BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU women's tennis team (5-3) faced a 5-0 loss to No. 35 Rice University (6-4) Wednesday at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club after weather conditions moved the location from the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
The Lady Tigers split their first two doubles matches of the day, as Mary Jeremiah and Ariel Morton fell 8-6 to the Owls' Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath in the top spot, and the senior pair of Ebie Wilson and Keri Frankenberger took an 8-5 win on court two over Rice's Liat Zimmerman and Katie Gater, advancing the duo to its third consecutive win.
The Kaitlin Burns and Ella Taylor pair battled through the deciding match for the doubles point, but ultimately fell 8-3 to the Owls' Daniela Trigo and Solomiya Zinko.
The Owls remained consistent as the focus shifted to singles, and Rice's No. 84 Beazant took the win over Jeremiah 6-0, 6-1 in the top spot. Rice's Zimmerman followed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Morton on court four.
Burns and Taylor both fought through third sets, but Burns ultimately fell 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to the Owls' No. 111-ranked Harmath, and Taylor faced a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 loss to Rice's Gater.
With only four courts available for competition, freshman Caroline Hudson's court five and Wilson's court six matches were delayed until the completion of top four matches. Hudson began play, but following Rice's dual match decision, the match was cut short, and Wilson did not compete.
"I'm happy with the direction (the team is) going in now," head coach Julia S. Sell said. "They struggled in the beginning of the year because they weren't making adjustments, and in the past few matches they have turned it around. Today was the best they have played all season. We are getting better every day, and that's all that matters. We just have to continue to make adjustments. Accountability and belief are the only things holding us back from winning matches and playing at a higher level."
The No. 54 Lady Tigers return to the W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium Saturday for a doubleheader against Nicholls State at 1 p.m. CT followed by Grambling State at 6 p.m. CT.
For the latest information on the women's tennis team, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
#35 Rice 5, #54 LSU 0
1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-0, 6-1
2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
3. Katie Gater (RICE) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
4. Liat Zimmermann (RICE) def. Ariel Morton (LSU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) vs. Caroline Hudson (LSU) 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
6. Solomiya Zinko (RICE) vs. Ebie Wilson (LSU) unfinished
1. Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Mary Jeremiah/Ariel Morton (LSU) 8-6
2. Ebie Wilson/Keri Frankenberger (LSU) def. Liat Zimmermann/Katie Gater (RICE) 8-5
3. Daniela Trigo/Solomiya Zinko (RICE) def. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) 8-3
LSU 5-3; National ranking #54
Rice 6-4; National ranking #35
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,4,2,3)
Four courts available at indoor facility
Match #6 was not played.