By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s tennis welcomes the University of Houston, Texas Christian University and Washington State University to the Hurd Tennis Center as it holds the Baylor Invite from Friday to Sunday. The Bears have been focusing on improvement and team chemistry throughout this fall season, and head coach Joey Scrivano said he’s excited to be hosting this tournament.
“It’s always good to play at home,” Scrivano said. “The players enjoy playing in front of their friends and in the community. Ultimately, like any tournament, we’re just trying to continue to improve, focus on areas that we see in practice that need some attention. And there’s nothing better than the matches to get that.”
Weather permitting, doubles will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday. A round of singles will occur and then another round of doubles to finish the day. Saturday will have the same format. Sunday matches will begin at 9 a.m.
After a very individualized fall schedule, Scrivano said it will be nice to have players all in one place.
“This is really nice to get the majority of the players to be playing the same event.” Scrivano said “That’s kind of a sneak peek to what’s going to be like in the spring.”
The green and gold found big wins in its last home tournament earlier this month, the H-E-B Invite. The Bears went 2-0 in doubles, while senior Paula Barañano and sophomore Brooke Thompson took singles victories.
Both senior leaders Barañano and Isabella Harvison said they have seen lots of growth in this squad over the semester.
“I think we’re making a lot of progress,” Harvison said. “Everyone is doing well and doing their part and I think we’re all just excited to play at home.”
Barañano, a Mar Del Plata, Argentina native, said the team is beginning to build up its chemistry and really pinpoint what it wants to attain over the course of the season.
“We are working hard every day. I see improvement every day,” Barañano said. “We are more unified. We are creating the culture and we are working together towards our goal so it’s great we’re improving.”
The fall is used to settle in and getting the squad on the same page. A large component of the game is mental, so the team has been honing in on that aspect.
“In order to continue to improve, you have to work on your mental growth,” Scrivano said. “You have to work on your spiritual growth. It’s not just physical, and I think they’re seeing that they can improve a lot in the sport if they really just get behind mental and spiritual development.”
The Bears will head to Stillwater, Okla. after this tournament for Big 12 Individuals. The matches will conclude their fall season before beginning team play in January.