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Owls Oust Sooners in Houston
February 26, 2012

Feb. 26, 2012

HOUSTON – The 35th-ranked Oklahoma women’s tennis team lost to No. 68 Rice, 5-2, Sunday, in Houston at Rice’s Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.

Oklahoma (5-6) has lost five of its last six matches this year after starting the year at 4-1. The Sooners fell behind early against Rice after losing the doubles point. 

“Today was yet again a very disappointing performance,” OU head coach David Mullins said. “Unfortunately if we continue to play like this we are not going to be able to get four points on the board much this semester.”

OU’s Marie-Pier Huet and Whitney Ritchie, ranked No. 30 nationally in doubles, faced their first ranked opponent of the season.  The duo lost to the 47th-ranked Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath at the No. 1 doubles spot, 8-1, just its third loss of the season.

“We have a chance to restart our season next week when we start Big 12 play,” Mullins said. “I hope to see some changes and I am sure our tough non-conference schedule will have us prepared us for the tough matches we will face in conference.”

After falling behind 3-0 when Rice took the first two singles points, OU won its first match point at the No. 6 position.  Freshman Nicole Long defeated Stephanie Nguyen of Rice, 6-4, 6-4, to cut the Owls’ lead to 3-1. 

Rice took the next singles point to clinch the win over the Sooners.  Rice’s Katie Gater edged out Mia Lancaster at the No. 3 spot, 7-5, 7-5, to secure the victory.

Ritchie won OU’s second match point of the day.  Ritchie defeated Harmath at the No. 2 position despite losing the first set, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

The Sooners return home next Saturday, March 3 for their Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State at noon.

No. 68 Rice 5, No. 35 Oklahoma 2
Doubles
1. #47 Beazant/Harmath (Rice) def. #30 Whitney Ritchie/Marie-Pier Huet (OU) 8-1
2. Lancaster/Melrose (OU) def. Guzman/Gater (Rice) 8-6
3. Anicete/Nguyen (Rice) def. Lancaster/Long (OU) 9-8 (11-9)
Order of Finish: 1,2,3

Singles
1. Natalie Beazant (Rice) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) 6-0, 6-2
2. Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Dominique Harmath (Rice) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
3. Katie Gater (Rice) def. Mia Lancaster (OU) 7-5, 7-5
4. Ana Guzman (Rice) def. Abbi Melrose (OU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Kimberly Anicete (Rice) def. Whitney Wofford (OU) 6-1, 6-3
6. Nicole Long (OU) def. Stephanie Nguyen (Rice) 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1,5,6,3,2,4

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