Jan. 25, 2013
Elizabeth Schmidt's 29th ranked Rice Owls take to the road for the first time in 2013 when the travel to Waco this weekend to participate in the opening round of action in the 2013 ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships. Sixty schools will be competing across the country for the 15 vacant spots at the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship, to be hosted next month by the University of Virginia.
The Owls (2-0) will face off against 21st ranked Texas Tech in an opening round match at 2 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University. The winner will face the winner of the match between No. 15 Baylor and No. 36 Florida State at 2 p.m. on Sunday for a chance to move on to Virginia.
"Our region is probably one of the toughest regions around the country, if not the toughest," Schmidt said. "We know it will be two really solid dual matches. We'll attack it the same way we do every time we step on the court. It's obviously a big event and you want to win twice and advance to the Nationals in Virginia. But at the same time, we have to take it match by match, point by point. It's a great opportunity early in the season to see where we are as a team because of the great teams in our region."
Rice last played in the ITA Kickoff Weekend in 2011 and defeated Oklahoma State in the first round before dropping a tense, 4-3 decision to Baylor the following day.
Sophomore Natalie Beazant, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year will take a #50 ranking in singles into Saturday's play. She and teammate Dominique Harmath are ranked 56th in doubles.
The Owls faced Texas Tech last season, dropping a 4-2 decision in Lubbock last year.