Women’s Tennis defeats Texas to move to 3rd in Big 12

Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

The No. 15-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team defeated No. 24 Texas by a score of 4-2 Wednesday night at Hurd Tennis Center.

The Lady Bears (17-5, 4-2) extended their win streak to four games with a hard-fought win over the Longhorns (10-7, 4-3).

Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano says a win like this against a top-25 team can give his team major confidence going forward.

“Anytime you win it builds your self-esteem,” Scrivano said, “but when you win like this it can take you to another level. These experiences are invaluable.”

In doubles play, senior Blair Shankle and sophomore Karina Traxler jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Petra Granic and Bianca Turati, but the Longhorns fought back to make it a 3-2 game in the No. 1 pairing.

Meanwhile, freshmen Angelina Shakhraichuk and Jessica Hinojosa defeated Daniella Roldan and Dani Wagland on Court 3 by a score of 6-2.

Shankle and Traxler finished off Granic and Bianca Turati by winning three straight games as the Lady Bears clinched the doubles point to lead 1-0.

In singles action, Hinojosa took the first set against Roldan 6-2 on Court 6.

Sophomore Elizabeth Profit struggled in the first set against Neda Koprcina, losing 2-6 in the No. 2 slot. Shakhraichuk saw similar results against Anna Turati at the No. 4 slot, dropping the first set 2-6.

Down 1-5 in the first set against Bianca Turati, Shankle fought back to make it 4-5, but lost a close game, dropping the first set 4-6 at the No. 1 spot.

Senior Rhiann Newborn scored a 7-5 opening set victory at the No. 3 slot after a back-and-forth battle with Granic. Junior Theresa Van Zyl also found success against Wagland at No. 5 with a 7-5 first set win.

Hinojosa finished off Roldan, winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 as the Lady Bears took a 2-0 lead.

Shakhraichuk dropped the second set to Anna Turati 1-6 as the Longhorns got on the board with a win to make it 2-1.

Van Zyl flew by Wagland 6-1 in the second set to pick up another point as the Lady Bears led 3-1.

Shankle bounced back with a 6-2 second set win to force a third set on Court 1.

Newborn rallied in the second set but was unable to overcome an early deficit, losing 6-7 as Granic forced a third set on Court 3.

On Court 2, Profit faltered 6-7 in the second set, losing to Koprcina as the Lady Bears still held on to a 3-2 lead.

Shankle clinched the match for the Lady Bears with a 6-4 third set win over Turati as Baylor won 4-2.

Scrivano praised the play of Shankle and Newborn despite Newborn’s match being called off because Baylor clinched the win.

“Our two seniors, Blair and Rhiann, were phenomenal,” Scrivano said. “They were down, there were momentum shifts and they were able to fight back and find a way to win.”

Van Zyl says the way the team played together pulled them through against the Longhorns.

“Today the team really pulled through,” Van Zyl said. “We played as a team and we did everything as a team. That just gives us more confidence for the conference tournament.”

The Lady Bears look to continue their winning ways as they face TCU at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Hurd Tennis Center.