After a successful string of home matches, the Longhorns fell in a close 4-3 match to No. 31 Rice in Houston on Saturday afternoon.
Rice struck first in the contest, securing the doubles point after winning two of the three doubles matches.
The Owls (4–1) increased their advantage to 2-0 after a win in the fifth singles spot, but Texas (3–2) managed to keep pace. Junior Neda Koprcina beat Rice freshman Emily Smith at third singles 7-6 and 6-3 to give the Longhorns their first point of the match.
Texas freshman Daniella Roldan followed her teammate’s lead and evened the score with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win in a second-set tiebreaker against Alison Ho. No. 8 senior Breaunna Addison then gave Texas the lead 3-2 when she fought off Rice’s No. 84 Lindsey Hodge at first singles.
But Rice junior Katherine Ip defeated Longhorn sophomore Dani Wagland in a pair of tiebreak sets to tie the Owls up 3-3, forcing the contest to come down to the last match between Longhorn senior Lana Groenvynck and Rice senior Solomiya Zinko.
Groenvynck won the first set 6-4, but Zinko responded with a 6-0 set win, taking it to a third set. Zinko kept the intensity with an early service break and got a 4-1 lead, but Groenvynck fought back, eventually
breaking Zinko’s serve.
Groenvynck stayed in the game by saving multiple match points, but it wasn’t enough. Zinko finished it off 6-3 to put away the match 4-3 in favor of the Owls.
The loss snaps a two-game win streak for the Longhorns. Texas heads back on the road again next weekend to take on Duke in Durham, North Carolina on Feb. 21.