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Originally from Russia, sophomore tennis players Anastasia and Victoria Smirnova are twin sisters, and both have been playing tennis with their family since they were six years old. Though the Smirnovas’ parents were athletes themselves, they played a slightly different sport: table tennis. Their father was ranked as high as No. 11 in the world in table tennis and participated in three different Olympic Games; similarly, their mother played table tennis as a member of the Russian junior national table tennis team.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound player you see receiving footballs on kickoffs and running full speed into opposing players for the Rice football team is none other than junior wide receiver Austin Trammell. Though he may be smaller in stature than most football players, Trammell has been a kick punt returner for the Owls since his freshman year. But Trammell’s talent isn’t just limited to special teams. Last year, Trammell was also the team leader in receptions and receiving yards. After Trammell’s on-the-field performance during his sophomore year, he was named team captain this season.
Rice football’s moonshot fell short, as the University of Texas, Austin, defeated the Owls 48-13 on Saturday evening at NRG Stadium.
The Rice volleyball team completed a three-game sweep of two opponents last weekend during the Rice Adidas Invitational at Tudor Fieldhouse with two 3-1 victories over Loyola Marymount University on Friday and Saturday, capping the invitational with a 3-0 victory over Abilene Christian University. On Tuesday evening, the Owls continued their hot streak by defeating Houston Baptist University 3-0. Rice improved to 7-0 on the season and is off to the program’s best start since 1998.
This summer, the Rice volleyball team added an international component to their preseason training: a trip to Italy. During the second week of June, the team embarked on a nine-day voyage overseas, where they trained, toured and competed, winning three of four matches against local Italian teams.
Freshman tennis player Diae El Jardi began playing tennis at the age of six with her father on the clay courts in Meknes, Morocco. According to El Jardi, the rigors of daily practice fostered a bonding with her father.
The Rice women’s tennis team celebrated Senior Day this past Sunday by stretching its win streak to three after defeating Florida International University in a 4-0 win. It was also the second straight match in which the Owls shut out their opponent 4-0.
The Rice men’s tennis team fell to Utah State University 4-2 on Sunday night to finish a winless weekend at the 61st Ralph O’Connor Rice Invitational. The loss dropped the Owls to 9-11 on the season and extended their losing streak to four matches. The Owls’ last win was against Southern Methodist University, on March 10.
After four straight days of swimming at the Conference USA Championships in Atlanta, Rice narrowly finished second behind a Florida International University team that won its fifth straight C-USA Championship.
Rice women’s tennis had an up-and-down week, taking down the University of Texas, Arlington 4-0 before falling to No. 9-ranked University of Texas, Austin 6-1. The defeat to Texas was the Owls’ first home loss of the season.
Ever since beginning the Matt Bragga era with a series win over the University of Rhode Island, it’s been all downhill for Rice baseball. The Owls lost all five games they played last week, including a sweep by the University of California, Irvine. With the losses, Rice fell to 2-6 on the season, the worst winning percentage in all of Conference USA.
The Rice men’s tennis team’s weekend road trip to Tennessee resulted in two losses, to Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and freshman outfielder Antonio Cruz on first base, in a tie game during the Rice Owls’ home opener against the University of Rhode Island, junior second baseman Cade Edwards hit a double. This gave third-base coach Paul Janish the difficult choice of stopping Cruz at third base or sending him home for a play at the plate. When Janish waved him through, Cruz obeyed the sign and rounded the base, only to be thrown out at home by a wide margin. The Owls went on to lose the game 2-1 in the 10th inning.
The Rice women’s tennis team extended its win streak to three in dual matches with a 4-0 victory against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Feb. 13.
In their first match action of the 2019 season, the Rice women’s tennis team completed the Orlando Invitational this past weekend with a record of 16-16, including 12 wins and eight losses in singles matches.
Rice men’s cross country fought through tough weather conditions on Friday to finish fourth at the NCAA South Central Regional. Head coach Jon Warren said sticking to the game plan paid off in the tough conditions.
After finishing third at the Conference USA Championships, Rice women’s cross country shined by finishing fifth out of 22 teams at the NCAA South Central Regional. The race was the third consecutive meet in which the Owls finished in the top five; Rice placed second out of 23 teams on Oct. 13 at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.
Whether she is diving for a dig or helping people learn English, volleyball’s Lee Ann Cunningham has consistently demonstrated her willingness to offer a helping hand.
Rice football extended its losing streak to nine games on Saturday as the Owls fell to a University of Texas, El Paso team that came into the matchup riding an FBS-high 20-game losing streak. With the loss, Rice dropped to 1-9 on the season and 0-6 in conference play. The Owls’ first and only victory of the season came in their season-opening 31-28 win over FCS opponent Prairie View A&M University.
The Rice Owls started their season with a sweep in five different events at home in the Rice Fall Swimming Invitational on Friday, Oct. 12. Overall, the Owls sent the University of Houston, the University of the Incarnate Word and Air Force Academy back home with only two wins combined as the Owls won 16 of 18 events during the weekend.