By Ryan Hannegan
The No. 18-ranked women’s tennis team split a pair of games over the weekend losing to No. 15 Vanderbilt 4-3 and bounced back by defeating No. 7-ranked Northwestern 5-2.
In doubles action, the Baylor duo of Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle claimed the first win over Mira and Antal, 8-2. Meanwhile, the Commodores claimed both matches against the other Lady Bears combos. Ema Burgic and Alex Clay were defeated 8-4, while Kiah Generette and Alex Leatu also lost their match, 8-4.
“Overall, I felt like we competed well at every position except two and three doubles,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “That’s the difference in a 4-3 loss. Against a team like Vanderbilt there isn’t much margin for error.”
In singles play, Shankle got Baylor on the board with a win against Antal, 6-1, 6-0 on court five. Following the victory, Megan Horter was defeated by Casares, 6-0, 6-1. Both Burgic and No. 57 Generette grabbed victories with 6-1, 6-3, and 6-3, 6-0 matches respectively.
Holding a 3-2 lead in the match, the Lady Bears couldn’t find a way to get a fourth point.
Despite winning the first set, Kisialeva fell to Frances Altick, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Meanwhile on court three, Jordaan Sanford could not get past No. 124 Colton, 6-1, 0-6, 6-4.
In the second game of the weekend, the Lady Bears upset No. 7 Northwestern, 5-2, at the Hurd Tennis Center.
In doubles matches, Baylor found itself in an early hole as Kiah Generette and Makenzie Craft dropped an 8-3 decision. Baylor looked to be on its way to a loss in doubles, trailing by as much as 6-3 on court one and 6-2 on court two. However, both Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle made a furious comeback to upset No. 25 Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett, 8-7(6). In the contest on court 2, Alex Leatu and Jordaan Sanford rallied to take the match, 8-6, giving the Lady Bears the doubles point.
“Well it meant a lot,” Jordaan Sanford said. “Coming from yesterday we just wanted to start over and forget what happened. It means a lot that we could come out here today and prove ourselves.”
In singles, the No. 57-ranked Generete made quick work of No. 30 Corning, 7-5, 6-2 on court one.
“It felt great,” Kiah Generette said. “It’s a new day and the whole team just focused on improving from yesterday. It was important to learn from the mistakes we made. We’re not focused on what the other teams are doing or what their ranking is. It’s all about us.”
In the meantime, Shankle dispatched of No. 109 Leung, 6-0, 7-5, on court five. Those wins put BU up 3-0 and only one point away from clinching the match.
Kisialeva notched the clinching point with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Barnett.
From that point, Ema Burgic retired from her match on court two, Megan Horter dropped a 7-5, 6-4 decision and Sanford upset No. 92 Rooney, 6-2, 7-5, at the No. 4 spot.
“We did a lot of things well and we just stuck with it today,” coach Scrivano said. “We have gotten much better since last year. I think if you look back to when we played Northwestern last February it wasn’t very close. Then we played them in the NCAA’s and it was a very competitive match and now today we were able to pull it out.”
Baylor will play its first match on the road since Jan. 11 when the Lady Bears head to College Station, Texas, to face No. 11 Texas A&M at 4 p.m. Thursday.