Feb. 25, 2014
Liat Zimmermann has been named the Conference USA Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week on the strength of her outstanding play during last weekend's Blue Gray National Tennis Classic.
The junior from Yehud, Israel won all three of her singles matches in action at the Lagoon Park Tennis Club in Montgomery, Alabama as the Owls downed #29 Oklahoma State and #19 Auburn before being edged 4-3 by 14th ranked Alabama in the title match.
She provided Rice's second point in a 4-3 win over Oklahoma State with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Anastasia Surkova on Friday and then delivered the clinching point in the Owls first-ever win over Auburn on Saturday. Zimmermann won the opening set against the Tigers' Reka Muller, 7-5, then was extended to 9-7 in the second set tiebreaker before taking her match, 7-6. On Sunday, she picked up her first win this year over a ranked opponent as she dropped 64th ranked Erin Routliffe of Alabama, 6-3, 6-1 to score Rice's first point of the day.
Zimmermann's wins highlighted a strong weekend in singles that saw the Owls rally twice to win matches after dropping the doubles point. Rice won 11 of 17 completed singles matches during the weekend of action.
In doubles, Zimmermann and Natalie Beazant picked up their first doubles win against a ranked duo when they raced past Alabama's 20th ranked pairing of Routliffe and Maya Jansen, 6-3.
Zimmermann and the Owls enjoyed a jump in the ITA national rankings after their weekend in Alabama. The Owls moved up to 21st in the new poll that was released on Tuesday. Beazant and freshman Katherine Ip made their debut in the national singles rankings, coming in at 72nd and 74th respectively.
The Owls return home to Jake Hess Tennis Stadium this weekend for a pair of matches. They will host New Mexico State at noon on Saturday and 17th ranked Tulsa at 11 a.m. on Sunday.