May 23, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. – Baylor’s senior trio combined for a 3-0 day in the Round of 64 to advance at the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship on Thursday in Athens, Ga.
Senior Nina Secerbegovic started the day with a straight-set win, and then Sona Novakova and Diana Nakic each followed with wins to give player three players in the Round of 32 for the second time in school history and first since 2008. The trio will be back in action in the next round on Thursday, while Secerbegovic will also begin NCAA Doubles action with partner Ema Burgic.
“Our seniors came focused and competed really hard today,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “I think the layoff after our loss to USC in the Sweet 16 turned out to be very good for them. Tomorrow’s matchups are going to be even tougher, but I know our ladies will be up for it.”
Secerbegovic, ranked 23rd in the nation, was the first to hit the courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and took down North Carolina’s 70th-ranked Lauren McHale with ease, 6-3, 6-2. The win gives Secerbegovic her third consecutive berth into the Round of 32 at the event. She will face Tennessee’s 32nd-ranked Brynn Boren at 9 a.m. CT.
Next up for the Lady Bears, Novakova, ranked 56th, pulled an upset over 38th-ranked Zoe De Bruycker of UNC in three sets. The pair traded 6-3 victories in the first two sets, but Novakova got the late break point she needed to win the third 7-5. After bowing out in the Round of 64 last season, Novakova will play in her first Round of 32 match. She will take on sixth-seeded Jana Juricova of California at 9 a.m. CT.
To complete the Baylor sweep in singles play, Nakic, seeded in the 9-16 range, dominated Miami’s 27th-ranked Gabriella Mejia 6-2, 6-2. The BU senior earned a berth into her first Round of 32 match as well. Nakic earned a berth in her first two collegiate seasons at Georgia State, but was unable to compete in either, and then bowed out in the Round of 64 last season. Nakic will now meet a familiar opponent in Kansas State’s 29th-ranked Petra Niedermayerova.
In doubles, the Baylor pair of Secerbegovic and Burgic have a Round of 32 matchup with top-seeded Sofie Oyen and Allie Will of Florida at 5 p.m. CT. Follow the official Baylor Women’s Tennis Twitter account, @BaylorWTennis, for updates throughout the tournament.