Baylor women’s tennis unites for final fall tournament

Senior duo partners Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana compete in the ITA Fall Nationals in San Diego. The duo made it to the semifinals after knocking down the top seed in the tournament. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Michael Haag | Sports Writer

Baylor women’s tennis is headed to College Station this Friday to participate in the Texas A&M Invitational to wrap up the fall season. This is the first time that a majority of the team will be together at one location seeing as for most of the season, they’ve been participating in separate events. Senior duo partners Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana are pumped about finally getting to be with the rest of the team. They said that even though it has been tough for everyone, the team has been working hard and will be ready to play.

“I think the fall is always tough for the team,” Linana said. “Some girls play in some places, other girls play in the other places at the same time, but I think it’s fine. Everyone is trying to do their best at getting better in the weight room and on the court. I think it’s super exciting that we’re going to be able to play together this weekend.”

Krywoj jokingly talked about her chemistry with Linana, saying they actually don’t have the chemistry they publicly present.

“I think it looks like we have good chemistry, but not really,” Krywoj said.

Linana followed up, saying that the team is very tight-knit. Linana said herself, Krywoj and the rest of the team are able to find success because of how close they are.

“I think we’re really close,” Linana said. “I think that’s why our team together [overall] is working really well.”

Linana said one thing her and Krywoj can improve on as doubles partners is serving and returning better. She also said they’re looking to take an aggressive approach in the upcoming tournament.

“Playing doubles, obviously, we’re going to try to serve and return better than last week for sure,” Linana said. “That’s a game changer when you’re playing doubles. Also, we’re just going to try to keep playing super aggressive, trying to be the first one punching and being super aggressive at the net. I think we’ve been doing a good job there, but we still have to improve.”

As the team heads into the Texas A&M Invitational and then into the spring season, Linana and Krywoj said the most important thing is for everyone to treat their matchups like any other. In their eyes, this will give them the best shot at getting wins across the board.

“I feel like this spring, it will be super important to treat every match the same and get ready mentally,” Linana said. “Sometimes maybe we focus too much on the outcome, results, who we’re playing against.”

Krywoj agreed with Linana, saying that this will be crucial for the team to find success.

“That will help us to keep improving and play our best,” Krywoj said.

After a successful trip to San Diego last weekend, Linana said that the team feels prepared, confident and ready to go for this weekend.

“I think physically and mentally we’ve been working really hard during this semester,” Linana said. “The program has been great; I feel like everyone on our team is getting stronger and mentally better to starting [toward] January.”

The Texas A&M Invitational is set to start Friday and finish Sunday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. It will be the team’s last event until the spring slate.