By Will Potter
From the first toss to the last winner, the 10th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team dominated the Kentucky Wildcats Wednesday. The Bears swept the dual match 7-0 and did not drop a set in singles play.
The match was the second win in a row for the Lady Bears and marked the second time they have completed a 7-0 sweep of a team this spring season.
“We have an experienced team so they understand that the next match you play is always the biggest match on the schedule,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “The girls came out focused and determined today and did not let up.”
Baylor took the doubles point to dig the Wildcats in an early 1-0 hole and when singles play rolled around, Kentucky was clearly outmatched.
Sona Novakova and Abby Stainback were first off the court for the Lady Bears in singles losing only two combined games in their respective matches.
“All of our players are very energetic,” junior Diana Nakic said. “Even the ones who don’t play are so great. They are always cheering and supporting us while we are on the court. We are playing very well together right now.”
The fourth, clinching point for Baylor came when No. 34 junior Nina Secerbegovic defeated Marni Venter 6-2, 6-0.
Despite having clinched the match, the team did not let up and steamrolled through the rest of the matches to win 7-0.
Scrivano said he is happy with the win but said he is convinced there is still room for improvement.
“Good news for us is that we are not even close to peaking yet,” Scrivano said. “We need to continue to be motivated to push ourselves to the next level.”
The match was closed with relative ease using a complete performance by Nakic who defeated Khristina Blajkevitch of Kentucky 6-3, 6-3. Nakic missed all of the fall season with a wrist injury and has been steadily improving her game to return to top form for Big 12 play.
“My mindset is to work to change things to make myself better,” Nakic said. “I am playing very relaxed and trying to stick to my game plan every match.”
Every match is vital to moving the team forward to their ultimate goal of an NCAA title.
“The key is for the girls to want to improve,” Scrivano said. “Attitude will fuel that change in their game. We have to be wanting to get better every single day and that desire has to come from within the players.”
The Lady Bears will have a chance to continue to improve on their season and their Big 12 winning streak as they host the Kansas State Wildcats in the Big 12 home opener on Friday.