Jan. 5, 2012
HONOLULU - Baylor's sixth-ranked women's tennis team will open the dual-match season in Honolulu, Hawai'i, taking on Penn State on Friday, Jan. 6, then facing the host University of Hawai'i the following day at the UH Tennis Center. Both matches are slated for 11 a.m. HT/3 p.m. CT.
"We are excited to get the season started," head coach Joey Scrivano said. "It'll be good to get on the court and see where we are in our development against two quality opponents like Penn State and Hawaii that will be battling for a postseason berth at the end of the season. We've got good leadership with our group of seniors and this is the first step toward our goals."
Baylor enters the match after a successful fall season that included a 29-17 combined mark in singles play and a 7-6 combined mark in doubles. Senior Diana Nakic, recently ranked No. 14 in the first ITA ranking release of 2012, led the way with a 14-4 singles mark and claimed the ITA Texas Regional singles title.
Nakic is one of four returners for the Lady Bears, including fellow seniors Nina Secerbegovic and Sona Novakova, along with sophomore Abby Stainback. All three seniors have been ranked in the nation's top 15 during their careers. Novakova and Secerbegovic were limited during the recent fall season, playing just a combined three singles matches and teaming for one doubles matches. Novakova did, however, claim the highest-ranked win of her career with a three-set defeat of Notre Dame's third-ranked Kristy Frilling at the ITA/Riviera All-American Championship.
Joined the group of returners is a quartet of newcomers, led by sophomore transfer from Maryland, Jordaan Sanford. Sanford put together and 8-4 record in her first fall as a Lady Bear, and will be joined by freshmen Megan Horter, Nicole Kosakowski, Ema Burgic and Doris Llamas.
Baylor's first opponent in the islands, Penn State, is led by 96th-ranked Petra Januskova and will look to build upon a 7-16 dual-match record from last season. Hawaii has two returning all-WAC selections in Katarina Poljakova and Barbara Pinterova, and are coming off an 8-13 record in 2011.