Baylor advances to the Elite Eight for the fourth straight year
Baylor’s fifth-seeded women’s tennis team put together a dominating effort with a 4-0 win over No. 32 SMU to punch a ticket to the program’s fourth straight Elite Eight on Friday at the NCAA Championship in Stanford, Calif.
Baylor lost just one set in the match, coming on a court that didn’t finish, and took care of the doubles point to start the day on their way to victory. The win earns Baylor its 18th consecutive victory, dating back to March 18.
“We dominated a great team today, that’s the bottom line and that’s a good thing,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Any time you can win a convincing round of 16 match that tends to be a good sign. On the three seniors having experience in this tournament makes a big difference. With Jelena (Stanivuk), TO (Taylor Ormond) and Karolina (Filipiak) being in the final four and multiple round of 16s and quarterfinals, they know how to win and they know what it takes to win in this tournament. That’s been spreading over to our newcomers. I just feel we have a great team, a very experienced team with a lot of confidence right now. We’re a tough team to beat right now.”
In doubles, the duo of Sona Novakova and Diana Nakic were the most convincing, with an 8-2 win. The pair took a 2-1 lead with their serve, then were able to break the Mustang pair of Shahazoda Hatamova and Ashley Turpin three time to win 8-2.
Baylor’s 70th-ranked pair of Nina Secerbegovic and Karolina Filipiak took on No. 57 Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova on Court 1 and took an 8-4 win to close out the doubles point.
In singles, Baylor only added to the momentum early on. The Lady Bears won five of the six first set, with Nakic, Jelena Stanivuk and Taylor Ormond each using their serves to win a 6-2 first set. Stanivuk was the first to finish adding a perfect 6-0 set after her 6-2 first set. The win for Stanivuk keeps her NCAA Championship record perfect for her career at 11-0.
Meanwhile, Ormond was doing the same thing on Court 6, taking a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Turpin. Nakic then finished it off with a 6-2, 6-2 win on Court 3. The win was her 20th in a row, as well as her 40th set-win in the last 41 sets.
“Baylor was too good today, but I am proud of our team for taking this huge step,” said head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner. “I am excited about the future of SMU Tennis.”
Baylor will be back on the court on Sunday against fourth-seeded North Carolina at 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT. Baylor is now 23-12 all-time in the NCAA Championship.
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 3)
1) No. 70 Secerbegovic/Filipiak (BAY) d. No. 57 Lesniak/Malyarchikova (SMU) 8-4
2) Ormond/Stanivuk (BAY) vs. Cieplucha/Steinbauer (SMU) aban.
3) Nakic/Novakova (BAY) d. Hatamova/Turpin (SMU) 8-2
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3)
1) No. 14 Sona Novakova (BAY) vs. No. 9 Marta Lesniak (SMU) aban.
2) No. 49 Nina Secerbegovic (BAY) vs. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) aban.
3) No. 47 Diana Nakic (BAY) d. No. 124 Aleksandra Malyarchikova (SMU) 6-2, 6-2
4) No. 112 Jelena Stanivuk (BAY) d. Heather Steinbauer (SMU) 6-2, 6-0
5) Karolina Filipiak (BAY) vs. Shahzoda Hatamova (SMU) aban.
6) Taylor Ormond (BAY) vs. Ashley Turpin (SMU) 6-2, 6-0