Rice's Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath have been selected to play in the main draw of the 2012 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships, which will be held at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. Main draw action is slated for October 4-7.
Beazant, the 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year, qualified for the singles main draw on the strength of a preseason #15 ranking in singles. She and Harmath, who will open the 2012 fall campaign as the eighth-ranked duo in the country, qualified in doubles and will enter the event as the 11th seed.
This year's singles field features 15 returning All Americans, including the two players to beat Beazant during her stellar freshman campaign with the Owls (Texas A&M's Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and UCLA's Robin Anderson). Beazant closed her first season with a 25-2 dual record and was ranked 27th in the final Campbell's/ITA poll.
Her #27 ranking was the highest by an Owl since Wendy Wood was ranked 13th at the end of the 1986 season. She was the first Rice qualifier for the NCAA singles championship since Blair DiSesa in 2006 and her win over Stacey Tan of Stanford was the Owls first win in NCAA singles since Wood in 1986
Harmath and Beazant finished the 2012 season ranked 20th, the best finish ever by an Rice women's doubles team and closed their campaign by winning the first NCAA doubles match in school history with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Alabama's Antonia Foehse & Mary Anne Macfarlane.
The were joined in the preseason rankings by Rice senior Katie Gater and incoming transfer Liat Zimmerman, who were ranked 33rd. Zimmerman, a sophomore from Yehud, Israel, finished the 2012 season as part of the 27th ranked doubles team at Miami.
For the 28th year, the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, CA, will serve as the host site for the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. The national event is set to being on Saturday, Sept. 29 with pre-qualifying singles and doubles matches, which will once again be hosted by UCLA. Main draw action is slated for Thursday, Oct. 4-Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Riviera Tennis Club.