No. 27 Bears grab 10th win of season with conference victory over West Virginia

Baylor sophomore Anastasia Kharitonova hits the ball back to her opponent during the Bears' 6-1 win over West Virginia Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center. Kharitonova clinched Baylor's fourth point on court one to win the match. DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

No. 2 Baylor women’s tennis earned its 10th win of the spring with a 6-1 conference victory over West Virginia Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center.

After 11 matches, the Bears have already surpassed their win total from the 2019 season (9). Head coach Joey Scrivano said Baylor’s success this year isn’t surprising.

“We could see the team building to this,” Scrivano said. “Even last season, the culture was really healthy and everything was going in the right direction, but it wasn’t showing up on the scoreboard. This season, we have great depth and an amazing culture. We have high character kids and they play hard and for each other. When you have that recipe, that’s when the results will come.”

The Bears took the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. After falling in their doubles match to Iowa State, senior Angie Shakhraichuk and sophomore Paula Barañano stormed out to grab a 6-2 win over WVU sophomore Anastasia Bovolskaia and senior Sofia Duran. Baylor junior Kris Sorokolet earned her 25th career doubles win, teaming up with junior Livia Kraus for a 6-4 victory against Mountaineer junior Giovanna Caputo and sophomore Nicole Roc to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Barañano (8-0) stayed perfect on the season with a 6-2, 6-0 straight-set victory over Duran on court five, adding the first singles point for Baylor. Roc grabbed West Virginia’s only point with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Baylor freshman Daria Rakitskaya on court six.

Kraus finished off Mountaineer junior Anne-Sophie Courteau 6-1, 6-1 on court two to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. Sophomore Anastasia Kharitonova clinched the match for Baylor with a 6-4, 6-1 victory at the top of the lineup over Bovolskaia.

The Moscow, Russia native said she locked in and eliminated distractions to get the win.

“I tried to do my best and stay focused on my court,” Kharitonova said. “I wanted to play every point and not think too much because sometimes thoughts will come into your head and it creates more problems for you. But, today was good for me.”

The rest of the matches were played out with Sorokolet adding point No. 5 on court four, defeating Caputo 6-2, 6-1. Junior Alicia Herrero Linana battled back to take a tiebreaker win 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 (10-4) after dropping the second set.

With the loss, the Mountaineers are 7-3, 0-3 in conference while Baylor extends their record to 10-2, 2-0 in conference.

The Bears remain at home to host UCF at noon Tuesday in the Hurd Tennis Center before going on a three match road trip to face Washington, Kansas and Kansas State.