By Stasya Hopp | Reporter
Baylor women’s tennis gave Nebraska (4-1) their first loss Saturday at Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center, bringing their own winning record up to 6-0 after defeating the Cornhuskers 6-1.
Head coach Joey Scrivano said the team has good depth and was excited about the many positions that have winning streaks.
“I think right now we have a unique team,” Scrivano said. “It’s fun, it’s just fun to have depth. In this sport, it’s a unique situation when you have nine really good players and you have options, so we’re going to enjoy every second of it.”
Senior Angie Shakhraichuk and sophomore Paula Barañano were first to win their doubles match 6-4 against Nebraska freshman twins Chloe and Ellie Kuckelman. Juniors Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana came back to secure Baylor their first point after the Lady Bears on court three lost their doubles match. Krywoj and Herrero Linana won their last tiebreaker game 8-6 to give them a hard-fought 7-6 victory over Kristina Novak and Claire Reifeis.
Scrivano said the team’s doubles were improving, and that improvement could even be seen when they had played Mississipi. Scrivano said Krywoj and Herrero Linana’s match “was a great mental effort.”
“That’s just mental toughness,” Scrivano said. “That didn’t have a lot to do with doubles. That had a lot more to do with having a clear mind and just competing really well.”
The Lady Bears won five of their six opening singles sets against the Cornhuskers with junior Livia Kraus and Herrero Linana both winning their tiebreaker games 7-6 to finish out their first sets.
Shakhraichuk brought their Lady Bears their first singles match win 6-1, 6-2 against Anna Baranovski. Sophomore Anastasia Kharitonova followed up with a a two-set 7-5, 6-1 win over Reifeis and Herrero Linana wasn’t far behind with her 7-6, 6-0 victory facing Jessica Aragon.
After being injured much of last season, Shakhraichuk said “it’s always great to be on the court next to my teammates, to compete next to my girls. I’m very happy to be healthy.”
As as a senior, Shakhraichuk said her goals for her final season are to have fun and be a good leader for her team.
Junior Livia Kraus triumphed over Chloe Kuckelman 7-6, 6-1. After a 2-6 loss against Ellie Kuckelman in the first set, senior Jessica Hinojosa came back to win her next set 6-4, and the match came to a close when Hinojosa sealed the deal with a tiebreaker 1-0 (10-5).
On court one, Krywoj played the last match of the day filled with long, baseline rallies, and won her initial set against Novak 2-6. Nebraska earned their first and only win of the day after Novak claimed the next two sets 4-6, 3-6.
Scrivano said the team’s diversity keeps everyone learning and growing from each other.
“Ultimately, it’s all about culture, and it doesn’t matter where the players are from, you’ve got to have a great team culture,” Scrivano said. “Our players are all about that. They want to have the best culture in college tennis, and they’re working at it every day. They’re great people. Culture becomes a little easier when you have great people.”
Up next for the Lady Bears is their match against Illinois Fighting Illini at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.