By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
Have yourself a birthday, Joey Scrivano.
Not only did his Baylor women's tennis team snap a five-match losing streak, the Lady Bears (3-5) did it in dramatic fashion by rallying from a frustrating doubles point loss to defeat 17th-ranked Miami, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
And they did it with Joey's mother, Josephine, watching from the stands.
"To have her here is just really, really special," Scrivano said. "I'm glad she finally got to see a win, because she's definitely seen me as a player and seen a lot of losses."
Sophomore Camilla Abbatte, a first-semester transfer from Italy, added to the drama by coming back from a first-set loss to defeat Miami's Ana Madcur in the clinching match on Court 4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
"Winning the last point on a day like this is something you can't explain with words," she said. "I just cried after the game, because I really wanted to bring the point for my team."
Scrivano, who turned 44 on Sunday, said the team did "an incredible job overnight of just getting a different perspective" after Saturday's 4-0 loss to ninth-ranked Ole Miss. "And thankfully, it just worked out. I'm proud of them."
Even during the losing streak, Scrivano said he saw "glimpses of our players playing with discipline and playing with a focus on the task at hand." The challenge, though, has been getting them to stick to the plan.
"You have to do that for an entire match," he said. "On top of that, we're in a society where it's all about winning and getting instant gratification. All these kids are hearing is 'Why aren't you winning? Why aren't you winning?' We've been challenging them to play more disciplined, play with passion, and you have to get the result out of your mind. Today was the first time where we ultimately got the result out of our mind."
Baylor had a chance to win the opening doubles point with freshman Kristina Sorokolet and sophomore Jessican Hinojosa upsetting the Hurricanes' 33rd-ranked duo of Madcur and Estella Perez-Somarriba, 6-3, at No. 1. That offset a 6-0 loss by Abbatte and Dominika Sujova at No. 2.
With it coming down to Court 2, senior Theresa Van Zyl and sophomore Angelina Shakhraichuk got out to a 5-2 lead. But, Miami's Daniella Roldan and Dominika Paterova won the next four games and then took the tiebreaker, 7-4, to put the Hurricanes up 1-0.
As devastating as it seemed to be, Scrivano has long contended that the doubles point is "completely overrated."
"It's all what you want to make of it," he said. "If the doubles point is really, really important, then obviously it's really, really important. But, if it's just another point and you recognize there's 86 percent of the match still left, then you end up playing a lot better and I think you become a better team. I'd rather be a better fourth-quarter team than first-quarter team."
Turning it around in singles, Baylor got straight-set wins from Shakhraichuk, freshman Livia Kraus and Hinojosa at Nos. 3, 5 and 6 to take a 3-1 lead. Miami (2-3) knotted it with dominating wins by 16th-ranked Perez-Somarriba and 58th-ranked Sinead Lohan at No. 1 and 2, respectively.
That left all eyes on Court 4, where Abbatte forced a third and deciding set with a 6-2 win in the second set after dropping the opener, 6-3.
Abbatte said the only thing she changed was to "really put my heart into every point."
She absolutely cruised in the final set, winning all four of her service games and dropping just 14 points total. Abbatte was mobbed by her teammates when Madcur netted a backhand on the second match point at 15-40.
Abbatte said the crowd "pushed me every point to compete, and no matter what to bring the point for the team."
"Screaming my name in an American accent was something special," she said. "And, of course, the cheering of my team that was next to me and encouraging me every point. . . . It's something that really you can't explain with words. It's emotion, and emotion is inexpressible."
The Lady Bears go back on the road to face 24th-ranked Oregon (6-3) at 4 p.m. CDT Friday in Eugene and then No. 22 Washington (7-4) next Sunday, Feb. 25, in Seattle.
WACO, Texas - Baylor women's tennis (3-5) snagged a 4-3 comeback victory over No. 17 Miami (2-3) at Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Hurricanes scored first, battling it out to earn the doubles point over the Lady Bears. After falling at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, Baylor came fighting back with an upset victory on court one. Freshman Kristina Sorokolet and sophomore Jessica Hinojosa played their way to a 6-3 win against 33rd-ranked Ana Madcur and Estella Perez-Somarriba.
With doubles point up for grabs, both teams battled back and forth until a tiebreak was necessary. Miami's duo of Daniella Roldan and Dominika Paterova outlasted senior Theresa Van Zyl and sophomore Angelina Shakhraichuk, 7-6 (7-4) to put their team ahead 1-0.
Shakhraichuk scored Baylor's first point in singles action to even the match, 1-1, defeating Daniella Roldan on court three, 6-0, 6-3 and 101st-ranked freshman Livia Kraus followed with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Ulyana Shirokova on court five. Hinojosa added to the Baylor lead with a third triumph for Baylor against Paterova , 6-2, 6-2, at No. 5 singles.
No. 16 Perez-Somarriba and No. 58 Sinead Lohan recorded wins for the Hurricanes at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively to even the score, 3-3.
With the team result on the line, sophomore Camilla Abbatte came from behind to force a third, deciding set on court four. She prevailed, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, against Madcur to clinch the first match of her Baylor career.
"I was so excited about today because we are passing a difficult period, we lost five matches in a row and that was very draining. Winning the last point was hard to explain in words, I just cried after. I really wanted to bring the point for my team." - Sophomore Camilla Abbate
"It's great to see our players grow, that's ultimately what's it all about. It's been tough to see what they're capable of doing and see them fall short, but I'm really proud of them. They've done an incredible job overnight of gaining a new perspective and thankfully it worked out. I'm proud of them." - Head coach Joey Scrivano
Baylor hits the road for a pair of weekend matches at No. 24 Oregon on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. (CT) and at No. 22 Washington on Feb. 25 at noon.
For an inside look at the Baylor women's tennis program, follow the team's official social media accounts (@BaylorWTennis on Twitter and Instagram, /BaylorWTennis