Women’s tennis falls short after rallying from 3-0 deficit

By Kasey McMillian

Baylor’s 12th-ranked women’s tennis team lost the tie-breaking point of 4-3 to No. 12 Texas on Saturday in Austin.

The Lady Bears came close to winning the point in doubles, but lost in a tiebreaker. BU’s sophomore Jordaan Sanford and freshman Nicole Kosakowski were defeated in the first loss 8-4, by UT’s duo of Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis. Texas’s No. 42-ranked Lina Padegimaite and Noel Scott defeated senior duo Sona Novakova and Diana Nakic. Baylor had their only win from 20th-ranked duo senior Nina Secerbegovic and freshman Ema Burgic

The Bears fought back with wins in their top three singles matches but then Texas’s Cierra Gaytan-Leach defeated Burgic to end the close match.

Baylor was losing 3-0 with only four matches left and the Bears were ahead on three courts but Burgic was down 5-2 on the fourth court. Burgic then kept Baylor in the match with five repeated games winning the second set 7-5 and forcing a third set.

On the other courts, the singles matches were won by Baylor’s top senior trio, Secerbegovic, Nakic and Novakova. No. 24 Secerbegovic dominated the Longhorn’s No. 64 Krista Damico 6-4, 6-0. No. 17 Nakic with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 26th-ranked Aeriel Ellis and then No. 45 Novakova defeated Scott 6-2, 6-3 tying the game 3-3.

The match came down to Burgic’s third set against Gaytan-Leach. UT’s Gaytan-Leach started out in the final set with a 3-0 lead after breaking Burgic’s serve and went on to claim a 6-3 the win for the Longhorns.

“Overall, Texas just played a better match than us,” head coach Joey Scrivano said in a press release. “In doubles, we had our opportunities, but just a way to get it done. In singles, our top three played very solid, but I’m just disappointed in the way we played at the bottom three positions.”

Baylor’s next match will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday hosting SMU. The Lady Bears will recognize Nakic, Novakova and Secerbegovic for Senior Night.