Semifinal Comeback Falls Short for No. 15 Women's Tennis - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Semifinal Comeback Falls Short for No. 15 Women's Tennis

No. 15 Baylor came charging back (21-5) against No. 9 Oklahoma State (22-4) in Big 12 Championship semifinal action, but fell short of a comeback, 4-2, inside Headington Family Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

Semifinal action began with singles play, as rainy weather forced the match indoor. After falling behind 3-0 with losses at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles, the Lady Bears came battling back with the team decision on the line.

Sophomore Elizabeth Profit combatted a 6-1 loss in the first set with a thrilling 7-6(5) second set tiebreaker over No. 49 Katarina Adamovic to even the series, 1-1, at No. 2 singles.

Fifth-ranked senior Blair Shankle followed suit, coming out on top in a 7-6(7) nail biter against seventh-ranked Viktoria Lushkova to tie the match at No. 1 singles. Shankle carried the momentum from the second into the third set, where she recorded a dominant 6-0 win to put Baylor on the board. It marked her 10th victory over a ranked opponent this season. She is 27-4 on the year, 17-2 in dual match action and has won eight-straight for Baylor.

Junior Theresa Van Zyl, who won the lone first set for the Lady Bears, put together a strong performance at No. 5 singles against Lena Ruppert to win in three sets, 6-1, 6-7(0), 6-3, and cut the deficit to one, 3-2. Van Zyl has won five consecutive matches, is 19-6 on the season and 15-5 in dual match action.

Baylor’s run came up shy at No. 2 singles, as Profit succumbed to Adamovic in the third set, 6-2. The result clinched the eighth consecutive dual match win for the Cowgirls, who advance to meet No. 1-seeded Texas Tech in the Big 12 Championship title at 4 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, April 30.

? Senior Blair Shankle leads the Lady Bears with an eight-match win streak. She has defeated 10 ranked opponents, two against players rated in the Top 10.
? Junior Theresa Van Zyl recorded her fifth consecutive victory, winning in three sets at No. 5 singles.
? Baylor closes the Big 12 Championship with a 21-5 dual match record, including a 9-5 mark against ranked opponents.
? The Lady Bears have advanced to at least the Big 12 Championship semifinal in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
? Baylor leads Oklahoma State, 20-8, in the all-time series and is 15-5 under the direction of head coach Joey Scrivano.

“Oklahoma State played really well. They’ve got a great team. From our side, we made a step forward today. We competed very hard. All the momentum was against us to start off the match and our team found a way to compete and make a positive step forward. I wish we could make two or three steps forward, but that’s not the way this works, it’s a process. We’re steadily improving and that’s all that a coach can ask for.” – head coach Joey Scrivano on the matc

“Blair is an incredible competitor. I’ve said it before, she’s one of the best player’s we’ve had here. She’s never out of a match. I was so proud of her ability to keep competing. She made great adjustments. She went in with a plan and that plan wasn’t working so well, so credit to her to have that calmness, make an adjustment and find a way to win.” – head coach Joey Scrivano on Blair Shankle’s comeback victory

The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2, at 4:30 p.m. (CT). The Lady Bears, who have a chance at hosting First and Second Rounds with their national ranking, have earned 12 consecutive bids to the NCAA Championship. Opening rounds are scheduled for March 12-14 with sites yet to be determined.

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