Comeback Falls Short Against No. 9 Alabama, 4-3
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A furious comeback by the 15th-ranked Baylor women's tennis went for naught as the Lady Bears fell to ninth-ranked Alabama, 4-3, during consolation play at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Saturday at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
Baylor (3-3) trailed 3-0 in the match, before winning three straight singles match to tie the overall contest at three points apiece. However, Alabama (5-1) would take the last match in three-sets to claim the victory.
"The bottom line is we, as a team, are very inconsistent with our focus," head coach Joey Scrivano. "Ultimately, that cost us today. There were some great individual efforts, like Megan Horter and Ema [Burgic] and Kiah [Generette]. In the end, it's a team sport. From top to bottom, it's in that focus and discipline that you're going to lose tight matches like this."
To open the competition, Baylor lost the doubles point for a fourth consecutive match. BU's No. 2 tandem of Victoria Kisialeva and Alex Leatu first dropped its match against Antonia Foehse and Maya Jansen, 8-1. Megan Horter and Alex Clay also lost by an 8-1 score vs. Yasmeen Ebada and Emily Zabor at No. 3 doubles.
The Crimson Tide kept the match rolling in their favor in singles play as 105th-ranked Natalia Maynetto cruised past Alex Leatu, 6-1, 6-1, at the bottom of the lineup. Next, Baylor was pushed to the brink of defeat as No. 59 Maya Jansen dispatched of Jordaan Sanford, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 3 position.
With Alabama holding a 3-0 lead, the Lady Bears started their long comeback. At the No. 1 spot, 16th-ranked sophomore Ema Burgic recorded her second straight upset as she downed No. 12 Mary Anne Macfarlane, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Burgic had trailed 4-1 in the third and final set, before winning five straight games to take the match. Burgic was seemingly spurred on to victory by the fact that teammates Megan Horter and Kiah Generrette both pushed their matches into third sets after dropping their opening sets.
Playing at the No. 2 spot, Horter lost the first set against 13th-ranked Alexa Guarachi, 6-2, but then bounced back to win the second in a tiebreaker 7-6(5). In the decisive third-set, Horter cruised to the best victory of her career with a 6-2 win.
Generette at the No. 5 position was next to turn her match around. She also dropped her opening set, 6-2, against Emily Zabor and then won the second in a tiebreaker, 7-6(3). The BU freshman then coasted to a 6-1 win in the third to tie the team score, 3-3.
At points during Saturday's contest, Victoria Kisialeva appeared to be the most likely candidate to get BU a singles win. The freshman claimed the opening set of her match vs. Antonio Foehse, 7-5, at the No. 4 spot in the lineup. She then got out to a 5-0 lead in the second, before falling in a tiebreaker 7-6(5). Kisialeva was unable to stem the tide as she fell 6-1 in the third set.
The Lady Bears have now lost three matches in a row for the first time since 2007. Baylor is now 1-1 all-time against Alabama. On Sunday, Baylor will face Nebraska at 8 a.m. CT to wrap up play at the national event.
The ITA National Team Indoor Championship tournament central page is located at www.itatennis.com and features links to live scoring and other event information.
Follow @BaylorWTennis for updates on the team all season.