By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
After having its opening match last weekend postponed, Baylor women’s tennis made its debut count on Friday afternoon. The 19th ranked Bears first swept Western Michigan in an early showing 7-0 before dismantling New Mexico 7-0 in the nightcap.
Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano said he was really impressed with his team’s performance in both matches, but it was the way the Bears started and finished that made the difference.
“I really liked our focus going into both matches. They started strong, but they also finished strong. It shows their professionalism and intensity, and it’s really impressive,” Scrivano said. “It’s not easy to play a doubleheader and it’s not easy to win matches with this kind of margin. I really like what I saw today.”
Against the Broncos, it was the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams that earned Baylor the point. First it was freshmen Kristina Sorokolet and Domninika Sujova who earned the 6-1 decision. The duo of freshman Giorgia Testa and sophomore Camilla Abbate secured the point with a 7-5 win.
On the singles circuit, Baylor yielded the same results.
Sophomore Jessica Hinojosa, who currently ranks 117th in singles, easily won her match 6-1, 6-1. At the sixth spot, freshman Livia Kraus won easily 6-0, 6-2. Then it was Sorokolet winning 6-0, 6-3 at the top singles position. At the fourth spot, Abbate won 6-0, 6-1; at the second spot, it was Sujova winning 6-1, 6-2. Finally, Testa closed it out for Baylor, surviving a tiebreaker 13-11 to close out the sweep for the Bears.
Western Michigan head coach Ryan Tomlinson said the Bears are every good as bit as their ranking suggests, but that he was proud of his team came out and competed.
“We played really well today but there is a reason this team is No. 19 in the country,” Tomlinson said on Western Michigan’s athletic site. “We played great in doubles to start the match off and had some big chances to win the point. They came out and took it to us in singles but we were able to come back in second sets and make them work. We will learn from this and come our ready to go tomorrow.”
Against New Mexico, Baylor once again started strong with its doubles play. Testa and Abbate got the Bears going with a 6-0 victory. Then it was Sorokolet and Sujova taking their match 6-3 and Hinojosa and Kraus topped New Mexico’s No. 1 doubles duo 6-3 to earn Baylor the point.
From the No. 1 and No. 6 spots, Sorokolet and Kraus posted double bagel victories for the Bears. Hinojosa took care of business 6-2, 6-1 at the five spot, Sujova took the No. 2 spot 6-3, 6-2 and Abbate won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 singles spot.
Having been through a tiebreaker against Western Michigan, Testa was prepared to do it again when she found herself in a third set tiebreak from the No. 3 spot. Testa again pulled through, winning the tiebreak 10-7 after splitting the first two sets, 7-5, 1-6.
Scrivano said he hopes that they can build off the two wins and see all the potential they have this season.
“This team has great potential. We’re pulling it out of them now and helping them see what they can become. They’re a team with high goals and high standards, and today was an example of that,” Scrivano said. “They didn’t want to just win the match, they wanted to dominate. I’m really proud of them, this is a great start to the season not because we won, but because of their intensity focus.”
Baylor (2-0) will now hit the road for a doubleheader next weekend. The Bears will meet Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. at 3 p.m. Friday and then will take on Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. at 10 a.m. Sunday.