No. 15 WT Advances to Big 12 Championship Semifinals

Posted at 11:13 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-29 00:13:10-04

No. 15 Baylor women’s tennis advanced to the Big 12 Championship semifinals for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons with a dominant 4-0 victory over No. 43 Oklahoma at Headington Family Tennis Center Friday afternoon.

The win is the eighth in a row for the Lady Bears, who have been on a hot streak with decisions in 11 of their last 12 dual matches. On the season, Baylor is 21-5, including a 9-4 mark against nationally ranked foes.

After falling behind on a 6-1 loss at No. 2 doubles, the Lady Bears stormed back with victories at the No. 3 and No. 1 positions to earn the advantage. Senior Rhiann Newborn and junior Theresa Van Zyl led the charge with a 6-2 win over Ann Selim and Simran Sethi in the No. 3 slot to even the series.

With the point on the line, 34th-ranked senior Blair Shankle and sophomore Karina Traxler won their sixth match as a duo to close it out, 6-3, against 76th-ranked Julie Byrne and Malene Stripp. The Lady Bears’ duo remains perfect against ranked foes, 4-0, on the season following the doubles win.

No. 3 seeded Baylor carried the momentum into singles play, winning four of six first sets over the No. 6 seeded Sooners.

No. 114-ranked Newborn earned the first singles win for the Lady Bears, toppling Byrne in dominant fashion, 6-3, 6-1, in the No. 3 spot. Following closely behind was No. 5-ranked Shankle, who bested No. 33-ranked Lily Miyazaki, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Shankle moves to 26-4 on the year, with a 16-2 dual match record. She has earned nine wins against ranked opponents and is riding a seven-match win streak.

With the Sooners attempting a comeback, freshman Angelina Shakhraichuk prevailed in a two-set nail-biter, 7-6 (4), 6-3, against Strip at No. 4 singles. Playing on court four for the third time this season, Shakhraichuk clinched her fourth dual match decision of the season for Baylor.

? Baylor has won 16 consecutive matches against Oklahoma and leads the all-time series, 22-3.
? Baylor defeated the Sooners, 4-0, for the second time this year (March 10 at Oklahoma, 4-0).
? The Lady Bears have advanced to the Big 12 Championship semifinal in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
? Baylor has won eight Big 12 Championship titles in program history.
? Freshman Angelina Shakhraichuk, competing in third match at No. 4 singles, clinched the victory for Baylor. She has decided four matches this season.
? Baylor’s No. 1 doubles duo of senior Blair Shankle and sophomore Karina Traxler are undefeated, 4-0, against ranked opponents following today’s win over No. 76 Julie Byrne and Malene Stripp.
? Shankle earned her ninth victory over a ranked opponent, toppling No. 33 Lily Miyazaki of Oklahoma.

“I thought Oklahoma played really well and we anticipated that they were going to give us a really tough match. They pushed us to the limit and came out strong and fast. I’m proud of my team. They were able to weather the storm, stick with the plan and in the end find a way to win. It’s a good win for us today.” – Head coach Joey Scrivano on the win

“Our seniors have been amazing this entire season. They take care of business, they’re focused and today was a great example of that. They could smell that this was a situation in which Oklahoma was going to be ready to play and they rose to the occasion. Without them, we’re not winning this match today. A lot of credit to them, I’m proud of the way they’ve played all season.” – Head coach Joey Scrivano on the seniors

No. 3 seed Baylor advances to face No. 2 seed Oklahoma State in Big 12 Championship semifinal action at 2 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, April 29, at Headington Family Tennis Center in Norman, Okla. Each team recorded quarterfinal victories, 4-0, with the Lady Bears besting Oklahoma and the Cowgirls topping Kansas.

The Lady Bears lead the Cowgirls, 20-7, in the all-time series with a 15-4 mark under head coach Joey Scrivano. Then-ranked No. 10 Baylor fell to then-ranked No. 7 Oklahoma State, 4-1, in its Big 12 opener on March 9, in Stillwater, Okla. Freshman Jessica Hinojosa provided the point for the Lady Bears with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles.