By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
The Baylor women’s tennis team beat the University of Illinois 4-1 Sunday afternoon to stay undefeated in the regular season and improve to a 7-0 record.
They captured the doubles point by winning two sets out of three. At No. 1 doubles, juniors Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana quickly took the 6-1 victory. Then, at No. 3 doubles, sophomore Anastasia Kharitonova and junior Kristina Sorokolet dropped their set to put all the pressure on the second court. At No. 2 doubles, senior Angelina Shakhraichuk and sophomore Paula Barañano were down 0-2, but came back and won a tight 6-4 set to clinch the doubles point for the Bears.
Herrero Linana grabbed the first singles point with a 6-0, 6-4 win on court three over Illinois’ Sasha Belaya. After dominating the first set, the Spaniard was up 3-0 in the second before eventually winning 6-4.
The next match to finish was on court two, where Kharitonova fell 6-2, 6-2 as Illinois’ Mia Rabinowitz cut Baylor’s lead to 2-1. However, Kharitonova was the only Bear to lose Sunday.
Courts five and six finished within two minutes of each other to give Baylor the 4-1 victory.
On court six, Sorokolet won her match 6-2, 6-4. The junior was down early in the second set, falling behind 0-3. Sorokolet then put together a string of games to take a 4-3 lead and eventually win the match to give Baylor a 3-1 lead.
Senior Jessica Hinojosa closed her match on court five with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Ashley Yeah to clinch the win for the Bears.
Hinojosa was happy to be the one who secured the victory for Baylor.
“It means a lot,” Hinojosa said. “We’ve been practicing so hard and we’ve been focusing on this match for the whole week. I wasn’t playing as good as this match in the other matches, but I’m glad I played this way and I was happy to clinch for the team.”
The final two matches were abandoned after Hinojosa won. Junior Livia Kraus was up 6-3, 5-2 on court one and Shakhraichuk was up 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 when their matches were called.
Head coach Joey Scrivano said he was proud of the way his team played today.
“Great team win,” Scrivano said. “On all the courts, the girls were just competing really hard and their focus was tremendous. They were locked in and they knew that this was a big match and they came out ready to play.”
Baylor’s next match will be at 1 p.m. next Sunday against Northwestern at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.