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By Larissa Campos
The Baylor Women’s tennis team came up short on Wednesday night against 4th-ranked Texas A&M at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. The Lady Bears took an early lead after winning the doubles point, but were unable to keep the Aggies from taking control of the match in singles play and securing the 4-2 overall victory.
“We definitely competed harder in that particular match than we have lately, but ultimately we still fell short,” head coach Joey Scrivano said.
The team came out with a new competitiveness and put the Aggies on their heels in doubles play. The Aggie duo of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun won the first match of the night against Baylor juniors Alex Clay and Jordaan Sanford 8-3. But the Lady Bears answered quickly with an 8-1 win from junior Alex Leatu and freshman Kiah Generette. The doubles point was secured by 29th-ranked Baylor duo of sophomore Ema Burgic and freshman Victoria Kisialeva when they upset 7th-ranked pair, Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov, 8-4.
Despite the early success, the Aggies came out with a vengeance and took an early handle on singles play. The Lady Bears lost the first two singles matches to give the Aggies a 2-1 advantage. Sanford would answer quickly with a 6-1, 6-0 upset against 55th-ranked Nazari Urbina tying the match at 2-2.
With the score even at 2, freshman Maria Biryukova and Leatu were heading into third sets on court 5 and 6, and on court 1, Burgic overcame 5th ranked Sanchez-Quintinar in the first set. The momentum was in favor of the Lady Bears and it looked as if they were going to make a push to upset the Aggies.
However, Sun and Hristov were able to close out their matches against Biryukova and Leatu in the third set and get the two points they needed to lock down the Aggie win.
“We’ve been down this road before and it’s a matter of just getting tough,” Scrivano said. “Losing close matches is a part of becoming a tougher tennis player. There’s a process you have to go through to become tough and this team is going through that process.”
The Lady Bears will look to bounce back with a double header tomorrow against Prairie View A&M and Kansas.
The Lady Panthers of Prairie View A&M are 8-16, winning their last match against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Baylor has been victorious the two times they met up with the Lady Panthers.
Kansas comes into the match after a loss against Kansas State. The Jayhawks are 8-5 overall and still looking for their first Big 12 win.
Although the next two matches are against unranked teams, the players are making sure neither opponent is taken lightly.
“How things work here is we take every match like it’s a top 5 team,” said Burgic. “The rankings don’t really matter. In tennis anyone can beat anyone so we are going to have to play well and compete.”
The Lady Bears will open play against Prairie View A&M at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center. They will play the Jayhawks afterward at 5 p.m.