No. 1 Florida gives women’s tennis first fall

By Kasey McMillian

No. 5 women’s tennis team lost 5-2 against No. 1 Florida on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center, ending Baylor’s nine-match winning streak.

The Gators won the first two doubles matches, but Baylor’s new doubles combo of senior Sona Novakova and freshmen Ema Burgic pulled out an 8-5 win, playing only their second match together.

In singles, Florida’s No. 34 Sofie Oyen took the first-set victory 6-3 against Baylor’s Burgic but fought back in the second match, taking a 6-2 win.

Florida, however, took the third match with a 6-1 win, putting the Gators in the lead.

Novakova also lost in her first set 6-4 against Florida’s No. 4-ranked Joanna Mather, but made a comeback to win the second set with a 6-2 win and a 6-4 win in the third, giving Baylor its first point.

“I was focusing on one point at a time, trying not to think too much ahead,” Novakova said. “I was executing well. We try to treat each team equally so I wasn’t thinking who I was playing, just that it was another match.”

Senior Nina Secerbegovic earned Baylor’s final point with a close win, defeating Florida’s No. 25 Lauren Embree 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“We had to play every point like we were going to win, it was really close,” Secerbegovic said. “On every court we saw a lot of battling and I thought we had a chance. We are the type of team that never gives up and keeps fighting. In the future we might play them again so we have to know how to play them.”

Sophomore Jordaan Sanford was defeated 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 by Florida’s No. 41-ranked Alex Cercone.

Then Baylor’s No. 14 Diana Nakic, senior, had a nerve-wracking match, losing 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to Florida’s No. 3 Allie Will, giving Florida its final single points to win the match.

“We fought hard,” head coach Joey Scrivano said in a press release. “I am so proud of the way my team fought today. We came up short and we’re going to figure out why we came up short. That’s really the most important thing coming out of this match, is to figure out why.”

With the loss, Baylor moved to 9-1 on the season and Florida to 3-0.

Friday the team will begin participating in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. The tournament goes from Friday to Monday. Baylor takes the No. 3 seed in the bracket, and the Lady Bears’ first match is against Tennessee at 3:30 p.m.

Should Baylor win, its opponent in the second round will be the winner of No. 6 North Carolina versus Southern California.