By BRITTANY WEINER
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
The USF women's tennis team came up just short of a victory against No. 45 Rice University.
The Bulls' lost the decisive point in doubles play in a 4-3 loss at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on Sunday.
Partners Ecaterina Vasenina and Loreto Alonso Martinez fought to a 9-8 victory over Rice's Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath.
Martinez, Franny Fracassi and Paula Montoya were the winners for USF in singles play. All of them were able to beat their opponents in just two sets.
No. 43 Vasenina was the only player to push her opponent to three sets. She lost 6-1 in the third set to give Rice the point it needed to win.
The Bulls will return home this week to face Boston College on Wednesday.
#45 Rice 4, #26 USF 3
1. #59 Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. #43 Ecaterina Vasenina (USF) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
2. Loreto Alonso Martinez (USF) def. Dominique Harmath (RICE) 6-4, 6-3
3. Katie Gater (RICE) def. Danielle Mills (USF) 6-2, 6-2
4. Fanny Fracassi (USF) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 6-4, 6-4
5. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) def. Lucie Rey (USF) 6-4, 6-0
6. Paula Montoya (USF) def. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) 6-3, 6-2
1. Ecaterina Vasenina/Loreto Alonso (USF) def. #43 Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath (RICE) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Ana Guzman/Katie Gater (RICE) def. Fanny Fracassi/Kate Parker (USF) 8-1
3. Kimberly Anicete/Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) def. Danielle Mills/Paula Montoya (USF) 9-7
South Florida 7-4; National ranking #26
Rice 8-3; National ranking #45
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3,2,4,1)