WACO, Texas - Baylor's 15th-ranked women's tennis team earned a 4-1 win against No. 36 Florida State on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Baylor was one of 16 sites nationally to host the qualifying rounds for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. BU will now meet the winner of the Texas Tech-Rice contest on Sunday at 2 p.m. for a spot in the prestigious event in Charlottesville, Va. from Feb. 8-11.
In doubles action, Baylor's No. 1 tandem of Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva notched an 8-4 victory over FSU's Daneika Borthwick and Mia Vriens. Burgic and Kisialeva started off the match with a 2-0 lead, but dropped three games in a row. With the match tied at 4-4, the tandem won four-straight games to take the match. That victory secured Baylor the doubles point as FSU defaulted at No. 3 doubles due to a lack of players.
"We played really well and won doubles, and the overall effort today was excellent," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "We really fought hard, and Florida State's a really good team."
Florida State also defaulted at No. 6 singles, so before the other five matches even commenced the Lady Bears held a 2-0 lead.
Alex Leatu added to that advatage, downing FSU's Kristina Schleich in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 5 spot. At 2-2 in the first set, Leatu won four games in a row to end the set. In the second set, facing a 2-4 deficit, Leatu was able to notch four-straight games to become the first Baylor player to secure a singles victory.
"That was a big win," Scrivano said. "Alex has been getting better every day. We know what she's capable of, and today she just really performed well. I love the way she fought in the second set. She was down, and she came back to get that point on the board, and that really helped us today."
Shortly after Leatu's win, the Seminoles' Amy Sargeant dispatched of Kiah Generette at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-4, in her first match of the 2013 season.
Burgic, playing at No. 1 singles, followed with another straight-set victory for the Lady Bears, 6-3, 6-2, against No. 37 Daneika Borthwick. Burgic blew past Borthwick in the first set by winning three games in a row. She continued that trend in the second set, gaining a 3-1 lead early on. Her victory was the match-clinching point.
"Ema did a great job," Scrivano said. "She was playing one of the top players in the country today, and to beat [Borthwick] in straight-sets with some adversity is great."
Florida State will now take on the loser of Rice-Texas Tech at 11 a.m., followed by Baylor's match at 2 p.m. against the winner of the Owls and Red Raiders.
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