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Tennis notebook: Men's tennis beats Hurricanes for second straight year, Women's tennis falls to UT

By Jonathan Myers     1/27/11 6:00pm

Men's tennis beats Hurricanes for second straight year

It was a case of déj? vu for the men's tennis team, which came into Coral Gables, Fla. and defeated No. 44 University of Miami for the second straight year. Rice got off to an early 1-0 lead after winning all three of the doubles matches. Sophomore Peter Frank and junior Sam Garforth-Bles had the closest brush with defeat, having to win a tiebreaker set 7-5. Sophomore Harry Fowler and senior Oscar Podlewski took out Miami's Carl Sundberg and Pedro Ast 8-4, while juniors Christian Saravia and Michael Nuesslein won the first-seeded doubles match 8-3. Once singles competition began, it was clear Rice had a fight on its hands, as it split the first four matches. Fowler and freshman Philipp Seifert each had three set victories, with Fowler coming back to win the last two sets after losing the first set 6-0. But Christian Blocker defeated Frank in two sets, while Sundberg exacted revenge against Podlewski for his doubles loss, beating him 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. At this point, Miami had shown it could compete on the individual level with Rice, trailing by a score of 3-2 with two singles matches left. Next up was Garforth-Bles taking on Eduardo Pavia. Pavia came out strong, taking the first set 6-3 to put Garforth-Bles on his heels. But the Owls' fifth-seeded player took back the momentum with a second-set victory, 6-4, despite trailing 4-1 at the beginning and then carried that over to dominate Pavia 6-1 in the final set of their match, clinching the victory for Rice. With the Hurricanes demoralized, Saravia made quick work of Gabriel Flores, beating him in two sets to clinch the fifth point of the match for Rice, with a final score of 5-2. Rice improved to 3-0 and will face the University of Alabama, ranked 34th in the country, in the first round of the ITA National Indoor Qualifier in Austin tomorrow.

Women's tennis falls to UT

Unfortunately for the women's tennis team, the outcome was drastically different than that of their male counterparts. The No. 44 Owls headed into Austin last Saturday optimistic about pulling off an upset against the No. 17 University of Texas but left the state capital without a single point to their name. The doubles matches proved to be the most contentious part of the duel between the teams, with senior Jessica Jackson and sophomore Daniela Trigo winning their match 8-4 to give the Owls the early edge. However, Texas stormed back to win the second set against junior Alex Rasch and freshman Dominique Harmath 8-6 and then outlasted junior Ana Guzman and senior Rebekka Hanle 9-8 in a match that went into a tiebreaker game. The singles matches were completely dominated by the Longhorns, who allowed Rice to win only one of 13 sets. Hanle was the bright spot for Rice, as the nation's No. 114 player won her first set 6-2 but succumbed to Krista Damico 6-4 and 1-0 in the second and third sets. Aeriel Ellis, ranked 8th nationally, beat Harmath 6-3, 6-3, while third-seeded Jackson lost both sets to Amanda Craddock, 6-4, 6-1. Freshman Kim Anicete lost 6-1, 6-1 to Juliana Gajic, while Guzman lost to Maggie Mello 6-3, 6-3, giving Texas its fourth point to clinch the match. Rice will look to rebound from its loss to Texas against Oklahoma State University tomorrow at the ITA National Team Indoors Qualifiers, held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

- Jonathan Myers

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