Jan. 25, 2012
ENNIS, Texas- Despite a rain-forced location and time change, Baylor's fifth-ranked women's tennis team won five of six singles matches to take a 5-1 win over Stephen F. Austin in a match played at the Lion Indoor Tennis Center in Ennis, Texas.
With rain that dampened the Hurd Tennis Center courts from late Tuesday night until mid-Wednesday afternoon, the Lady Bears were forced to relocate their match to Ennis, a 75-mile trek north. The location change forced the match back one hour and allowed the teams only the six singles matches.
"Coach Sullivan is building a great program at SFA, and he has a dangerous team that could definitely do some damage in the NCAA Tournament," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "He is an up-and-coming coach that is doing a great job. It's never easy when a home match turns in a neutral-site match, and for most of the team, that is the first time they have played in Ennis. It is a unique challenge, but we handled it, and are looking forward to next season when we'll have an indoor facility on our own turf."
The top of Baylor's lineup quickly took any doubt of the outcome out of play, getting straight-set wins on Courts 1 and 2 with Diana Nakic and Nina Secerbegovic, who earned her team-leading sixth dual-match win of the year. Secerbegovic took the win 6-1, 6-4 over Jithmie Jayawickrema, while Nakic moved to 5-1 in dual-match singles with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
"Our top three did a great job of putting us in position to win the match, especially with Nina (Secerbegovic) and Diana (Nakic) setting the table with those first two wins," Scrivano said. "Megan (Horter) and Jordaan (Sanford) didn't play their best, but they battled and found a way to win. We are definitely looking forward to getting back to full strength in the near future."
Senior Sona Novakova matched Secerbegovic with her own 6-0 dual-match singles record after defeating Elena Kordolami in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Sophomore Jordaan Sanford and freshman Megan Horter each added three-set wins as well. Sanford won the first in dominating fashion 6-0, but SFA's Alina Shazkho then traded 7-5 scores to fall. Horter was the opposite, losing the first set 6-2, then going on a tear for a 6-0, 6-0 finish in the next two sets to win.
Baylor has a full weekend of matches ahead, hosting ITA regional qualifying matches on Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Bears will face UCF on Saturday at 11 a.m. on the front courts at the Hurd Tennis Center, while UT-Arlington and Wyoming will square off at the same time on the back courts. The winners of each match will play at 11 a.m. on Sunday for a berth into the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va., two weeks later.