By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
No. 18 Baylor women’s tennis entered their match Sunday afternoon with an unblemished 7-0 record. However, they fell for the first time all season against Northwestern, losing the match 4-3.
Baylor lost the doubles point two sets to one and fell behind 1-0 overall. On court three, senior Jessica Hinojosa and junior Kristina Sorokolet dropped their set 6-1. Then on court two, senior Angelina Shakhraichuk and sophomore Paula Barañano won their set 6-3, making the doubles tilt on court one the decider. Juniors Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana were able to come back from an 0-3 deficit on court one to tighten the score to 3-4. However, they dropped a deuce point at 4-3and lost the set 6-3, handing the doubles point to Northwestern.
The first singles match to finish was on court six. Hinojosa won the first set over Hannah McColgan 6-4 and was on serve at 2-1 in the second set. However, as she was chasing ball, Hinojosa came to a sudden stop and could not continue playing. She withdrew from the match, giving Northwestern a 2-0 lead overall.
Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano said that fortunately, he does not think Hinojosa’s injury is too serious.
“I think it was just a calf strain,” Scrivano said, “and I think it’s nothing serious, but it’s serious in the moment that you can’t run on it. So ultimately [Hinojosa] has been a warrior. She’s been extremely durable over the course of her career. She’ll bounce back.”
The next match to finish was on court five, where Shakhraichuk took a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Christina Hand. This gave Baylor it’s first point and cut the lead to 2-1.
However, Krywoj and junior Livia Kraus lost on courts one and two, respectively. Kraus lost first 6-2, 6-3 to put Northwestern one match away from clinching the victory.
Krywoj lost her first set to Julie Bryne 6-2 and was down 1-4 in the second set, but started to make a comeback. She put together a string of three games to bring the second set to 4-4. With the momentum on her side, Krywoj was close to continuing her comeback, but lost a deuce point at 4-4 to go down 4-5 and ultimately fell 6-2, 6-4 to put Northwestern up 4-1 and clinch them the victory.
Although the match was officially over, sophomore Anastasia Kharitonova and Herrero Linana kept playing on courts three and four. Kharitonova won her match in three sets 7-5, 1-6, 1-0 (10-6) and Herrero Linana won her match 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 to make the official score 4-3.
Kraus said that they didn’t play their best today but are focused on moving on to their next match.
“Our opponents, they were prepared,” Kraus said. “They played very well. We tried our best. I think we were a little unlucky today with Jess’s injury and maybe some of the girls today, including myself, we just didn’t play our best tennis today. But I guess it happens. We just need to learn from today and look into the future and take the momentum into the next match and just make sure that in the next match we’re 100% focused.”
The bears will travel down to Houston for an 11 a.m. match against Rice next Sunday at the George R. Brown Tennis Center.