Play begins Friday in individual singles and doubles competition and will conclude Sunday. The Lady Demons play next weekend in Lafayette before hosting their own tournament Oct. 11-12.
Returners Polina Konop, Tatiana Larina, Nataly Krutova and Amy Williams will represent NSU in the Rice Invitational. Konop, Larina and Krutova won All-Southland Conference honors last spring, with Konop and Larina filling the top two singles slots and Krutova combining with Konop for the No. 2 doubles all-conference award.
"Although we want to see how far each player has progressed since day one of practice this fall, we certainly expect our upperclassman to have some strong results this weekend," said coach Patric DuBois. "The fall is not only for improving our games for the spring team season, but also for our players to gain ranking points in singles and doubles towards the ITA regional and national rankings.
"Since we are only sending four, I would expect that each player on our team will be in the higher flights, therefore, getting the toughest competition possible. This will certainly prepare us for a tough fall and spring team schedule," he said.
"We are expecting breakthrough seasons in the rankings for our top three returning players, Polina, Tatiana, and Nataly. Our other two returners, Amy Williams and Daniela Simonova, improved a lot over the course of last year and are already playing at a higher level this fall," said DuBois.