Rice Wins C-USA Women’s Tennis Title
via Conference USA
DENTON, Texas – No. 37 Rice netted its fifth consecutive Conference USA Women’s Tennis title after defeating No. 40 FIU, 4-1 in the championship match Sunday morning at the Waranch Tennis Complex. The title marks the program’s sixth overall, and secures an automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers had a response in singles action, quickly knotting up the score at one after Nina Nagode took her match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 at the fourth spot. Shortly after, Rice once again gained the advantage as Ip wrapped up action on court two, winning 6-1, 6-2. In a highly competitive matchup at the third position, Zhang willed her way to a 6-4, 6-3 win, pushing the Owls to a 3-1 advantage.
Both teams battled back and forth across the remaining courts for the next half hour, before Durkin captured her match and the title with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph. When play ceased, the ranked battle between FIU’s No. 39 Lazaro and No. 110 Hodge remained close into the third set (4-6, 7-5, 1-3). FIU’s Gabriela Ferreira almost capped off a valiant comeback on court six, trailing 4-0 in the third set and rallying to take a 5-4 lead when the match was completed (0-6, 6-0, 5-4).
The NCAA Women’s Tennis Selection show is set for Tuesday, May 2 and individual selections will be announced the following day via press release. Fans can catch the team selection show on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. CT.