Women's Tennis falls to Tulsa and Missouri
After a rush to the top 30 in the polls, the women's tennis team was brought back to Earth last weekend with a couple of tough losses at home. With the University of Missouri on Friday, Rice took the early doubles point as the Owls' were up 1-0. However, the Tigers roared back and took four of the six singles to come up with a huge upset against the Owls as they squeaked by with a score of 4-3. Even in the defeat, freshman Natalie Beazant nailed another win for the Owls as she won in a three-set thriller against Missouri's Nina Pantic.
The much-anticipated matchup between Rice and the University of Tulsa turned out to be a disappointing day for the Owls on Sunday. Though it was an overall loss for Rice, there were some bright spots for individual team members .
Beazant and sophomore Dominique Harmath won doubles 8-3. Sophomore Kimberley Anicete won her match in singles. Beazant won her match in two sets, moving her season record up to an impressive 17-1. It is no wonder she has been named C-USA athlete of the week so many times this season. The highly-ranked Tulsa has quite the competitors; any win against them is no small feat.
Beazant said she was incredibly positive going into the competition.
"Competitive matches are always a good way to get prepared; it is hard to simulate anything like that in practice," Beazant said. "I'm excited -I feel like we had a solid week last week, so hopefully we can keep this momentum moving forward into this weekend."
Anicete was the only other Owl to win her match in singles through three grueling sets. Anicete's matchup against Michelle Farley of Tulsa started with a 6-2, followed by 4-6 second set and ended with a 6-0 win in the third and decisive set. Junior Katie Gater, senior Ana Guzman and sophomore Leah Fried made valiant efforts as they took on highly competitive Tulsa players but fell short in the end. Fried, most notably, has stepped in late in the season as a replacement for the injured freshman Stephanie Nguyen and has recently been playing doubles with Anicete.
Tulsa ended up with the win by a score of 5-2. Rice's ranking has dropped down to No. 36 as the Owls have dropped two matches in the row for only the second time this season. Rice will host Texas-Pan American University at Jake Hess Stadium tomorrow.
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