Women’s Tennis Takes Down No. 22 Rice

Ryan Hannegan


The No.19-ranked Lady Bears tennis team claimed a 6-1 victory over No.22 Rice on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center.

“Overall the star was the team,” head coach Scrivano said. “Everybody competed really hard and just made things difficult on Rice; that’s all you can ask for. There are only so many opportunities to play a top 25 team on your schedule and when you have those opportunities, you have to maximize it. I felt like the team was just very focused, very disciplined and when we do those two things, good things happen. I’m just really proud of the way we played.”

In doubles play, Baylor took the point as the No.37-ranked double team in the country of Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle defeated Natalie Beazant and Liat Zimmermann, 6-3. In the meantime, the duo of Ema Burgic and Alex Clay snagged the second victory over Solomiya Zinko and Alison Ho, 6-2.

Momentum was on the Bears’ side going into singles action, and the Lady Bears would strike first with a victory in straight sets by Jordan Saanford, 6-0, 6-2.

“I was just thinking about my preparation this week,” Saanford said. “I was trying to apply what we’ve been practicing on this week and it just happened to go my way.”

The Lady Bears would continue to grind out strong performances winning the next four of the five matches played. Following the win, Shankle earned a win over Ho, 6-4, 6-4, and Kisialeva fought to clinch the match against Katherine Ip, 7-6(7-5), 0-6, 10-1.

Alex Leatu would also earn a Lady Bear’s singles point defeating Zinko, 6-3, 6-2 on court 6.

“During each practice, we try to just focus on doing one thing well,” Leatu said. “If by the end of the week we win our match, that’s all that matters. We gain a little confidence from each win, but honestly, we try not to look at the number beside the team. But when we can win like that against  a good team, it’s always a good sign.”

Rice earned its only point after Burgic retired from her match against Beazant.

Coach Scrivano was just happy to see Burgic get her first action on the court this year after an injury that kept her out during the fall season.

“It’s great to have her back on the lineup,” coach Scrivano said. “She looked very good today. She’s one of the best players in the country, and she showed why she is today.”

To end the contest, the No. 38-ranked Kiah Generette defeated Dominique Harmath, 7-6(7-4), 6-2.

The Lady Bears now hold a 7-1 record and will take on Vanderbilt next Saturday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.