April 14, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - After erasing a 3-0 lead to tie the match, Baylor's 12th-ranked women's tennis team couldn't finish the job, falling to No. 12 Texas for the first time in 14 meetings 4-3 on Saturday in Austin, Texas.
Baylor (19-6, 5-2) which also carried a seven-match win streak into the weekend, went down 3-0 after losing the doubles point and singles matches on Courts 5 and 6. The Lady Bears battled back with wins on the top three singles courts, but UT's Cierra Gaytan-Leach out-dueled Baylor freshman Ema Burgic in three sets on Court 4 to make the difference.
"Overall, Texas just played a better match than us," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "In doubles, we had our opportunities, but just a way to get it done. In singles, our top three played very solid, but I'm just disappointed in the way we played at the bottom three positions."
Facing the 3-0 deficit with just four matches left, Baylor was leading on three courts, but Ema Burgic was trailing by a set and down 5-2 on Court 4. Burgic then kept the Lady Bears alive with five consecutive games to win the second set 7-5 and force a third set.
Meanwhile, BU's senior trio began wrapping up their matches to put points on the board for Baylor. First, 24th-ranked Nina Secerbegovic took down UT's No. 64 Krista Damico on Court 1, winning each of the last seven games for a 6-4, 6-0 win. No. 17 Diana Nakic followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over 26th-ranked Aeriel Ellis on Court 2, and No. 45 Sona Novakova defeated Noel Scott in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to even the team score at 3-3.
With the pendulum swinging in Baylor's favor, the match came down to the third set between Burgic and Gaytan-Leach. Despite Burgic entering the third set having won five straight games, Gaytan-Leach came out firing in the third set, breaking Burgic's serve to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Longhorn went on to claim a 6-3 final set to clinch the win for Texas.
Baylor had come close to taking the point in doubles, splitting Courts 1 and 3, but fell in a tiebreaker on Court 2. The UT duo of Elizabeth Begley and Ellis earned the first win, taking down BU's Jordaan Sanford and Nicole Kosakowski on Court 3, 8-4. Texas' 42nd-ranked Lina Padegimaite and Scott then followed with a tiebreak win on Court 2, 9-8(5), over Novakova and Nakic. Baylor's 20th-ranked Secerbegovic and Burgic then earned a win on Court 1, 8-6, over Damico and Gaytan-Leach, but the point had already been decided.
Baylor will be back in action on Tuesday, April 17, hosting SMU on Senior Night at 5 p.m. The Lady Bears will recognize its three-member senior class of Nakic, Novakova and Secerbegovic during the match.