With their time as members of the women's tennis team drawing to a close, seniors Rebekka Hanle and Jessica Jackson clearly took advantage of their last match against the University of Southern Mississippi (7-11), as they combined for two doubles and two singles victories in the Owls 6-1 win over the Golden Eagles.
Saturday's match started off with three straight wins in the doubles matches, a reliable harbinger for the team this year when it comes to the final outcome of the match. Hanle and junior Ana Guzman had little trouble in their first-seeded match, winning 8-4 over Southern Miss' Vronie van Berlo and Alex Bradley, while junior Alex Rasch and freshman Dominique Harmath won their contest 8-4 as well, while Jackson and freshman Kim Anicete won 8-6.
As the Owls started singles play up 1-0, Harmath and Hanle went back to work, each finishing off their opponents in two sets. Rasch clinched the Owls' 11th win on the year with her dominant 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Golden Eagles' Zoe Lee. Southern Miss' only point came in the No. 6-seeded match as Shannon Rogers defeated freshman Leah Fried in three sets. With their third-straight victory in hand, Rice will take on No. 37 Southern Methodist University (14-4) tomorrow at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. The Mustangs are owners of a two-match winning streak, and are the second-highest ranked team in Conference USA, after No. 22 University of Tulsa (18-2). After tomorrow's date with the Ponies, No. 61 Rice will have five days off before their final regular-season match against the unranked University of Louisville (11-8), and the C-USA Championship will begin in Orlando, Fla. on Apr. 21. Currently, the Golden Hurricane, SMU, and No. 51 Marshall University (14-5) are the three conference foes that rank higher than Rice.
— Jonathan Myers