April 17, 2014
C-USA Women's Tennis Championship Central
The Rice women's tennis team will open defense of its Conference USA title at 9 a.m. (central) Friday when the 29th ranked Owls take on host Old Dominion in the quarterfinals of the 2014 C-USA Women's Tennis Championships at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center Norfolk, Virginia.
Rice enters play as the second seed and earned a double bye to reach Friday's action, while seventh-seeded ODU advanced with a tense 4-3 decision over Tulane. Tulsa, who had its three-year streak as C-USA champion snapped by the Owls last year, is the top seed.
The Last Meeting
April 19, 2013
Women's Tennis Sweeps ODU in Conference USA Quarterfinal
Top-seeded Rice University women's tennis powered its way through unseasonably blustery conditions to a 4-0 sweep against Old Dominion in Friday's Conference USA Championship quarterfinal round at Houston's John E. Hoff Courts.
"We're excited to get on the court tomorrow and get started," Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt
said. "Old Dominion was a very tough opening match for us last year, and this year they have the advantage of playing at home. Our younger players have had the chance to play in some pretty intense tournament-style settings both during the ITA Kickoff Weekend and at the Blue-Gray Classic. No matter the opponent, we need to maintain our focus on doing what we have done all year. We only concern ourselves with the next opponent. That has been a key to the success we had in the past and again during this season."
This will be the second meeting between the two schools, both coming in the C-USA quarterfinals. Rice downed the Monarchs 4-2 last year to begin the march to the conference title. The Owls were extended to tiebreakers on the first two courts before taking the doubles point. After a reminder from Schmidt to relax, they stormed out to win six of the first nine singles sets to clinch the match.
Senior Dominique Harmath and freshman Alison Ho lead the Owls heading into C-USA Championship action with identical 16-4 records in singles. Harmath saw her 11-match winning streak end with a loss in the season finale vs. UTSA last weekend, while Ho carries a team-leading, nine-match winning streak into the weekend.
Harmath's fellow senior Kimberly Anicete
leads the Owls with a 6-0 career mark in conference championship play. Junior Natalie Beazant
is unbeaten in four career decisions while Harmath is 5-1 and Liat Zimmermann
split a pair of decisions in her first C-USA tournament action last year.