Winners of eight of its last nine matches, the No. 21 Rice women’s tennis team was awarded the second seed for the Conference USA Tournament in Norfolk, Va.
The announcement was made Monday by the conference office. The tournament gets underway Wednesday with Old Dominion as the host. Rice earned a double bye and open play at 9 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.
The Owls (14-5) will play one of three teams: No. 7 seed Old Dominion, No. 10 seed East Carolina or No. 15 seed Tulane. The Pirates and Wave play Wednesday with the winner facing ODU on Thursday.
Rice beat Tulane 4-0 on March 16 in New Orleans. The only other conference foes Rice has faced are No. 8 seed UTSA and top seed Tulsa. Rice lost to No. 20 Tulsa 4-1 on March 2.
If the seeds hold, Rice and Tulsa could meet for the third consecutive season in the C-USA title match. Tulsa won it in the championship 2012, while Rice won it in 2013. The Golden Hurricanes also knocked Rice out of the tournament in 2010 and 2011.
The Owls are coming off a 5-1 Senior Day victory Sunday over UTSA in the last match at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. The tennis programs will move into the George R Brown Tennis Center on campus next season.
In her last home match, Senior Kimberly Anicete defeated UTSA’s Nicole Karaklis 6-2, 6-2 in No. 4 singles. It was her 96th career victory, the fifth most in school history.
Rice’s other senior, Dominique Harmath, lost in three sets to Miriam Canudas. The Toronto native is 14-4 in No. 2 singles this season and 22-10 overall.
In No. 1 singles, Natalie Beazant shut out Jacobea Junger 6-0, 6-0. It was Beazant’s first victory in seven matches. She is 7-9 in No. 1 singles this season and 15-13 overall.
The tournament gets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesday and wraps up on Sunday morning. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the full bracket.
The Rice men’s team was awarded the No.5 seed in the C-USA Tournament, which is being played this week at Tulsa. The Owls (9-12) will face No. 4 seed Middle Tennessee State at 2 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals. Here’s the full men’s bracket.