Bears bolster lineup with transfers from Alabama and Vanderbilt.
WACO – The Baylor women’s tennis team will have at least three new faces next season, after head coach Joey Scrivano added Alex Clay, Victoria Kisialeva and Alex Leatu to his roster for the 2012-13 season.
“The thing so far with all three of them is they are very hungry to prove themselves and they are eager to develop,” Scrivano said. “That is a great formula for individual success. Anytime we get recruiting classes that have a chip on their shoulder, we usually do really good things.”
Clay, who comes to Baylor after two seasons at Alabama, collected 13 singles wins in her sophomore season. In 2011, she went 22-10 with 14 dual match victories. Her best win came against 35th-raned Alex Cercone of Florida in straight sets. Before attending Alabama, Clay was ranked No. 15 recruit in the nation, No. 7 in the Southeast, and No. 2 in the state of Georgia by TennisRecruiting.net.
“Alex is a really good ball striker,” Scrivano said. “She plays a style of tennis that we really like by taking the ball early and being aggressive. We were really excited to get her, so late in the recruiting process.”
The youngest of the three newcomers, Kisialeva, is a redshirt-freshman, who spent one year at the Belorussian State University of Physical Culture in her native Belarus. She was the Belarus National Champion in both the under-12 and under-16 age categories. Kisialeva also played for the Belorussian junior Fed Cup Team from 2008-11. She has one ITF junior tournament win under her belt, plus five tournament final appearances in singles. In doubles, she has eight tournament wins and has made it to the finals of an event on eight other occasions.
“Victoria has a very good junior background,” Scrivano said. “She fits the mold of a player that is already very accomplished, but wants to come to Baylor to get even better.”
Leatu played the No. 1 singles position for Vanderbilt during her freshman year and went 18-16. This past season, she battled through a shoulder injury and had surgery upon her arrival to Baylor. She will be ready to get back on the court in the spring.
“Leatu has a solid all-around game,” Scrivano said. “We feel like she has a base that we can really build on. She has proven that she can play at the No. 1 spot and have success. On a team with so much youth, any proven player is going to help a lot.”
Scrivano expects to add at least one more player before the dual-match season starts in January.
The Bears will start fall individual play on Sept. 19 when select players travel to the Midland Invitational in Midland.