Women’s tennis kicks off home schedule with dominant weekend

Sophomore Katelyn Parker watches the ball after returning a shot against New Mexico on Saturday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. The Bears won all four of their matches over MLK weekend to move to 4-1 on the season. Megan Powers | Multimedia Journalist

Kaitlyn DeHaven | Digital Managing Editor

Baylor women’s tennis was picked to finish middle-of-the-pack in the Big 12 this season, but it opened up its 2019 home slate strong by dominating four matches on MLK weekend.

The Bears competed in two matches on Saturday and two on Monday. All matches were played at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.

Head coach Joey Scrivano said he’s proud of the way the team played and looks forward to the rest of the season.

“I feel incredibly proud of our team,” Scrivano said. “Our girls just fought really hard this entire weekend. I’m a proud coach right now.”

The team started out the weekend hot, winning its first match against University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 5-2.

Sophomore Livia Kraus and sophomore Dominika Sujoya won the first set for the Bears 6-3 on court two, while junior Jessica Hinojosa and sophomore Kristina Sorokolet followed shortly behind with another 6-3 set win on court one. Sophomore Katelyn Parker and freshman Stephanie Adames took a loss on court three, making the Bears 1-0 at the end of the doubles match.

Sujova clinched the win for the Bears with a 2-0 singles win.

The Bears started the second match against the New Mexico Lobos strong with Sorokolet and Hinojosa crushing the Lobos on court one, 6-2. However, junior Angelina Shakhraichuk and Parker lost on court three 1-6. Kraus and Sujova were very evenly matched with their New Mexico opponents but ended up taking away the win 7-6. This brought the Bears ahead to 1-0 before the singles sets.

In the first set of singles sets, Kraus, Hinjosa, Sorokolet and Sujova took the win. Parker and Adames did not fair as well and lost their sets. Kraus was the first one to secure another match point for Baylor, beating her opponent 6-1. Sujova pulled the Bears forward with another match point on court four, bringing the Bears to 3-0. In the end, the second match win was confirmed by Sorokolet with a 6-0 win, and Baylor ended the match 5-2.

The Bears’ third match of the holiday weekend was on Monday aagainst the Rice Owls. Baylor put up a strong fight and ultimately it paid off as they took home the gold.

The Bears were a bit shaky at the start of the match, losing two of three doubles sets. Kraus and Sujova were the redeeming court, keeping Rice at bay and only letting them add one point to the board.

After their rough start, Baylor defeated the Owls 6-5 in their first singles set, with Kraus, Sorokolet, Shakhraichuk, Baranano and Sujova all conquering their opponents.

The match continued as Kraus scored the first match point for the Bears with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Sorokolet followed quickly behind with a 6-3, 6-2 victory, bringing Baylor up to 2-1. Shakhraichuk came in hot with the next singles victory, and Sujova finished the match with a 6-4. With this set the team won their third match 4-3.

Scrivano said the win over in-state rival Rice was huge for the team.

“Obviously the win over Rice was really big,” Scrivano said. “[It was] just a great team effort. I really felt like Rice was the heavy favorite and for our team to find a way to win was just really incredible. Really proud of all the girls.”

In the last match of the weekend, Baylor played Prairie View A&M and kept a steady lead the entire match.

In the doubles portion of the match, Kraus and Sujova defeated their team 6-3 on court two while Hinojosa and Sorokolet took a 6-4 victory on court one. Parker and Adames took a loss on court three, but the Bears were still up 1-0 at the end of the doubles set.

Kraus was once again the first one to pull the Bears up to a serious lead by gaining a singles match point 6-0, 6-1.

It was a big night for Adames as she took home her first singles set win ever 6-4, 6-1. Another impressive play was by Sujova, who had a 6-0, 6-0 singles victory against her Prairie View A&M opponent. Both of these sets brought the Bears to 3-0.

As the night continued, Baylor continued to dominate as Sorokolet and Adames took down Prairie View A&M to bring the Bears to 6-1 at the end of the night.

Shakhraichuk said that as the season continues, she looks forward to playing her best and improving as a team as time goes on.

“I’m looking forward to being united as a team and showing the best we can be,” Shakhraichuk said. “The result isn’t important. You just need to come to the court and show your best.”

The Bears return to the court to face Wichita State at 11 a.m. Saturday in Austin.