Baylor Women's Tennis Takes on Long-Time Series Rival - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Baylor Women's Tennis Takes on Long-Time Series Rival

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

After back-to-back weekend matches, the Baylor women’s tennis team (4-0) will host Rice (4-1) for the 24th meeting of the series. First serve of the dual match is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at Hurd Tennis Center.

Prior to the match, children 11-years-old or younger are invited to take part in Baylor’s free Cub Tennis program. Participants must wear athletic clothing and shoes. Tennis equipment will be provided.

The Lady Bears lead the all-time series against Rice, 13-12, most recently recording a 4-2 victory over the then-ranked No. 41 Owls on April 13, 2016.

“Rice has a great team,” 15th-year head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Every time we’ve played them in the past it’s been a real battle. They’re well-coached, they’re disciplined and they fight hard. Our rivalry with them only adds to that; they’re always ready to play.”

Baylor is undefeated with four home wins on the 2017 season, notching dual match triumphs over McNeese State (4-0), UT Rio Grande Valley (4-0), Oregon (4-3) and Washington (4-3).

Last weekend, the Lady Bears completed thrilling victories over the Ducks and Huskies with each outcome determined by the final match. Junior Theresa Van Zyl clinched the Oregon match for the Lady Bears, while freshman Angelina Shakhraichuk decided the victory over Washington. Van Zyl decided the team outcome in the first three matches of the season, followed by Shakhraichuk, who earned the first match cap of her collegiate career.

“It’s really important that we continue to build our mental toughness and our ability to stay calm under pressure,” Scrivano said. “This past weekend was a great example of that. Our players had the opportunity to show what they are made of and came through. Now, that is in the past and we need to be ready to do it all over again this Saturday.”

After a 4-1 win over Texas A&M on Sunday, Rice is 4-1 on the season.  The Owls played to a 1-1 record at the ITA Kickoff Weekend, falling to USC, 4-2, before sweeping Fresno State, 4-0. They are undefeated at home this season with wins over Lamar and Princeton.

Reigning Big 12 Co-Player of the Week, senior Blair Shankle is ranked ninth nationally in singles after a 2-0 start to dual match action. Shankle and her doubles partner of sophomore Elizabeth Profit are on the rise, moving from No. 15 nationaly into the top 10 at No. 9.

Following Saturday’s dual match, the Lady Bears continue their season at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on Feb. 17, 2017. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.

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