The Rice University women's tennis team fell 6-1 to Baylor University last Saturday, Feb. 8. Junior Natalie Beazant earned the Owls' only win. The Owls have lost their last three games to the University of Texas, Austin; Stanford University; and Baylor, all of which are ranked in the top 20.
This weekend, Rice will try to end its losing streak against McNeese State University on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. McNeese State currently has an overall record of 2-1, while the Owls are 2-3.
Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said Baylor came out hard last weekend and played a better game. She said the Owls wanted the wins but were just unable to pick them up due to Baylor's pressure.
"[Baylor] played better than us today from start to finish," Schmidt said. "It would have been nice to grab a couple of those tight first sets, but Baylor did a good job making an extra ball and putting the pressure on us."
Schmidt said that this week, Rice will simply focus on improving, and the team will work hard at practice to clean up any messy playing.
"We'll get back to work [this week] and continue to get better," Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the team still firmly believes in their ability to compete with elite teams and emerge victorious. She said the Owls can definitely give any team a fight.
"I still believe that we can play with anyone in the country," Schmidt said. "We just need to trust ourselves and have confidence."
Senior Dominique Harmath also said Rice has a lot of fight. She said the players know they have the capacity to win these matches against high-profile players.
"I was extremely impressed with the fight everyone showed," Harmath said. "We know we are good, and we know we can do great things."
After the game against McNeese State, Rice will head to Montgomery, Ala., where it will take part in the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic the weekend of Feb. 22.
Schmidt said winning is a top priority. She said being competitive is not enough; the team's goal is to play hard and win. Schmidt said she hopes the defeats will make the Owls even more determined to attain victories in the coming weeks.
"You want to go out and be competitive in every match, but the bottom line is we also want to win," Schmidt said. "We can take some positives from this, but I hope it makes us hungrier, so we can put seven points on the board."