By Lindsey Miner
Baylor women’s tennis will compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Championship beginning on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco.
The winner of the Regional Championship, which will be awarded on Tuesday, will gain a bid to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship in New York, N.Y. in November.
After resting up from their recent tournament in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Baylor sophomore Ema Burgic, sophomore Megan Horter, freshman Victoria Kisialeva and junior Jordaan Sanford will compete in the Regional Championship.
“It’s very comfortable for our student athletes to play at home,” women’s tennis head coach Joey Scrivano said. “They sleep in their own bed, eat at the same places, and of course there’s the home-court advantage of having their friends come out and cheer them on.”
Other teams competing this weekend will all be from the Big 12 Conference.
“We definitely have some of the best competition in the country coming,” junior Alex Clay said. “It will be good for everyone playing to see what the rest of the season will be like. We’ve been practicing a lot and everyone who is playing will be ready and playing their best right now.”
Last year Baylor’s Diana Nakic took the ITA Texas Regional title. Nakic, seeded fourth in the tournament and ranked 28th in the NCAA, gained a bid to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship in Flushing, N.Y. where she joined 32 of the nation’s top singles players.
After entering the championship on a six-match win streak, Nakic ultimately fell in the Round of 16.
Kisialeva will compete in both the singles and doubles division.
Kisialeva has a track record for excellence. Originally from Belarus, she played pro-tour events ranked in the top 70, was ranked in the ITF top 82 and had a WTA career-high singles ranking in the top 700.
“We’ve all worked hard to prepare for the tournament and we’re ready to play,” Kisialeva said.
Kisialeva will be joined by Horter in the women’s doubles division.
Although Baylor will have a home-court advantage, this tournament will not be without its challenges. Multiple players on the women’s tennis team are currently suffering from sickness or injuries.
“We have a task in front of us and we have to deal with executing that task,” Scrivano said. “Every season has obstacles. This year, it’s injuries and sickness, but we have to overcome it and find solutions.”
For an outlook on how the season will be, Scrivano encourages fans to come watch and support the team.
“For our die-hard and casual fans, this is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak of our team,” Scrivano said.
The Regional Championship is the last tournament during the fall semester that Baylor women’s tennis will play at home.
For updated draws and results from the matches, visit ITATennis.com.