Jan. 24, 2014
The 22nd Rice women's tennis team will join three other top 25 programs vying for a berth in the 2014 ITA Indoor Nationals when they face the 24th ranked Florida State Seminoles in the opening round of the sixth annual ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin on Saturday.
The host Texas Longhorns, currently ranked 17th will face 23rd ranked Auburn in the day's first match. Saturday's winners will face off on Sunday to determine which team will move on to Charlottesville, Virginia for the ITA National Indoor Team Championships, February 7-10.
"I think we have if not the deepest, then certainly one of the deepest regions in the country," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. "That's great and it's going to be a great early test for our team. I'm excited to see where our team is at this point of the season."
This is the Owls third appearance in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, which began in 2009 when the field for the indoor team event was expanded. Rice is 1-3 all-time in the event, winning its opening match vs. Oklahoma State in 2011. They dropped a 4-2 decision in the opening round in 2013 to Texas Tech.
The Owls and Seminoles met last year in the consolation round of the 2013 Kickoff Weekend with FSU taking a 4-2 decision. Rice took an early lead by grabbing the doubles point, but FSU rebounded to win four of six singles matches.
"Florida State has some of the same players, including their No. 1 and No. 3 singles players, but about half the team is new," Schmidt noted. "We know all three of the teams pretty well, but the bottom line is that it doesn't matter what you might know about an opponent. You have to come prepared to play and do the things we expect daily, which is to come out and play with tennis with passion and discipline. The three other teams are going to do the same things as well. They are very well coached teams," she added.
The plan is for all matches to be played outdoors at UT's Penick-Allison Tennis Center, a place where the Owls tasted victory for the first time in history against the Longhorns last season with a 4-3 win. However the wintery blast that overran Texas may force last minute changes to the venue. But that's something Schmidt feels her team is prepared for.
"Being adaptable is a huge part of being a successful college team, because you won't go through a season without being thrown challenges that you weren't expecting," Schmidt said. "It might be flight changes, weather issues, court changes. It's something as a coach that I've had to learn to handle over the last six years and I think the team has learned that as well. It's made our team stronger to be able to adapt to change and be able to roll with what is thrown at you.
"We'll be prepared to play on any courts and in any circumstances," Schmidt added.
Owls Storm Past Huskies After Rain Delay
11/05/2016 - After a lengthy rain delay, the Rice women’s tennis team race to wins in five of six singles matches against Washington to close out day two ...
Singles Opens Strongly at David Kent Invitational
11/04/2016 - The Rice women’s tennis team swept to wins in six of seven singles matches to highlight action in the first day of play in Texas A&M’s ...
Hodge and Zhang Fall in Regional Round of 16
10/22/2016 - Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang both dropped their third round singles matches while Hodge and Priya Niezgoda saw their doubles run end in the...
Hodge Heads Owls’ Advances at ITA Regional
10/21/2016 - Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang advanced the third round of singles while Hodge and Priya Niezgoda reached the quarterfinals in doubles to highlight...
Astete Leads Owls In Regional Opener
10/20/2016 - Fernanda Astete upset the 16th seed to lead a parade of five Rice women’s tennis player into the round of 32 in the singles competition at...
Ip Drops Oracle Masters Opener
10/13/2016 - Rice senior Katherine Ip dropped three-set match in her opening singles match of the second annual Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, California on...
Ip Set for Oracle Masters Play
10/12/2016 - Rice senior Katherine Ip will join with Old Dominion’s Adam Moundir in representing Conference USA in the second annual Oracle ITA Masters...
Hodge and Zhang Eliminated from Riviera ITA All...
10/05/2016 - Fifth seeds Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang could not overcome the impact of an ankle injury to Zhanag and were eliminated in the second round of...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store