Baylor, Rice women rally for wins, faceoff Sunday in Waco

WACO – After dropping the doubles point and two of the first three singles points, Baylor’s third-ranked women’s tennis team erased the deficit to win 4-3 over No. 55 Alabama on Saturday in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifier at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“If we would have had one player not show up today then we would have lost,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “I’m really proud of my team today. They competed hard from start to finish. We didn’t play our best but we competed hard and that got us through the match.”

The Lady Bears faced their first big test of the season, and had to put together a huge comeback for the victory. The Crimson Tide made the first mini-comeback of the day after the teams split doubles on Courts 2 and 3, erasing a two-game deficit on Court 1.

“Being able to comeback has been the trademark of our program,” Scrivano said. “We don’t rely on doubles points to win matches and I love that about our team. They understand that being down 1-0 is not the end of the world and if you play fundamentally sound tennis then you can win four out of six [singles matches].”

The sixth-ranked duo of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney Mclane were down 7-5 to Baylor’s top duo of Nina Secerbegovic and Jelena Stanivuk, but earned four consecutive games to take the match and the double point.

Already down a point, the Lady Bears couldn’t afford to just split the six singles matches. Secerbegovic, ranked 40th, defeated No. 72 Mclane on Court 3 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, but Alabama took victories on Courts 1 and 6 in straight sets for the 3-1 team score lead.

But, Baylor was holding one-set leads on Courts 4 and 5 with No. 122 Karolina Filipiak and Stanivuk. Stanivuk earned her point on Court 5 with a 6-2, 7-6 win, while Filipiak finished a tight match 7-6, 7-5 to put the team score tied.

With just one match remaining, the right to stay alive in the qualifying rounds of the ITA National Team Indoors came down to the match between Baylor’s No. 19 Sona Novakova and Alabama’s No. 63 Guarachi. After splitting the first two sets where Guarachi took the first 7-6 and Novakova took the second 6-2, it was Novakova who seized control. In the third set, the Baylor junior jumped out to a 4-0 lead on her way to a 6-3 set and the team win.

The win keeps Baylor alive to play the winner of Saturday afternoon’s Rice-Oklahoma State matchup for the berth into the ITA National Team Indoors in Charlottesville, Va. Sunday’s matches will feature Alabama and the losing team of Rice-OSU at 11 a.m., followed by the winner playing Baylor at 1 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.

Rice senior Jessica Jackson rebounded from a first set loss to win matching 6-3 sets to give the 48th ranked Rice Owls a 4-3 win over Oklahoma State in the opening round of the ITA National Indoors Championship and set up a meeting with host Baylor on Sunday at 2 pm at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“Tonight was an extremely hard-fought match by both teams,” Rice head coach Elizabeth Schmidt said. “I am so proud of the way every single person on our team competed. We played to win and really kept the pressure on OSU. It came down to our seniors and both Rebekka (Hänle) and Jess gave us the kind of performance a team needs from their leaders,” she added.

The match, originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, was delayed for nearly two hours due to the length of the opening match, which saw the 5th-ranked Bears storm back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Alabama 4-3.

The Owls continued their early-season strong showing in doubles, making quick work of Oklahoma State to take the first point of the day. Hänle and Ana Guzman posted an 8-2 win at No. 1, while Dominque Harmath and Alex Rasch quickly followed with an 8-3 verdict at No. 2.

“We set the tone early with the way we came out firing on all cylinders at 1 and 2 doubles,” Schmidt noted.\

Freshman Kimberly Anicete pushed the margin to 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 6, and Hänle’s win at No. 1 pushed the advantage to 3-1 before the 64th ranked Cowboys knotted the score with wins at No. 4 and No. 2.

It then fell to Jackson, the senior from Solihull, England, who had rebounded from a loss in an opening set tie-break to win the second set 6-3.  Leading 3-2 in the deciding third set, Jackson then closed out  OSU’s Nataliya Shatkovskay by winning the last three games and move the Owls on to Sunday’s matchup with Baylor.

RESULTS
Doubles
1. No. 6 Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. Secerbegovic/Stanivuk (BU) 9-7
2. Nakic/Novakova (BU) def. Clay/Lindsey (UA) 8-1
3. No. 32 Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) def. Stainback/Filipiak (BU) 8-2
Order of Finish: 2,3,1

Singles
1. No. 15 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Diana Nakic (BU) 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 19 Sona Novakova (BU) def. No. 63 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
3. No. 40 Nina Secerbegovic (BU) def. No. 72 Courtney McLane (UA) 6-3, 6-2
4. No. 122 Karolina Filipiak (BU) def. Alex Clay (UA) 7-6, 7-5
5. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) def. Antonia Foehse (UA) 6-2, 7-6
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Abby Stainback (BU) 7-5, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,1,6,5,4,2*

Oklahoma State vs Rice (Jan 29, 2011)
#48 Rice 4, #64 Oklahoma State 3
Jan 29, 2011 at Waco, Texas (Baylor Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #114 Rebekka H�nle (RICE) def. Sarah Meghoufel (OSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. C.C. Sardinha (OSU) def. #101 Dominique Harmath (RICE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Jessica Jackson (RICE) def. Nataliya Shatkovskay (OSU) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-3
4. Kanyapat Narattana (OSU) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Malika Rose (OSU) def. Daniella Trigo (RICE) 6-0, 6-4
6. Kim Anicete (RICE) def. Allison Burckhartt (OSU) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Ana Guzman/Rebekka H�nle (RICE) def. Kanyapat Narattana/Nataliya Shatkovskay (OSU) 8-2
2. Dominique Harmath/Alex Rasch (RICE) def. Sarah Meghoufel/Leyla Simmons (OSU) 8-3
3. Jessica Jackson/Daniella Trigo (RICE) vs. C.C. Sardinha/Malika Rose (OSU) 2-7, unfinished

Match Notes
Oklahoma State 1-1; National ranking #64
Rice 2-1; National ranking #48
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,5,1,4,2,3)

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