By Larissa Campos
The Baylor women’s tennis team came out and battled against windy conditions to take down No. 48 Pepperdine. The win put an end to the Lady Bears’ five-game losing streak and was a much-needed boost of confidence for the team.
“This is a really big win for us, and I feel like we have finally clicked as a team this season,” junior Alex Leatu said. “This match has helped our confidence a lot especially after losing the last couple matches in a row.”
The day started off with the Lady Bears up 1-0 after duo of Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva secured the doubles point. The lead was stretched to 3-0 when Burgic and freshman Maria Biryukova rolled over their opponents in straight sets during singles competition.
Burgic has emerged as a solid performer on the court this season. With only two losses in singles play this season, Burgic has become an unyielding competitor for the team.
““Ema is becoming a very mature player,” said Scrivano. “We like the way she is handling herself on the court and her mindset has improved so much since last year. We need her to continue to do this and even take it to the next level.”
The real excitement of the day, however, was found on court five where Leatu was in the process of making a comeback to clinch the match for the Lady Bears.
“What Alex did today showed real courage,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “She just did a great job of handling her confidence level and not letting that affect her game and just battling through. That could be a break through match for her.”
Leatu came out in singles action and dropped the first set against Pepperdine’s Megan Moore. Despite the early loss, Leatu kept her confidence and came out to win the next two sets 6-2, 6-0 to win the match
“The score of the first set didn’t really reflect what I was feeling,” said Leatu. “I felt comfortable in the match, and I was confident in the game plan my coach gave me. I knew that I could get the win.”
Even though the Lady Bears have struggled in their last couple of matches, Coach Scrivano knows the team is steadily improving and said we have yet to see the team he knows they have the potential to be.
“The bottom line is that we aren’t going to be playing our best tennis in February,” said Scrivano. “We are going to be much better in the second half of the season and in the post season when it really matters.”
The match today proved that the team is learning to deal with adversity better with every match they play. The players have bought in to the game plan of Scrivano and are confident that if they stick to it, they will see more success in their future.