By Michael Haag | Sports Writer
In its second straight ranked matchup, No. 25 Baylor women’s tennis was unsuccessful in its non-conference road trip down Interstate 35 in a 4-2 loss to No. 1 University of Texas on Wednesday afternoon at the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center. The Bears (2-3) are the first team to score a point against the Longhorns (4-0) all season. Baylor snatched the doubles point for the third straight match, but found little success in singles.
Junior pairing Isabella Harvison and Paula Barañano put Baylor at an early advantage with their 6-3 doubles victory. The No. 4 senior duo of Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana cleaned up in their 6-3 success to obtain the doubles point and make them 3-0 together this spring.
The Longhorns answered back in rapid-fire fashion, with Krywoj being defeated 2-6, 1-6 to level the score. Barañano showed promise in the first set, but followed with a loss as well 4-6, 0-6. Harvison was the third consecutive to fall, her loss a 4-6, 1-6 effort which gave UT the 3-2 lead overall.
Backed against the wall again, the Bears were forced to respond. Freshman Alina Shcherbinina put Baylor back on the board with a 6-4, 6-3 win to even the score at three apiece. No. 97 Shcherbinina marked her fourth individual win this spring with only one loss.
Freshman Anita Sahdiieva dropped her opening set 6-3 to Longhorn sophomore Malaika Rapolu. Sahdiieva bounced back with a 6-4 win to keep the Bears’ hopes alive, but the game was interrupted and didn’t finish due to No. 77 Herrero Linana’s 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss, which secured the overall win for the Longhorns.
Even after two straight losses and now being under .500, head coach Joey Scrivano was pleased with what he saw on the court. He thinks the group will continue to grow and learn from the experiences and said they have a great chance to bounce back at home.
“I’m proud of the ladies,” Scrivano said. “They competed hard and responded with a lot of character today. Now, we just need to learn from the match and keep putting our energy into our preparation. We have an amazing opportunity to respond and compete this weekend.”
The Bears head back north to Waco for the first of their two-game home slate against Washington State University, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.