ARLINGTON, Texas - On a windy Friday afternoon, it was Rice that came out on top as they downed UT Arlington 5-2 at the UTA Tennis Center in a Texas Region matchup.
The doubles point proved crucial to push momentum on the Owl's side as it came down to a tiebreaker at No. 2. However, the 9-7 win in the tiebreak lifted up Rice as it carried momentum throughout singles play.
UTA earned the first win in doubles with Carla Cerdan and Almudena Boza taking a 6-2 match quickly. The No. 17 ranked pair from Rice took No. 1 with a 6-4 win, leaving it to Nanaka Takeuchi and Momoka Horiguchi. The pair went up 5-4 and 6-5 but couldn't break to take the win. A back-and-forth tiebreak saw both team fight off match points, but it was Rice that finally held serve in a 9-7 win in the tiebreak.
In singles, UTA went down quickly 2-0 with matches on No. 3 and No. 4 finishing quickly. However, at No. 1 and No. 5 singles UTA found itself in a battle. Serio battled back from a 5-2 deficit to win her opening set, 7-5. She'd battle at a 7-5 win in the second, however, the match was clinched at No. 6 with Klara Mrcela falling 6-2, 6-2.
Play would continue for Natal at No. 5 as she won a 7-6 tiebreak in the first set, and cruised in a 6-1 win in the second.
UTA fell to 2-2 on the season and are in action again on Feb. 21 when they take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home.