Lady Cards fall at No. 29 Rice

GO CARDINALS Natalia Mayagoitia became the first Lady Card to win at Rice since 2008 on Friday afternoon.
Natalia Mayagoitia became the first Lady Card to win at Rice since 2008 on Friday afternoon.

Jan. 18, 2013

Final Stats

HOUSTON - Court one was representative of Lamar's women's tennis team on Friday as it opened up the season with a 6-1 loss at 29th-ranked Rice.

The court featured two tight matches and a pair of comebacks, but unfortunately, the Lady Cardinals were on the losing side of both, falling to a ranked doubles team and a ranked singles player.

In doubles, the duo of Hélène Czudek and Carolina Salas started things off by storming back from a 6-3 deficit to tie things up, but the No. 56 pairing of Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath put a halt to the rally, holding on for an 8-6 decision.

The match proved key in securing the doubles point as Carolina Masó and Alicia Porte fell in 8-3 fashion to Katie Gater and Liat Zimmerman at the second spot, and the team of Dariya Dashutina and Natalia Mayagoitia picked up the 8-5 win at No. 3 vs. Kimberly Anicete and Stephanie Nguyen.

Salas returned to the main court a few moments later for singles play, and after falling 6-3 to the 50th-ranked Beazant, the senior looked to be in good shape in the second frame, running out to a 4-1 lead. However, the edge was short-lived as Beazant turned the momentum to win 6-4.

"Salas really had an opportunity to capitalize in the second set," head coach David Wong said. "She was up 4-1, but at 4-2, she was serving 40-30 to go to 5-2. That would've been a huge advantage. It's about maintaining your discipline when you get into that position. It's still a confidence boost to play that well against a ranked opponent."



That became the story for most of the Lady Cards as the team held a second-set lead in five of the six matches. Two of the six were ultimately decided on tie breaks with Masó losing to Gater 6-2, 3-6, 7-10 at No. 3 and Dashutina falling 7-5, 2-6, 5-10 to Zimmerman at No. 6.

Mayagoitia picked up the only Lady Card win, taking home a straight-set 6-3, 6-2 victory over Nguyen at the fifth spot. The win was notable as it marked the first for a Lady Card vs. Rice since the 2008 season.

"Natalia played very consistent, and I'm happy for her," Wong said. "She gets to start her senior year off with a win at Rice. Hopefully she'll take this and build up her wins for her final season."

In other singles action, Harmath beat Porte 6-1, 6-2 and Anicete defeated Czudek 6-2, 6-3.

The squad will continue play later this weekend with a doubleheader against No. 36 Arkansas on Sunday at the Galleria Tennis Club in Houston.

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