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Women’s tennis defeats McNeese State in shutout

Photo by Ryan Li | The Rice Thresher

Senior Dominique Harmath goes for a forehand during her singles match against McNeese State University on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Jake Hess Stadium. With the win, the Owls ended their three-game losing streak to go to 3-3 for the season. Rice heads to the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, held in Birmingham, Ala. from Friday, Feb. 21 to Sunday, Feb. 23.  After that, the Owls start a four-game home stand against New Mexico State University on March 1.

By Julie Doar     2/18/14 5:26pm

The Rice University women’s tennis team ended its three-game losing streak Saturday, Feb. 15 with a 7-0 shutout against McNeese State University, taking the Owls’ record to 3-3.

The Rice University women’s tennis team ended its three-game losing streak Saturday, Feb. 15 with a 7-0 shutout against McNeese State University, taking the Owls’ record to 3-3. The team will travel to Montgomery, Ala. this weekend for the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic with No. 16 University of Alabama, No. 19 Texas Tech University, No. 20 Auburn University, No. 29 Oklahoma State University, No. 34 Yale University, No. 43 University of Illinois and No. 66 Tulane University. The definitive schedule for Blue Gray is not yet known but will be determined later in the week.

Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said it feels good to win. She also said she was proud of the team’s discipline, control and successful execution.

“It was nice to get back in the win column, but even better than that was the way that we played,” Schmidt said. “I thought we [were] focused. We played with discipline and controlled our emotions well. Those are things we worked on this week. I was pleased to see our players come out today and execute some of the things we had worked on during the week in a competitive environment.”

Schmidt said she felt some relief that the team has been able to improve despite uncontrollable weather issues.

“We’ve had a lot of strange weather this spring and have not been able to practice outside that much,” Schmidt said. “The matches we have played outside have usually had a threat of rain or it’s been cold. It was nice to be back outside in normal Houston weather.”

Senior Dominique Harmath said she looks at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic and the rest of the season with a positive attitude. She said the players feel they have a lot of potential for success this season due to their diligent work ethic.

“It is only the start of the season, and we have been working extremely hard,” Harmath said. “We believe we can accomplish anything we set our minds to and we will continue to have that mind-set throughout the season.”

Harmath also said the team will work on its consistency in order to add wins.

“Being diligent and making big points through consistency will be our main focus,” Harmath said.

Schmidt said the team will take the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic one opponent at a time. In preparation, Schmidt said the team will spend this week cleaning up weaknesses and preparing in the hopes of having a successful weekend.

“We know some of the teams we could face, but as we always do, we will put the focus on the next opponent on the schedule,” Schmidt said. “We will get as much information as we can on all the teams that will be there, but in the end, it’s about us working to refine what we do well and working to improve upon our weaknesses.”

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