Baylor women’s tennis kicks off its dual-match season with a double-header on Sunday, Jan. 22, at Hurd Tennis Center. The Lady Bears begin with a 12 p.m. (CT) dual-match against UTRGV and conclude play against McNeese State at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s exciting to start a new season, but every year there are challenges,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Right now, we’re trying to get our team mentally and emotionally prepared for the grind of a collegiate season. We want to get their minds right and get them ready to compete.”
The team will host Baylor Cub Tennis, for children 11 years-old and younger, at 2:30 p.m. Children wanting to participate should wear athletic clothing and shoes. Tennis equipment will be provided.
The Lady Bears have won 12-straight dual-match season openers, and are 12-2 (.857) under Scrivano in dual-match season openers.
UTRGV is 1-0 after opening the regular season with a 5-2 dual-match victory against Prairie View A&M. Baylor is 4-0 all-time against the Vaqueros, winning the most recent meeting 4-1 on Jan. 14, 2016.
McNeese State fell in its first dual-match of the season to Tulane, 4-1. Junior Hannah Brett recorded the lone win for the Cowgirls at No. 3 singles, defeating Sade Atkinson, 6-4, 6-4. The Lady Bears are 1-0 against McNeese State, edging the Cowgirls 4-3 on Jan. 14, 2016.
Live results and live video stream links for both matches on Sunday are available on the women’s tennis schedule page at BaylorBears.com. A live match blog will also be available for the McNeese State match.
The Lady Bears got off to a good start last weekend at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic with sophomore Karina Traxler and senior Rhiann Newborn upsetting ranked opponents. Traxler toppled No. 32 Carla Tur Mari of Oklahoma State, 6-4, 7-5, while Newborn bested No. 93 Guilia Gludetti of Wichita State, 6-4, 5-7, 12-10.
Freshman Angelina Shakhraichuk was also in action at the tournament for Baylor, earning a 6-2, 6-1 win against Katharina Kukaras of San Diego in her collegiate debut.
Altogether the Lady Bears compiled a 5-3 singles record and an 0-1 doubles record, with Shakhraichuk and Newborn teaming up for the first time.
“Every time a Baylor player has a breakthrough, whether it’s upsetting a ranked opponent, in the weight room, on the track or on the practice court, it’s all good,” Scrivano said. “I think our team is seeing that if they stick with our process and follow our system, they’re going to be very successful. This entire year, with Blair’s success, Rhiann’s breakthroughs and Karina’s breakthrough most recently, should give this team a lot of confidence and encouragement to stick with it. The No. 1 thing that we want to develop in our players is perseverance. We’re becoming a team that’s definitely stronger, tougher and is able to persevere.”
After Sunday’s matches, Baylor will have two weeks to prepare for its matchup against Oregon on Feb. 4, 2017. First serve is set for 1 p.m. inside Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.