Tennis rallies from 3-0 deficit against Clemson

By Kasey McMillian

Baylor’s No. 12-ranked women’s tennis team defeated the Clemson Tigers 4-3 Tuesday at the Hurd Tennis Center.

Baylor is 13-5 and the Tigers are ranked No. 24 with a 9-6 record for this season.

In doubles, Clemson’s Klara Vyskocilova and Monika Kochanova beat freshman Nicola Kosakowski and freshman Megan Horter 8-3 on Court 3.

Then Clemson’s Romy Kolzer and Gumulya defeated senior Sona Novakova and senior Diana Nakic 8-5 on Court 2.

Baylor’s 46th-ranked duo of senior Nina Secerbegovic and freshmen Ema Burgic earned the only doubles win for the Lady Bears, with an 8-7(4) but Clemson started off in singles leading 1-0 after doubles point.

Baylor then dropped its first two singles matches.

Horter and sophomore Abby Stainback lost their first two matches 6-1, 6-2 on Court 1 and 6-1, 6-1 on Court 6, respectively.

Baylor was now behind 3-0 but kept fighting. No. 54-ranked Novakova got Baylor its first match win 6-4, 6-3 over Clemson’s No. 112 Nelly Ciolkowski. Baylor received its next two wins from No. 13 Nakic with a 6-2 6-3-match win against Clemson’s Josipa Bek.

The second win was from Burgic with two 6-4-match wins defeating Clemon’s Beatrice Gumulya.

“We dug ourselves into a humongous hole, but we showed some character today and that’s the most important thing,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “The last few practices we’ve started to show more of that. Diana (Nakic) had a really nice win, and I’m really proud of her coming out and playing the way she did. From right here, I feel like we are on the ground floor, and we are just going to start building from here for the rest of the season.”

The teams were tied, leaving it all up to the last match with No. 27 Secerbegovic.

“I haven’t been the clinching point since my freshman year,” Secerbegovic said. “Since then I’ve always been the first one off the court.”

Secerbegovic had won her first set but was down 5-3 in the second set against Clemson’s top-ranked player, No. 47 Keri Wong, when Nakic had tied the match up.

Under the pressure she managed to carry the team and get the final match-clinching point with a 6-2, 7-6 comeback win to give Baylor the overall victory.

“It was really wonderful to actually win then because we really needed to win,” Secerbegovic said.

Scrivano had high praise for the senior.

“When Nina puts her mind to something it’s amazing what she can do,” Scrivano said.

Baylor will next play No. 75 Kansas State at 11 a.m. Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. to begin conference play.