By Cody Soto
Women’s tennis over TCU 4-0
Another day, another trophy. No. 8 Baylor women’s tennis blanked Texas Tech 4-0 Sunday afternoon at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center for the team’s second consecutive and eighth overall Big 12 tournament title.
“I’m just so thrilled for our upperclassman: Ema, Kiah, Blair. They’ve experienced this before, but they had to lead the way this year,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Our rookies were fantastic our entire regular season and now in this post-season tournament. I’m just so excited for them.”
The match was moved to the indoor facility after rain and lightning delays prolonged the men’s matchup between Baylor and Oklahoma at the Hurd Tennis Center.
Baylor was able to take revenge on the Red Raiders who previously defeated the Bears 4-2 in the regular season. But just like the rest of the tournament, Baylor did not show any mercy.
Doubles play started out close with Baylor and Texas Tech staying in the match on courts two and three. Senior Ema Burgic and freshman Theresa Van Zyl struggled at the top of the lineup and dropped a 6-1 decision to give Texas Tech the early advantage.
No. 42 freshmen Kelley Anderson and Leolia JeanJean returned the favor as they routed Lynn Kiro and Sabrina Federici 6-2 on court two. With the point being decided on court three, junior Kiah Generette and sophomore Blair Shankle pulled out a 6-3 win to give Baylor the early 1-0 lead.
Texas Tech jumped on Baylor in singles play rather quickly, but a swing in momentum allowed Baylor to win five of the first six sets. Burgic ran past No. 69 Kenna Kilgo 6-3, 6-0 at the top of the lineup for the first singles point. She had previously lost to Kilgo in Lubbock.
Shankle grinded out a 6-2, 7-5 win over No. 114 Sarah Dvorak at the No. 3 spot, and for the third time in a row, Van Zyl clinched the match for Baylor as she defeated Texas Tech’s Federici 6-2, 7-5 on court five. Even though she didn’t complete her match on Sunday, Anderson was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
“Kelley has come such a long way. She’s so coachable, she’s every coach’s dream,” Scrivano said. “For me, obviously it’s a great experience and it’ll never get old, but I love seeing the rookies win a championship and experience it as well.”
Baylor awaits its seeding in the 2015 NCAA tournament next. The tournament selection show begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and will be streamed live on NCAA.com. First and second rounds will start on May 8.
Men’s tennis falls to Oklahoma 4-3
The Bears were so close. It seemed like everything was not going their way, but with crucial singles wins on courts three, four and five, No. 2 Baylor men’s tennis had a chance at another Big 12 tournament title.
Unfortunately, junior Felipe Rios could not bring it home on court six, causing Baylor to fall 4-3 to the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Sunday afternoon at the Hurd Tennis Center.
“We didn’t really show out at every spot,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “In general, we have done that this season. This season that has been one of our strengths and we didn’t today, against a team at this level that’s going to make it tough for you.”
Several lightning and rain delays caused the match to span over five and a half hours, but that did not seem to harshly affect either team. Baylor jumped out to an early advantage as junior Julian Lenz and senior Diego Galeano dominated at the top of the lineup to top No. 69 Andrew Harris and Alex Ghilea 6-1.
Oklahoma got several crucial break points to pull ahead on court three, and junior Felipe Rios and sophomore Vince Schneider fell 6-4 to tie up doubles play. Seniors Mate Zsiga and Tony Lupieri were digging themselves out of the hole the entire match, and the last effort wasn’t enough. The team dropped a 6-3 decision to give Oklahoma an early 1-0 lead. It was only the second time the Bears lost the doubles point all season.
Oklahoma jumped on Baylor early in singles play, and while some matches were knotted up, top-ranked Lenz struggled at the top of the lineup. No. 2 Axel Alvarez Llamas took control of the match early and didn’t hold up to win 6-1, 6-4 for the 2-0 Oklahoma lead.
Oklahoma looked completely in control after No. 33 Lupieri fell 6-4, 6-4 to No. 5 Harris, giving the Sooners a dominant 3-0 lead. Baylor garnered the next three points after that, starting with No. 74 sophomore Max Tchoutakian’s stellar 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over No. 35 Dane Webb on court three.
Galeano held his ground in the second set as he pulled away with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 84 Ghilea, and Zsiga’s incredible 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-2 victory at the No. 5 spot tied up the match at 3-3.
All eyes turned to court six where Rios went neck-and-neck with Florin Bragusi in the third and final set. Rios double faulted to end the match, and just like that he fell 4-6, 7-6 (6), 4-6 at the bottom of the lineup in the 4-3 loss.
“It was good for us,” Knoll said. “I think we will be better for it. We’ve got to take a few weeks now before the NCAA tournament, go back to work on some fundamentals and clean some things up, and I think we will be better.”
The NCAA tournament selection show will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The selection show will be streamed live on NCAA.com. The first and second rounds of the tournament will start on May 8.