By Cody Soto
Baylor women’s tennis continued its winning ways at home and rolled over No. 42 Rice 4-0 at the Hurd Tennis Center Wednesday afternoon.
The Bears (17-4, 3-0 Big 12) had previously defeated the Owls 4-0 in Houston on Feb. 13 and now pull within two matches to tie the all-time series. Rice still owns a 12-10 series lead over BU.
Baylor snapped an Owl five-game win streak en route to its 11th shutout of the season. The home court advantage is very apparent for the Bears as they boast a 12-1 home record. The only loss was a 4-3 decision to then-No. 12 UCLA on March 7.
“We have a lot of respect for Rice. Every time we play them it’s a tough match,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Today our team just played very well and our girls were very focused. The score doesn’t always tell the whole story. We played well and tennis is always tough no matter how easy it looks.”
The Bears jumped on the Owls early and posed big threats at the top of the lineup for doubles play. The No. 26 duo of freshmen Kelley Anderson and Leolia JeanJean flew past Rice’s Lindsey Hodge and Alison Ho 6-3 at the No. 2 spot to put the Bears in a good position.
At the top of the lineup, senior Ema Burgic and sophomore Blair Shankle did the same as their teammates and took a 6-3 win over Liat Zimmermann and Natalie Beazant to give the doubles point to the Bears. The 1-0 lead is the first time since March 17 that the Bears have won the doubles point.
In the previous matchup, the bottom of the lineup secured three wins to take a sweep over the Owls. Baylor’s performance on Wednesday helped the Bears take another sweep, this time at home.
No. 28 Shankle had faced a difficult TCU opponent on Sunday, but she didn’t seem to have any trouble skating past Katherine Ip. The sophomore took a 6-2, 6-1 win on court two. Moments later, No. 75 junior Kiah Generette mimicked her teammate and rolled past Lindsey Hodge 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot.
Anderson put the icing on the cake as she took an exciting first set win against Rice’s Liat Zimmermann. Unlike the opening set, the Roanoke native blew past her opponent and gave Baylor the final point with a 7-5, 6-2 win on court four.