EVANSTON, Ill. – The 20th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team earned a 4-1 victory against No. 43 San Diego State during the first round of the 2013 NCAA Championships on Friday at the Combe Tennis Center.
“San Diego State is a good team, and they pushed us,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “It took us a little while during doubles to get settled in and start playing the right way, but once we did, good things started happening for us. When you are in the NCAA Championships, every team here can play, and nothing is going to come easy. I like the way we competed, and that’s the main thing. We need to keep competing hard and stay focused.”
The win improves Baylor to 17-14 on the season, with a 10-14 record against ranked opponents. With the loss, San Diego State closes out the season with a 22-6 record. Overall, BU’s postseason record improves to 27-15, with a first round record of 11-5.
To kick off doubles play, Baylor’s fourth-ranked tandem of Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva opened with an 8-5 decision against San Diego State’s Laura Antonana Iriarte and Michela Casanova at the top of the lineup. BU’s pairing improves to 18-4 in dual-match play.
To clinch the doubles point for the Lady Bears, Kiah Generette and Alex Leatu took down Julia Wais and Kristin Buth, 8-4, at the No. 2 spot.
Jordaan Sanford and Alex Clay’s match against SDSU’s most successful doubles team of Alicia Aguilar and Isabelle Hoorn was not finished.
After doubles play, BU was able to notch two more points on the board to take a commanding 3-0 lead against the Aztecs.
First up, the 10th-ranked Burgic took down Wais, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Burgic, who has now won 16 matches in a row, only fell behind once during her match.
To give Baylor a 3-0 lead, Generette defeated Buth in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. Generette improves to 12-7 in the No. 4 spot of the lineup.
“Ema and Kiah have been our two most consistent singles players all year, so to see them put two points on the board was really not a surprise,” Scrivano said. “They did a great job, and were very focused.”
SDSU would earn its only point of the day on court 2, as Kisialeva lost her match in straight-sets, 6-1, 6-4, against Alicia Aguilar. With the loss, Kisialeva falls to 4-11 in the second spot of the lineup.
At that point of the match, two of the remaining three singles matches were in a third set.
Sanford’s victory against Iriarte clinched the match for Baylor, with a final 7-5, 6-4 score. In the first set, Sanford at one point trailed 3-5, but rallied back to a 7-5 win. Sanford also trailed in her second set, 3-4, but turned it around to win the second set, 6-4. Sanford’s victory snapped Antonana’s 13-match win streak.
“Jordaan was matched up against arguably their best player, who is coming off a great season,” Scrivano said. “We knew that match was going to be intense, and it is really impressive for Jordaan to win that match in straight sets and clinch the match.”
BU will take on first-seeded and 11th-ranked Northwestern on Saturday at noon. Earlier this season, Baylor lost a 4-1 decision on the road against the Wildcats.
“Every time we play Northwestern, it is either a real battle, we do great things, and we make it competitive, or we just gift-wrap the win for them,” Scrivano said. “My hope is that we don’t gift-wrap the match tomorrow. We have to compete hard and make things very difficult on them. If we do that, I think we will have a chance to win.”
Follow @BaylorWTennis on Twitter for updates on the team all season.