Title Defense Opens Friday
April 17, 2014
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.
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.
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.