Women’s Tennis Claims NCAA First Round Victory

Posted at 6:49 PM, May 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 19:49:04-04

ATHENS, Ga. – The 40th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team upset No. 26 Wake Forest, 4-2, in the opening round of the NCAA Championships Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The victory propelled BU (18-14) in to the second round of the national event for a 12th-straight season and the 14th-time overall.

Holding a 3-2 advantage over the Demon Deacons (19-10), freshman Elizabeth Profit provided the clinching point with a triumph at the No. 5 singles position.

Profit jumped out to an early lead in the match with a 6-4 first-set victory over Samantha Asch, but then she was shutout out in the second set 6-0 to send the match to a deciding third set.

In that third set with the score tied 4-4, Profit held and then broke Asch to claim the match, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, to send the Bears into the second round.

Baylor had opened the match by winning the doubles point. However, it took a comeback from BU to snag the opening point. The 20th-ranked duo of Blair Shankle and Kiah Generette were upset by 62nd-ranked Kimmy Guerin and Anna Ulyashchenko, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot.

Elizabeth Profit and Theresa Van Zyl tied up the doubles point at match apiece with a 6-4 triumph over Luisa Fernandez and Andrea Retolaza on court three.

Rhiann Newborn and Karina Traxler were tied 4-4 with Emma Davis and Sam Asch at the No. 2 position when all the attention turned to that court. The BU duo prompted carded a break and then Newborn served it out for the 6-4 victory and the doubles point.

In singles action, Van Zyl raced past Fernandez, 6-2, 6-1, at the bottom of the lineup to stake the Bears to a 2-0 lead.

At that point, Wake Forest got back into the match with Newborn’s 6-2, 6-4 setback to Ulyashchenko on court three and Generette’s 6-2, 7-5 loss against 111th-ranked Davis at the No. 2 spot.

The 91st-ranked Shankle tipped the momentum back in BU’s direction by capturing a 7-6(5), 6-1 upset at the top of the lineup over No. 64 Guerin. The BU junior had led the opening set 5-2, before falling down 5-6 and then forcing a tiebreaker, which she eventually claimed. That win put the Bears up 3-2 and set the stage for Profit’s heroics.

While Profit was winning the match, Traxler was battling Jonna Zalewskiat at the No. 4 spot and thought that match went unfinished, the BU freshman was leading, 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-3.

• Baylor is 14-5 in the first round of NCAA play all-time and 12-1 under head coach Joey Scrivano.
• Baylor advanced to the NCAA second round for the 12th straight season and the 14th-time overall.
• Baylor is 33-18 all-time in NCAA action and 30-12 under Scrivano.
• BU is now 2-1 all-time against first-round opponent Wake Forest.
• Theresa Van Zyl has won eight of her last nine decisions.

"Great win. I'm just proud of our ladies. They just competed hard. We knew the difference between winning and losing was going to be very small, and I'm just proud of our toughness. We just found a way to win today. There was just a ton of toughness everywhere, on every court. I felt like we really competed at every position. To beat a (top-26) team in the NCAA tournament -- you're not going to beat them easily. Everything's going to be difficult and challenging, and I'm just proud of our players just stepping up to the challenge. They wanted it today, and we just need to keep doing that." --head coach Joey Scrivano on the team's win over Wake Forest

"We talked a lot about what it takes to win big matches, and it takes an incredible amount of focus, and thankfully both Karina (Traxler) and Elizabeth just embraced that and just did a fantastic job. Obviously, Elizabeth got the job done, but Karina put herself in a position to win. We're going to need to keep doing that." --Scrivano on the exciting finish

Baylor will now play in the second round of the NCAA Championships against the winner of No. 5 Georgia and North Florida at 3 p.m. CT Saturday in Athens, Ga.