By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
No. 8-ranked Baylor women’s tennis fell short against No. 2-ranked Texas in the Big 12 Championship title match, losing 4-0 in their attempt to win the program’s ninth Big 12 title on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
The loss moves Baylor to 23-4 on the season, with all four losses coming from Texas. It was Baylor’s first Big 12 Championship title game appearance since 2015 when they last won the Big 12 Championship.
“They settled in a little quicker than we did,” Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano said. “They were able to just kind of get loose and start hitting freely just a little sooner than we did. And, in doubles, it’s so short, that can be the difference.”
Texas set the tone early, winning the doubles point. Longhorn duo Lulu Sun and Kylie Collins dispatched Mel Krywoj and Angie Shakhraichuk 6-3 and then Anna Turati and Fernanda Labrana beat Jessica Hinojosa and Kris Sorokolet 6-4 shortly thereafter to secure the doubles point for Texas.
While Texas was only up by a point, the lead put Baylor in a difficult position. Scrivano said it is difficult to win after losing the double’s point, especially against a team of Texas’ caliber.
“That’s the challenging part,” Scrivano said. “When you have to respond after losing the doubles point. It’s just not easy. You really have to build your confidence and get ready for an uphill battle.”
With a 1-0 lead in hand, the Longhorns didn’t let up in the singles matches. Collins was dominant for Texas, beating sophomore Paula Barañano 6-0, 6-3. Charlotte Chavatipon won in similar fashion over Shakhraichuck, 6-3, 6-3.
Now up 3-0, Texas finished their march to the Big 12 title when Malaika Rapolu beat Sorokolet 6-4, 6-3 to give the Longhorns the all-important fourth point. The result was disappointing for the Bears, but Scrivano gave credit to the Longhorns and their talented team, who are 25-1 on the season.
“This team has done that incredibly well all year long, but Texas is a really good team,” Scrivano said. “They’re a national championship caliber team. So, when they have the lead, it’s a real, real challenge. We just needed to settle in a little sooner.”
Baylor will now wait until Selection Monday to find out its seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is on May 3 at 5 p.m. and will be streamed on NCAA.com.