April 29, 2008
IRVING - Rice's Julie Chao and Dominique Karas notched All-Conference USA First-Team singles and Third-Team doubles honors Tuesday afternoon as selected by the league's head coaches.
The Owls join league champion, Tulsa, as the only teams to place two singles players on the All-Conference USA First Team.
"I'm proud of what our team was able to accomplish this season," head coach Roger White said. "It's a tremendous honor and great recognition for our program that Julie and Dominique were named all-conference in both singles and doubles."
Chao, a C-USA All-Academic pick, tallied a 22-10 overall record and a 15-7 mark in the spring as Rice's No. 1 singles player. She won eight of her last 10 matches, including a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over then-No. 88 Natalia Bubien of SMU. The San Diego native also clinched Rice's 4-3 win at Alabama with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 (1) win and picked up victories over opponents from then-No. 75 Jacksonville and No. 69 Cal State Northridge during the season.
Karas notched a 23-11 overall record and a 15-5 tally in dual matches mostly as the Owls No. 2 singles player. She won 12 of her last 13 decisions, including 11-straight from February 13-April 5. The Nova Scotia product also won C-USA Co-Player of the Week on February 19 after picking up a 6-4, 6-2 win over Courtney Zauft of then-No. 26 Texas and tallied a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 decision against Christi Liles of then-No. 27 Texas A&M.
Chao and Karas teamed for a 13-7 record during the spring at the No. 1 doubles position. The duo recorded victories over top pair from then-No. 27 Texas A&M, No. 75 Jacksonville and No. 69 Cal State Northridge (March 2). They also won five of their last seven regular season decisions and led No. 31 ranked Kellie Schmitt and Karolina Soor of Marshall 6-5 when play was stopped in C-USA Semifinals.
Rice completed a 17-5 season, its best since the 1983 season. The Owls didn't receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship field that was announced this afternoon.