April 13, 2012
#12 Baylor (19-5, 5-1) vs. #13 Texas (11-5, 4-1)
Saturday, April 14, 2012 | 11:30 a.m. CT
TV: Longhorn Network
Austin, Texas | Penick-Allison Tennis Center
Live Scoring | Live Blog
AUSTIN, Texas - Baylor’s 12th-ranked women’s tennis team will have a chance to inch closer to the top of the Big 12 standings when it takes on 13th-ranked and league-undefeated Texas at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in Austin, Texas.
The match will have major implications on the Big 12 regular season race and Baylor’s chances to collect an unprecedented eighth consecutive regular season title. Baylor enters the match with a 5-1 league mark (19-5 overall), while Texas is 4-0 (11-5) in the conference, but will face the other top three teams consecutively beginning Saturday. The Longhorns will take on Texas Tech on Sunday, then travel to College Station for Texas A&M on Tuesday.
Baylor, which fell to Texas Tech 4-3 earlier this season, has won seven consecutive matches with five in a row in conference play. Last week, the Lady Bears took down one of the league’s undefeated teams in a 5-2 win over No. 21 Texas A&M and then posted a 6-1 win over 18th-ranked Notre Dame on the weekend.
BU’s lineup has found its groove since the return of sophomore Jordaan Sanford from injury, winning at least four of six singles courts in each of its last five matches. Baylor won all six singles against Oklahoma State and five of six against both the Aggies and Fighting Irish. Sanford has won three of her four singles matches at the No. 5 spot, and provided a lift to both Burgic at No. 4 and Horter at No. 6 with each on current-three-match win streaks.
Seniors Nina Secerbegovic and Sona Novakova have led the way with current singles win streaks of at least seven matches. Secerbegovic, who won the Big 12’s Player of the Week award for the second time in three weeks, is ranked 24th and has won seven matches in a row with four over ranked opponents. Novakova, meanwhile, has won nine in a row with just two lost sets and five total wins over ranked opponents.
In doubles, Baylor came out in its last match against Notre Dame and swept the doubles to break a string of 12 losses in the last 14 matches. In the match, Baylor’s top duo of 20th-ranked Secerbegovic and Burgic took down the fifth-ranked pair of Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews 8-5. The Lady Bears’ senior combo of Novakova and Nakic added the clincher shortly after with an 8-5 win over 67th-ranked Julie Sabacinski and Britney Sanders.
The all-time series between Baylor and Texas has been a tale of two stories. The Longhorns won the first 32 meetings from 1984 to 2004, but since 2005, BU has take 14 of the last 15 and each of the last 13 meetings. Last season, the Lady Bears earned a 5-2 regular season win, and then beat UT 4-1 in the Big 12 Championship final.
The Longhorns enter after a 13-day break between matches with a lineup that features two ranked singles players and a pair of ranked tandems in doubles action. Junior Aeriel Ellis holds the team’s highest ranked at No. 26 in singles with a 14-11 record, while senior Krista Damico is 64th with a 19-7 mark.
In doubles, the freshman pair of Noel Scott and Lina Padegimaite is 7-7 on the season with a 5-6 mark at the No. 1 spot to rank No. 42. Texas also has the 71st-ranked pair of Ellis and Cierra Gaytan-Leach, who has a record of 6-5 on the year.
The match will be televised on the Longhorn Network from the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. Baylor’s live in-match blog will be available at www.BaylorBears.com.