No. 15 Baylor Women's Tennis Earns 13th-Straight NCAA Selection - KXXV Central Texas News Now

No. 15 Baylor Women's Tennis Earns 13th-Straight NCAA Selection


No. 15-ranked Baylor women’s tennis earned its 13th-straight and 20th overall selection to the NCAA Tennis Championship, as announced on on Tuesday afternoon. The Lady Bears, the No. 16 seed overall, will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, No. 20 Texas A&M and Louisiana-Monroe in first and second round action at Hurd Tennis Center on May 13-14.

“We knew hosting would be a big component moving forward considering we were undefeated at home this year,” assistant coach Chris Frusci said. “We take care of our home court pretty well, so that was big for us.”

Baylor went undefeated at home, 15-0, in the regular season with seven victories coming against ranked foes in Hurd Tennis Center.

“The home crowd is a big part (of our success), playing in our stadium on the same courts we practice on every day,” Frusci added. “We feel comfortable on our courts… It’s the support we get at home and the fact that we’ve been practicing here every day.

Following a 10 a.m. (CT) first round matchup between Texas A&M and Louisiana-Monroe, Baylor will meet Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first round at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Winners advance to the second round match, which is set for 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Head coach Joey Scrivano is making his 16th overall trip to the NCAA Championship, securing invitations at Baylor in 14 of the last 15 seasons. The Lady Bears have advanced to the Round of 16 in 10 of the last 12 seasons, including six Elite Eight (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015) and two Final Four (2008, 2011) appearances. Baylor is 33-19 all-time in NCAA Championship action and 30-13 under the direction of Scrivano.

Baylor enters the NCAA Championship play with a 21-6 record overall and compiled an 8-2 mark in the Big 12. The Lady Bears advanced to the semifinal round of the Big 12 Championship for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons, before falling short of a comeback against No. 9 Oklahoma State, 4-2, for a spot in the title match.

Baylor has two ranked singles players in No. 5-ranked senior Blair Shankle and No. 114-ranked senior Rhiann Newborn. Shankle, who plays at No. 1 singles, enters the NCAA Championship on an eight-match win streak and is 10-4 against ranked opponents this season. She is one of nine players in Baylor history to register more than 100 career singles victories. Newborn has had her best season of collegiate tennis with a 19-7 record, compiled in the top three positions for the Lady Bears. She has registered three ranked victories this season and a 4-1 Big 12 record.

In doubles, Shankle appears twice in the rankings, at No. 34 with sophomore Karina Traxler and No. 47 with sophomore Elizabeth Profit. Traxler and Shankle paired up for the majority of Big 12 action, compiling a 7-1 mark. The duo is undefeated when facing ranked opponents. Profit and Shankle are 9-6 together on the season, with a 3-0 mark in Big 12 play.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters the NCAA Championship with a 20-2 record and a 9-1 mark in the Southland Conference. The Islanders won their second-straight conference championship and third in the last four seasons this season with a 4-2 victory over Central Arkansas.

Texas A&M compiled a 16-12 record this year with a 6-7 mark in the Southeastern Conference. The Aggies fell to No. 21-ranked LSU, 4-3, in the second round of the SEC Tournament, but have won five of its last six dual matches. Baylor and Texas A&M met in the regular season, with the Lady Bears coming out on top, 4-0, in Waco, however, the Aggies were missing Rachel Pierson at No. 1 singles for the match.

Louisiana-Monroe won the Sun Belt Conference Championship, 4-3, over South Alabama to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. The Warhawks are 16-1 on the season and went 5-0 in conference play.

Baylor is one of 16 host sites around the country with the winner of each advancing to the final site of the NCAA Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Team competition in Athens runs from May 18-23, while the singles and doubles championship goes from May 24-29. Selections for those tournaments will be announced on Wednesday.

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