Junior Diana Nakic
Feb. 15, 2011
WACO, Texas - Baylor's women's tennis team features four ranked singles players and ranked doubles pair in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released this week by ITA officials. As a team, Baylor held strong in the No. 3 spot as they head into the ITA National Team Indoor Championships this weekend.
The Lady Bears enter the week with two players ranked in the top 30, including No. 12 Sona Novakova and No. 30 Diana Nakic. Novakova, a junior transfer from Armstrong Atlantic State, becomes head coach Joey Scrivano's fifth top-15 player in the past five seasons, joining the company of All-Americans Zuzana Zemonova, Zuzana Cerna, Lenka Broosova and current teammate and 53rd ranked Nina Secerbegovic.
"It's always great to see players like Sona and Diana move up in the rankings," Scrivano said. "They both work so hard and are completely committed to the developmental process. We believe that they still have room to grow which could lead to a bright future beyond collegiate tennis."
Novakova, 14-2, is tied for the team lead of 14 wins with 116th-ranked Karolina Filipiak's 14-4 record. Of Novakova's 14 wins, five have been against ranked players, including two over top-25 opponents.
Nakic, who is ranked 30th, sat out the fall season due to injury and has a 5-3 record that includes wins over the No. 10 and No. 8 players in the country en route to reaching the National Collegiate Tennis Classic title match.
Secerbegovic earned her No. 53 ranking with a 5-2 record thus far this season, recording wins over ranked opponents. The junior, who led BU with 43 wins last season, has defeated two top 50 opponents, including the No. 18 player in the NCAA.
Filipiak's team-high win total of 14 and No. 116 ranking came with a strong fall season, winning the Baylor HEB Invitational title as part of a nine-match winning streak.
"Overall, we are starting to see a few other players that are on the verge of making a breakthrough this season," Scrivano said. "There is no better feeling than seeing our players improve."
In doubles, the 33rd-ranked combination of Novakova and Secerbegovic played the fall season together, putting up a 6-1 record that included a 2-0 mark versus ranked opponents.
As a team, Baylor has been ranked third in all five team rankings released this season by the ITA. BU, which owns a 3-0 record with wins over Houston, No. 55 Alabama and No. 48 Rice will face elite competition at the ITA team indoors this weekend.
The ITA National Team Indoor Championship field has been officially released after last month's qualifying matches, while the draws will be posted this week in preparation for the tournament set to run Feb. 18-21. Baylor will be in a field that features 16 of the nation's top 25 and nine of the top 10.