Oct. 24, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas- Facing the daunting task of taking on the top-seeded player in the tournament, senior Diana Nakic brought possibly her best match of the young season to earn a spot in the singles final at the ITA Texas Regional on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Nakic, seeded fourth in the tournament and ranked 28th in the NCAA, played a spectacular match against top-seeded and 10th-ranked Marta Lesniak of SMU. Nakic put together a straight-set victory, 6-3, 6-2, over Lesniak for her third career win over a top-10 opponent.
"I think this could be a breakthrough performance for Diana (Nakic)," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "For her to step up her game and hit the shots she needed to hit was impressive. That was her best match this fall. Diana just combined her competitiveness with execution, and when she does that, she's just really tough to beat."
The win puts Nakic in tournament final on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. against Texas A&M's Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar with a berth to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship on the line. Sanchez-Quintanar, seeded third, earned a walk-over victory due to illness by Texas' second-seeded Aeriel Ellis.
Nakic's berth in the final marks the fifth consecutive season a Baylor player will have a chance to win the regional title. The Bears have had a total of eight finalists since 2002.
In doubles, Nakic and sophomore Jordaan Sanford, the No. 3 seed, fell in a tight match in Monday's semifinal to the second-seeded Texas A&M duo of Sanchez-Quintanar and Sun Wen, 8-6. The run ends a three-match win streak for the Baylor pair.