No. 11-ranked Baylor women’s tennis pulled out a stunning comeback win over No. 32 Oklahoma on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center, winning 4-3 to stay undefeated in Big 12 conference play.
After falling behind early, 3-1, the Bears charged back winning the last three matches to steal the win from the Sooners. Each of the final three matches went to the third set. Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano praised the team’s mental fortitude during the opening stages of the match when the team was losing.
“I’m incredibly proud of the players,” Scrivano said. “They did all the work out there. They managed the stress, nerves and excitement of a match like that really well today. They deserve all the credit in the world. They did an incredible job with the mental game. That’s how you end up winning matches like that.”
The Bears started off sluggish, quickly dropping the doubles point to go down 1-0. The gap between Oklahoma and Baylor continued to widen, as Baylor lost two of the first three singles matches.
Oklahoma’s Martina Capurro defeated senior Angelina Shakhraichuk 6-4, 6-3 to put the Sooner’s up 2-0, while sophomore Paula Barañano defeated Kianah Motosono 6-3, 6-3 to put the Bears on the board. Oklahoma took its largest lead, 3-1, after Dana Guzman beat junior Alicia Herrero Linana 6-3, 6-3.
The momentum began to change, however, when junior Mel Krywoj beat Oklahoma’s Carmen Corley 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to keep Baylor in the match. Senior Jessica Hinojosa tied it up, winning a thrilling three-set match 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4) over Ivana Corley. Corley had match point four times but was unable to convert and seal it for the Sooners.
“I’m super proud of everyone,” Hinojosa said. “We competed really hard today. I was down in my match and faced many match points, but I kept fighting and kept thinking, ‘Win every point and stay in the match.’ ”
Finally, the ever-consistent junior Livia Kraus gave Baylor the win with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Oklahoma’s Marcelina Podlinska, improving her singles record on the season to 14-0 and 23-3 overall. It was also Kraus’ 75th career win at Baylor.
“It was very tough in the beginning,” Kraus said. “I was down 3-6, 0-3. I quickly glanced around and saw that all the other girls were fighting, and I was super close. I then decided for myself, ‘Okay, I’m going to step it up. I still have a chance to win this match.’ I wanted to make my teammates proud, I wanted to make my coaches proud, and I wanted to make myself proud.”
The Bears will look to defend their undefeated Big 12 record as they face off against No. 31 Oklahoma State on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center.