May 17, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor's women's tennis team saw its season end in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 with a 4-1 loss to fifth-seeded USC at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on Thursday afternoon.
After winning four first sets in singles, it looked promising for the Lady Bears, but USC regrouped and won three singles matches to claim the victory. The 12th-ranked Baylor squad ended its season at 25-8 while No. 5 USC moves to 23-3 overall. The loss snaps a streak of four straight NCAA Championship Quarterfinal appearances for the Lady Bears.
"I felt like we absolutely had a chance to take this match, it was right there," head coach Joey Scrivanosaid. "USC is a really good team, and they aren't going to just give it to us. I felt like we just didn't execute well enough to get the win. The positive is we've got a lot of things we need to get better at for next season. It's tough to emulate this type of atmosphere in practice, but that's what we've got to do."
Despite being out-ranked at all three doubles courts, Baylor represented itself well, although the Trojans eventually claimed the point. On Court 1, BU's 78th-ranked tandem of Megan Horter and Nina Secerbegovic fell to third-ranked Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, 8-4. Baylor countered when Ema Burgic and Diana Nakic downed 49th-ranked Valeria Pulido and Zoe Scandialis, 8-4. Baylor's No. 3 duo of Nicole Kosakowski and Sona Novakovafell behind USC's Danielle Lao and Alison Ramos, ranked No. 75, 1-4 but pulled to within 3-4 and 5-6, before USC claimed an 8-5 triumph and the doubles point.
Jordaan Sanfordclaimed Baylor's lone singles win with a quick 6-1, 6-0 victory over Gabriella DeSimone on court five. In that match, Sanford lost the opening game, but won 12 in a row to down DeSimone. On Court 6, Horter dropped a 6-1, 6-3 match to Pulido, enabling USC to take a 2-1 lead. USC gained a 3-1 advantage when BU's Novakova, ranked No. 56 and playing at No. 3, won the first set, 6-4, but fell in the second and third stanzas 6-2, 6-3, to 26th-ranked Santamaria. USC put the finishing touches on the match with a victory at No. 1 singles when No. 14 Scandalis downed 23rd-ranked Secerbegovic 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Next, Baylor will be represented by its senior trio of Diana Nakic, Sona Novakova and Nina Secerbegovic in the NCAA Individual Singles Championship, and by Secerbegovic and Ema Burgic in the NCAA Individual Doubles Championship beginning on May 23 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.