NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 19th-ranked Baylor women's tennis team opened a two-match road swing with a 4-2 loss at No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The match was originally slated to be played on Friday, but had to be moved to an indoor match on Saturday due to inclement weather in the area that also affected Baylor's travel plans.
Baylor has now lost six of seven matches and is 4-6 on the season. However, all six losses have come against top-25 opponents. Notre Dame upped its record to 6-3 with the win.
"Every time that we take one step forward, we seem to take two steps back again," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "Our doubles play is getting better, but then we have some singles players who are struggling to understand what it takes to play consistent high-level tennis."
The No. 1 doubles tandem of Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva, ranked No. 41, upset 30th-ranked Julie Sabacinski and Britney Sanders, 8-6, to open the match. BU's top duo improved to 4-1 in dual-match play with the win.
However, Notre Dame would bounce back to take the next two doubles contests and the point.
First, Jennifer Kellner and Chrissie McGaffigan got past BU's Alex Leatu and Kiah Generette at the No. 2 spot, 9-8(5). When that match wrapped up, the No. 3 doubles match between Notre Dame's Quinn Gleason and Katherine White and Baylor's Megan Horter and Alex Clay was headed to a tiebreaker. Notre Dame went on to clinch the match in the breaker, 9-8(2).
Entering singles action with a 1-0 deficit, Baylor quickly turned the match around by taking the first two singles matches.
Newcomer Maria Biryukova blew past White at the No. 5 spot, 6-2, 6-4, to even the match, before Leatu collected a 6-4, 6-3 win over Julie Vrabel at the No. 6 position.
"Maria has done a great job coming in and being successful for us, after being thrown into the fire," Scrivano said. She plays with maturity and toughness. Alex's game is coming together well and we are excited for what she can do for us down the road."
The Baylor rally would be cut short as Notre Dame's 74th-ranked Sanders pulled off a three-set comeback win over 13th-ranked Burgic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2, at the top of the lineup.
To clinch the match, Jennifer Kellner got past Victoria Kisialeva, 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 2 position.
When that match concluded, play on court 3 between Quinn Gleason and 86th-ranked Megan Horter was suspended.
Baylor will now make the quick turnaround to face ninth-ranked Northwestern at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday in Evanston, Ill. Northwestern (5-4) dropped a 5-2 decision to Texas on Friday and has lost four of its last five.
The Bears and Wildcats are set to meet at the Combe Tennis Center with the series record tied at three matches apiece.
Northwestern's lineup boasts two ranked singles players: No. 41 Kate Turvy and No. 83 Belinda Niu. Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton are ranked No. 15 in doubles.
Live scoring for the Northwestern match can be accessed here: http://www.nusports.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/nw-w-tennis-livestats.html.
Follow @BaylorWTennis for updates on the team all season.