Feb. 14, 2012
Rice freshman Natalie Beazant, who remained undefeated in singles this spring while leading the Owls to a 2-1 record last week against ranked competition, has been named the Conference USA Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week.
Beazant is the Owls first to win the weekly honor this spring and the first to capture it since Julie Chao earned the nod in 2010 after closing out Rice's upset of #18 Arkansas on February 23, 2010.
Rice (6-1) defeated #65 LSU in a midweek match and downed #75 Florida International before dropping a 4-2 heartbreaker to #42 Texas Tech in the finals of the Lady Raider Shootout in Lubbock on Sunday. The Owls six consecutive wins to open the season is their best start in women's tennis since the 2005 squad opened with six wins.
Beazant extended her spring record in singles to 7-0 with straight set wins over Whitney Wolf of LSU, Sarah McLean of FIU and Elizabeth Ullathorne of Texas Tech. She combined with Dominique Harmath to pick up a pair of wins in doubles before falling to Tech's 45th ranked combo of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo on Sunday.
The Owls will continue a stretch of six consecutive road matches this weekend when they travel east to face #22 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday and then open their Conference USA schedule on Sunday when they visit UAB. They close out the road swing with a midweek matchup with #30 Texas A&M in College Station before returning to Jake Hess on February 26 to host Oklahoma.