TAMPA, Fla. – Everything was right
with the world. Sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and the
Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis team was just one
point shy of locking up their 16th win of the spring.
Unfortunately, the winds changed and the Rice University Owls rallied for four straight singles victories and a 4-3 upset of the 27th-ranked Black & Gold.
Senior Laura Burns (Hertford, England) was perfect on the day and teamed with junior Kateryna Yergina (Kiev, Ukraine) to cruise to a 8-1 win at #2 doubles. The youthful duo of sophomore Ana Bara (Oradea, Romania) and Josefin Hjertquist (Spanga, Sweden) locked up the doubles point with a 9-7 win over 68th-ranked Julie Chao and Ana Guzman.
Burns pushed VCU's lead to 2-0 with a quick 6-2, 6-0 victory over Guzman at #4 singles, while sophomore Alex Bara (Oradea, Romania) got the Rams within one point of victory with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Rebecca Lin at #5 singles.
That's when everything came undone and the Owls reeled off four straight singles victories to stun the Black & Gold.
It doesn't get any easier for the Rams as they face off against the 15th-ranked Bulls of the University of South Florida on Easter Sunday morning at 10 a.m. #48 Rice 4, #27 VCU 3
1. Ana Bara/Hjertquist def. #68 Chao/Guzman, 9-7
2. #47 Burns/Yergina def. Jackson/Trigo, 8-1
3.Lin/Hanle def. Alex Bara/Leonchuk, 8-6
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1. #104 Rebekka Hanle (Rice) def. Ana Bara, 7-6, 6-2
2. Jessica Jackson (Rice) def. Hjertquist, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
3. Julie Chao (Rice) def. Yergina, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
4. Burns def. Ana Guzman (Rice), 6-2, 6-0
5. Alex Bara def. Rebecca Lin (Rice), 6-1, 6-2
6. Daniella Trigo (Rice) def. Leonchuk, 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 4,5,6,3,1,2