first round of doubles.