Baylor women’s tennis to host annual H-E-B Invitational

Junior Brooke Thompson is entering her third year with the program and is expected to take more of a leadership role. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor

By Jackson Posey | Sports Writer

Baylor women’s tennis is set to host its first event of the fall this weekend, with Nebraska, Missouri, SMU, Tennessee and more competing in the H-E-B Invitational.

“We have great competition coming to Waco this weekend,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “The teams that are here are highly competitive. We aren’t going to have much of an opportunity to work our way into it, so we’re going to have to battle from the start. We’ll immediately see where we stand and what areas we’re doing well in and what areas we need to improve in.”

Four players — sophomore Daniella Dimitrov, junior Liubov Kostenko, freshman Zuzanna Kubacha and junior Brooke Thompson — will play both doubles and singles at the Hurd Tennis Center throughout the three-day tournament. Scrivano said playing on the home court actually poses unique challenges.

“There’s definitely more variables,” Scrivano said. “The [athletes’] friends are going to come watch them play. They’re going to see some of the support staff that work with them on a weekly basis; they’re going to come out [to] watch them. So, there’s that additional pressure to perform well for your friends and for your coaches. That’s going to be good for us. We have to be able to juggle that as well.”

The Bears are scheduled to host three events this fall: the H-E-B Invitational, the ITA Regionals and the Big 12 Individual Championships. Despite the added pressure, Scrivano said he is excited for what the opportunity to host means for the future of tennis in Waco.

“We want to Waco to be a place that really supports college tennis,” Scrivano said. “The more home events we have, the better. So I’m excited about this fall, in that we’re able to host three really big college tennis tournaments … I mean, that’s a big deal to host three events of that caliber. So I’m excited for Baylor and for the community to be able to see that kind of tennis.”

Doubles play starts at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center.

Jackson Posey is a sophomore from San Antonio, double-majoring in Journalism and Religion. He tries (and sometimes succeeds) at merging personal and analytical sports coverage in a way that emphasizes the importance of holistically understanding the people behind the game. In the not-so-distant future, he hopes to pursue a career in Christian ministry, preaching the good news of Jesus by exploring the beautiful intricacies of Scripture.