Frogs take down Rice Owls with 4-3 victory

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    TCU’s women’s tennis team won back-to-back matches for the first time this season Sunday with a 4-3 triumph over Rice at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.

    After falling behind 3-0, TCU stormed back to win three-set matches at Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles to stun the 60th-ranked Owls.

    “We just dominated third sets,” TCU coach Dave Borelli said. “We had our backs to the wall. We were down 3-0 and came back strong in the third set in those matches. That’s a strong testament to Jason Marshall’s training with the team. Hats off to Rice, they were a good team, but we were just stronger in the third set.”

    The Owls won all three doubles matches to put TCU in a 1-0 hole. Things didn’t get any easier for the Purple and White, which had to pull Federica Denti from the No. 2 singles spot after doubles due to injury, forcing the lineup to be shifted up at slots two through six. Rice went on to tack on straight-set singles wins at Nos. 2 and 6.

    Idunn Hertzberg started TCU’s charge when she bounced back from a tough 3-6 first set to claim 6-0 wins in each of the next two sets at the expense of Rice’s Ana Guzman. The win brought the Oslo, Norway, native’s record to 7-5 this spring.

    TCU’s No. 1 player Katariina Tuohimaa put TCU’s second point on the board with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 downing of Rebekka Hanle. The Helsinki, Finland, native has won two-straight singles matches.

    Senior Shalini Sahoo continued her hot play and brought TCU back to square with Rice with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win over Daniella Trigo at No. 5 singles. Sahoo, a New Delhi, India, product, has won four matches in a row.

    Junior Gaby Mastromarino clinched the win for the Frogs with her 6-4, 1-6, 6-0 victory over Jessica Jackson at No. 3 singles. The Tequesta, Fla., native improved her season mark to 6-2 and has strung together three wins in a row.

    In other singles matches, Dominique Harmath dropped TCU’s Olivia Smith, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 2 singles and Rice’s Kim Anicete was a 7-6, 6-3 winner over Maria Babanova.

    On the doubles courts, where Rice won all three matches, Hanle and Guzman bettered TCU’s No. 52-ranked duo of Tuohimaa and Denti, 9-7, at No. 1 doubles.

    At No. 2 doubles, Alex Rasch and Harmath were 9-8 (3) winners over Mastromarino and Smith and Jackson and Trigo picked up a 9-7 win over Babanova and Hertzberg at No. 3 doubles.

    With the win, TCU has won back-to-back matches for the first time this season to improve to 4-6 overall. The Owls dropped to 9-8.

    “This team has a lot of fight in them,” Borelli said. “For us, as coaches, it’s a great first step to getting the program back on track. Our motto this season is “it starts with us.’ This is the group that’s going to start the momentum toward bringing a national championship to TCU.”

    The Frogs return to action March 23 when they make the short trek to UT-Arlington. First serve is set for 3 p.m.

    Match Results &- March 20, 2011

    Jake Hess Tennis Stadium &- Houston, Texas

    TCU 4, No. 60 Rice 3

    SINGLES

    1. Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) def. Rebekka Hanle (RICE) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1

    2. Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Olivia Smith (TCU) 6-1, 6-3

    3. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) def. Jessica Jackson (RICE) 6-4, 1-6, 6-0

    4. Idunn Hertzberg (TCU) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 3-6, 6-0, 6-0

    5. Shalini Sahoo (TCU) def. Daniella Trigo (RICE) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

    6. Kim Anicete (RICE) def. Maria Babanova (TCU) 7-6, 6-3

    DOUBLES

    1. Rebekka Hanle/Ana Guzman (RICE) def. #52 Katariina Tuohimaa/Federica Denti (TCU) 9-7

    2. Alex Rasch/Dominique Harmath (RICE) def. Olivia Smith/Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) 9-8 (3)

    3. Jessica Jackson/Daniella Trigo (RICE) def. Idunn Hertzberg/Maria Babanova (TCU) 9-7

    MATCH NOTES

    TCU 4-6

    Rice 9-8; National ranking #60

    Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,6,4,1,5,3)

    T-3:50