WACO, Texas - The 40th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team opens the 2016 NCAA?Championships by facing No. 26 Wake Forest Friday at noon CT?in Athens, Ga.
If the Lady Bears earn a victory Friday, they will face the winner of No. 5 Georgia and North Florida at 3 p.m. CT Saturday.
· Baylor is making its 12th consecutive NCAA?appearance and 19th overall in program history. BU?has been to the Round of 16 in 10 of the last 11 years.
· BU, 17-14 overall, tied for second in the Big 12 Conference with a 6-3 record, but lost in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship.
· Baylor is 13-5 in the first round of NCAA play all-time and 11-1 under head coach Joey Scrivano. BU?is on the road for first and second round action for just the second time in the last 11 years and the ninth time overall.
· Baylor currently has one ranked singles player in Blair Shankle at No. 91 and one ranked doubles pairing in Shankle and Kiah Generette at No. 91.
· BU is 1-1 all-time against first-round opponent Wake Forest, winning 4-0 in Waco on March 2, 2008, and losing the first meeting in the series in 1987.
· The Bears closed the season strong by winning five of their final six matches and 12 of their last 15.
· The surge was bolstered by the fact that BU?won 12 of the last 14 doubles points in 2016 and the singles play of Theresa Van Zyl, who has won seven of her last eight decisions.
· After making the NCAA?quarterfinals a season ago, Scrivano has led BU?to six appearances in the Elite Eight (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015) and two Final Four berths in 2008 and 2011. Baylor is 32-18 all-time in NCAA action and 29-12 under Scrivano.
· However, Baylor only returns three players, Generette, Shankle and Van Zyl, who were in the lineup for last season’s final match.
Scouting the Opposition
Wake Forest is 19-9 on the year and went 7-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Deacons lost to No. 3 North Carolina, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship. BU is 1-1 all-time against Wake Forest, winning 4-0 in Waco on March 2, 2008, and losing the first meeting in the series in 1987. Wake Forest has two ranked players in No. 64 Kimmy Guerin and No. 111 Emma Davis. Guerin teams with Anna Ulyashchenko to be ranked No. 62 in doubles.
The fifth-ranked and fifth-seeded Georgia Bulldogs are appearing in their 30th-consecutive NCAA Championship. UGA is 20-4 on the year and lost in the SEC tournament final to third-ranked Florida. BU is 3-8 all-time against Georgia and 3-4 vs. the Bulldogs under Scrivano. The Bears took a 4-3 win over Georgia to open the 2015 season, but lost in the only meeting between the two teams in the NCAA Championships in 2001. Georgia is led by fifth-ranked Ellen Perez in singles, along with No. 28 Kennedy Shaffer, No. 30 Caroline Brinson and No. 116 Silvia Garcia. UGA?also has two ranked doubles teams as Perez partners with Gould to be No. 10 in the country and Kennedy and Garcia are ranked together at No. 81.
North Florida is unranked, but earned the Atlantic Sun's automatic berth. The Ospreys are 13-6 on the year and went 6-0 in conference play. BU and North Florida have never met.
Quoting the Coach
“It was an accomplishment to make this tournament, because for most of the season we were on the outside looking in. I am just proud of our effort down the stretch to get us over the hump and into the tournament. We are fighting to be relevant and getting into the tournament is the first step.” - Head coach Joey Scrivan