Baylor earns berth into ITA National Team Indoor Championship
WACO – No. 5 Baylor moved its season-opening win streak to eight matches and earned the qualifying berth for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 6-1 win over No. 73 Wyoming on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
For the second match in a row, Baylor took home the doubles point and five of six singles matches to move its record to 8-0 on the year. The mark matches the second-best start in school history, and trails only the 2000 team’s 12-0 season-opening mark. The win also earns Baylor a berth into the indoor nationals, which takes place in Charlottesville, Va., on Feb. 10-13.
“We’ve got to give Wyoming credit, they really pushed us in the doubles,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “We need to keep working on the practice courts and get better in certain areas. We aren’t looking at our team like an 8-0 team, we are looking at it like a work in progress.”
Baylor’s match against Wyoming also featured the dual-match debut of freshman Ema Burgic, who battled injuries throughout the fall. Burgic made her presence felt with a win in doubles and one of four straight-set wins in singles for the Lady Bears.
“It’s great to have Ema in the lineup,” Scrivano said. “We’ve been excited to get her out there on the court. She’s been through a lot, so I’m just proud of the way she came out and took care of business today. She’s really starting to play some good tennis, and has really improved over the last month.”
In doubles, Burgic teamed with Jordaan Sanford on Court 3 and quickly disposed of Wyoming’s Jessica Parizher and Silviya Zhelyazkova, 8-2. Later in singles, Burgic had no problems with Zhelyazkova, winning 6-0, 6-0. Prior to her matches Sunday, Burgic had played just four matches in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in mid-January.
The senior duo of Sona Novakova and Diana Nakic added the second doubles win for Baylor with a tiebreak 9-8 (8-6) win on Court 2. The pair each also added singles victories on Courts 2 and 3. Nakic won on Court 2, defeating the Cowgirls’ Simona Synkova 6-1, 7-6(1). Novakova breezed through her eighth consecutive win as well with a 6-3, 6-1 drubbing of Sasa Nemcova.
The Lady Bears also got singles victories from Nina Secerbegovic and Megan Horter. Secerbegovic kept her dual-match record unblemished, dropping just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Veronica Popovici. Horter, meanwhile, dropped the first set 6-4, but came back to win the second set 6-2. She then dominated the super-tiebreaker 10-3 for the three-set win.
Baylor will play the final two matches of an eight-match homestand in the coming week. On Wednesday, the Lady Bears will face No. 47 TCU at 3:30 p.m. Baylor will close out the long homestand with defending NCAA Champion and No. 1-ranked Florida on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Noon.