Women’s tennis splits weekend conference slate

By Branson Hardcastle | Broadcast Reporter

No. 21 Baylor Women’s Tennis finished this weekend with one win and one loss after a tough slate of Big 12 Conference matches.

Friday night, the Lady Bears welcomed No. 15 Texas Tech to Waco for their fifth conference match of the season. Baylor entered the match with back to back wins over top 50 teams, including a win over ninth ranked Northwestern.

The Lady Bears started off strong as sophomore Angie Shakhraichuk and freshman Dominika Sujova defeated Alex Valenstein and Lana Rush 6-2 on court three. Texas Tech stormed back and took the next two doubles matches 6-3 and 6-3 to take the doubles point and lead Baylor 1-0.

After gaining the momentum with the doubles point, Texas Tech continued its strong play in singles competition.

On court four, sophomore Jessica Hinojosa faltered against Alex Valentine dropping in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Senior Theresa Van Zyl faced No. 13 Gabriela Talaba on court one. Van Zyl held her own in the first set as she lost 6-4, but was not able to gain any momentum in the second set, losing 6-1.

With Texas Tech up 3-0, the attention shifted to court three where Baylor freshman Kris Sorokolet faced off against No. 85 Sabrina Federici. Federici got off to a hot start in the first set and downed Sorokolet 6-0. The second set was an intense battle with both players trading games throughout. Federici proved to be too much for Sorokolet as she won the second set 6-4 to seal the win for Texas Tech 4-0.

Head Coach Joey Scrivano said Texas Tech was used their experience to beat them this match and that Baylor has to address some areas of its game as well.

“You have to give credit to Texas Tech. They’re incredibly disciplined and very experienced,” Scrivano said. “From our end, I think this has been the storyline for our year. We’ve played two good matches, then we two not-so-good matches. We’ve just been inconsistent and that’s something we have to work on improving.”

Sunday afternoon, Baylor traveled to Fort Worth to face TCU with hopes to bounce back after the loss to Texas Tech.

The Horned Frogs jumped out to an early lead after winning the first two doubles matches 6-2 and 6-4, securing the doubles point.

TCU continued to put pressure on the Lady Bears in singles competition. On court one, Baylor’s Van Zyl fell to Aleksa Cveticanin in straight sets 6-0, 6-3. With Baylor down 2-0, freshman Livia Kraus got a huge win on court five. Kraus took down Alexis Pereira in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. Kraus leads Baylor in match wins this season with 21.

“I’m really proud and happy because hard work pays off. I know I play in the back and I know that’s probably easier than playing in the front matches, but I’m preparing hard, I’m working hard and I guess that pays off,” Kraus said. “I’m always glad to win in the back and to bring a point back for the team.”

Sophomore Camilla Abbate was able to tie the match at 2-2 with her victory over No. 98 Aleksandra Zenovka on court two. Abbate got off to a great start in this matchup winning the first set 6-2. The second was closer as the match went to a where Abbate was able to finish off Zenovka 7-6 to claim the point.

Shakhraichuk was able to snag Baylor’s third consecutive point with a win over Meredith Roberts on court six. Shakhraichuk won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, giving the Lady Bears the lead 3-2. Hinojosa fell to Marie Norris on court four 7-5, 6-1, tying the match at three points apiece.

With the score tied 3-3, all eyes were on court three. Sorokolet took the first set over TCU’s Donika Bashota 7-5. The second set was also close, but Sorokolet was able to close out the set 6-3 to give Baylor the fourth point and secure the win for the Lady Bears.

Baylor is now 12-11 on the season and 2-4 in Big 12 play. They will face Louisiana Tech in their next match at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Waco and then West Virginia at 5:00 p.m.