WACO, Texas – Despite solid early play and tight matches across the board, the ninth-ranked and eighth-seeded Baylor women's tennis team was downed by No. 1 and top-seeded USC, 4-1, Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
Despite winning three first sets in singles play, and narrowly missing a fourth in a tiebreak, the Bears couldn't overcome the Trojans' doubles point advantage.
The loss ends Baylor's season at 28-7 and snaps a nine-match win streak for the Bears.
In doubles action, the 19th-ranked pairing of Giuliana Olmos and Zoe Scandalis picked up an 8-4 win on court two for the Trojans, besting the 42nd-ranked Kelley Anderson and Theresa Van Zyl.
Blair Shankle and Kiah Generette responded quickly for the Bears, dropping Gabby Smith and Madison Westby, 8-6, on court three.
Down to a deciding tiebreaker on court one, the 62nd-ranked pairing of Ema Burgic and Rachael James-Baker fell to 24th-ranked Zoe Katz and Sabrina Santamaria, 8-7(1), giving the Trojans the doubles point and an early 1-0 advantage.
The Baylor squad charged out into singles play, taking first sets on courts one, two, and three.
Despite extending into the third sets on courts two and three, the depth of USC's freshmen trio at courts four, five, and six was enough to clinch the victory for the Trojans.
Picking up two points on courts four and six, the Trojans were out to a 3-0 lead and Baylor was fighting for a spark.
First, the 113th-ranked James-Baker fell to No. 57 Westby, 7-6(4), 6-2 on court four. Following that decision, Anderson came up short against the 79th-ranked Meredith Xepoleas, 6-4, 6-2, at the bottom of the lineup.
The team's only senior, 22nd-ranked Burgic, hammered out a 6-2, 7-6(6) victory on court one over the 24th-ranked Santamaria, posting Baylor's lone point of the match.
A win on court five by the 78th-ranked Smith over Van Zyl, 6-1, 6-4, gave the Trojans the 4-1 match victory.
- BU is now 2-4 all-time in NCAA quarterfinal matches.
- Baylor is 32-18 all-time in NCAA play and 29-12 under Scrivano.
- Baylor is 21-3 at home this season, and fell to 21-1 in NCAA Championship play when hosting.
- Baylor is now 19-7 against ranked opponents.
· The all-time series is now tied 2-2 between the two teams.
TOP QUOTE #1
“The ladies played a heck of a match and gave it everything they had. USC is just a very tough team. There is a reason why they are No. 1 in the country.” – Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano on the match resultTOP QUOTE #2
“I'm happy that it's at least 4-1. All the other matches were close, too. It could have been 4-3. But I'm happy, of course, [that] I won, but I am not happy, of course, because we lost.” – Ema Burgic on winning her match
Now that the team portion of Baylor's 2015 is over, Ema Burgic and Blair Shankle will represent BU in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, which begin Wednesday in Waco at the Hurd Tennis Center.