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Women's tennis loses to defending champion Stanford at Jake Hess

By Dan Elledge     2/4/14 6:00pm

The Rice Owls women's tennis team hosted the NCAA defending champion, Stanford University, on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. These two teams last met in the Round of 32 in the 2013 NCAA tournament. Stanford swept the Owls 4-0 to advance to the Sweet 16.

For this matchup, the Cardinal entered the game undefeated at 3-0, following up from a win at No. 17 University of Texas on Friday, Jan. 31. Rice was 2-1 entering the match after a loss to the Longhorns the week before.

The Owls failed to overcome the strength of the Cardinal, falling 5-2 in a match that lasted more than two hours. Stanford took the early edge by winning the doubles point 1-0. The Owls could not rally to defeat the Cardinal even with singles wins by senior Dominique Harmath and freshman Katherine Ip. Junior Natalie Beazant narrowly lost to the No. 6 singles player, Stanford senior Kristie Ahn, in a third-set tiebreaker. With the loss to Stanford, the Owls are 2-2 this season and will be back on the road this weekend.

Rice will travel to Waco this weekend to take on Baylor University. The Bears come into the matchup with a record of 6-1, which includes wins over ranked opponents Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University. Baylor lost its last matchup 7-0 against No. 2 University of Florida.

The Owls last played Baylor in 2011 in Waco. Rice almost upset the then-No. 3 Bears on their home court, losing 4-3. Harmath and senior Kimberly Anicete both played in singles matches as freshmen that year. Anicete won her matchup in two sets while Harmath lost in three sets. The Owls play Baylor on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m.

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