Women’s tennis upsets Kansas, advances to Big 12 Tournament semifinals

Freshman Kristina Sorokolet celebrates after winning a challenging volley.The Lady Bears gave a collective fist pump after beating Kansas 4-2 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor women’s tennis evened the score against Kansas Friday morning in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. After losing to the Jayhawks 4-1 back on March 12, the Lady Bears ousted them 4-2 to advance to the semifinal round and earn a date with top-seeded Texas.

Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano said that his team was dialed in and much more focused more this time than when they played in Lawrence, Kan. earlier in the season.

“I’m really proud of our team, they just competed really hard today. Their focus was way better than the first time we played Kansas, and now they have an opportunity to advance and play a really tough Texas team,” Scrivano said. “It’s a great thing any time you can beat a Top 20 team in the postseason. That’s a great step in the right direction.”

The doubles duo of senior Theresa Van Zyl and sophomore Jessica Hinojosa got the Lady Bears going with a 6-3 win on court one. Kansas then took a 7-5 set on court three, evening the doubles up at 1-1. But the freshman duo of Dominika Sujova and Giorgia Testa took a tiebreak 7-2 to earn the Lady Bears the point and put Baylor in front 1-0.

Baylor grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to freshman Livia Kraus, who continued her strong season. Kraus easily defeated sophomore Tatiana Nikolaeva 6-1, 6-0 on court five.

Kansas battled back to even the score at two apiece thanks to a 6-1, 6-3 win on court four and a 6-2, 6-4 win on court one.

But Baylor did not panic, and regained the lead as sophomore Angie Shakhraichuk took a 6-3, 6-3 win on court six. The Lady Bears closed out the match as sophomore Camilla Abbate took a three set win on court two.

Abbate started strong, taking the opener 6-3. However, the second set was all Janet Koch, as the junior evened the match with a 6-1 win. Abbate regained her composure in the final set, claiming the 7-5 win and punching Baylor’s ticket into Saturday’s semifinal match.

Abbate said she couldn’t have been happier to get the win and advance.

“I feel happy to get this victory against this team because we lost the first time. It’s emotional to advance over them in the Big 12 Championships,” Abbate said.

Baylor (17-12) will take on Texas at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.