Women's tennis wins five straight matches
The women's tennis team's season could not have gotten off to a better start after three straight 7-0 victories, and its momentum continued with wins this week against McNeese State University and its first ranked win of the season with an upset over Louisiana State University.
On Saturday, the thunderstorms in the area pushed the ladies indoors as they hosted McNeese State University at the Galleria Tennis Athletic Center. Not content with three straight sweeps, the Owls went for their fourth sweep to snatch 28 straight points in a row to get the year off right. With the doubles point, Rice easily took the 1-0 lead as the ladies won 24 games, compared to four by McNeese State. Even though the doubles teams were slightly adjusted from last week, it did not make a difference, as the duos of senior Ana Guzman and junior Katie Gater, freshman Natalie Beazant and sophomore Leah Fried, and sophomore Kimberly Anicete and freshman Stephanie Nguyen dominated play.
Singles play was no different, as the Owls barely faced any resistance against the Cowboys. Beazant, Guzman, Gater, Anicete and Fried each took care of business in two sets, while Nguyen came through clutch in the third set to notch another perfect afternoon for Rice as they rounded up the Cowboys and easily tied them up with a 7-0 sweep.
On Tuesday, the Owls faced their first tough road test of the season as they headed to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. Again, the Owls showed no fear as they clinched the doubles point thanks to the dynamic duos of sophomore Dominique Harmath and Beazant and Guzman and Gater, With a 1-0 lead, the Owls would never looked back and made sure the Tigers stayed in their cage. Beazant continued her perfect singles season with a two-set win at the number-one spot. Besides Beazant, the backend of the singles rotation helped carry the Owls' to the finish line. Gater, Anicete and Nguyen each recorded comfortable two-set wins to continue the Owls red-hot start with a convincing 5-2 win.
The Owls are still undefeated, 5-0, looking forward to this weekend as they head up north to Lubbock, Texas. Rice plays Florida International University tomorrow, with a potential matchup Sunday versus 42nd-ranked Texas Tech University.
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In the season finale, Rice football defeated the University of Texas, El Paso 30-16, outscoring the Miners 16-0 in the second half en route to their third consecutive victory on Saturday. The victory in Rice’s season finale improved the Owls’ final record to 3-9, a one-win increase over last year’s total and tied for Rice’s best finish since 2016.
As the semester wraps up, it’s a good time to take stock of how Rice Athletics is doing as a whole. At this moment, we believe that there is good reason to be happy and optimistic with how the Owls are performing now and will perform in the future. On a sport by sport basis, Rice sports teams are ending the decade at a peak.
Volleyball will compete in the NCAA tournament after receiving an at-large bid to play against the University of Oklahoma in the first round during Sunday night’s Selection Show. Transportation will not be provided for Rice students to the match against OU, but the possibility exists a student bus will travel to College Station on Friday if the Owls win their first round match, according to Rice director of marketing David Pillen.