April 25, 2001
#18 Baylor (19-5, 9-2) hosts Big 12 Championships
April 26-29, 2001, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
The 18th-ranked Baylor women's tennis team wrapped up their regular season with a 19-5 overall record and finishing a program-best 9-2 in conference for the third time in five years. That record placed the Bears third in the conference, just behind Texas and Oklahoma State.
The 2001 Big 12 Tennis Championships mark the first time Baylor has ever hosted the conference tournament. The championships will be played at both the Streich Tennis Courts (Baylor's home on-and-off since 1973) and the new Baylor Tennis Center.
Baylor has steadily improved its showing at the Big 12 Championships since the creation of the conference. In 1997 and 1998, the Bears lost in the quarterfinals (5-4 to Oklahoma and 5-3 to Texas A&M, respectively). In 1999, Baylor beat Iowa State and Texas A&M before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Texas (5-2). In 2000, the Bears beat Kansas and Texas A&M before falling in the finals to Texas.
Baylor is 17-1 this season when winning the doubles point, including a 7-0 record when sweeping doubles. The Bears are 2-4 in matches when the opponent takes the first point.
Living It Up at Home
Since entering the Big 12 prior to the 1996-97 season, the Baylor women are 52-7 at home. The Bears won 19 home matches in a row from Feb. 1, 2000 through March 17, 2001. That streak ended with a 5-2 loss to then-No. 10 Texas on March 22.
Between April 16, 1999, and March 10, 2001, the Baylor men's and women's tennis teams won a combined 34 straight matches at home (16 by the men, 18 by the women).
Kovac Takes Top Spot
Junior Katja Kovac won twice on March 30 to tie Rachel Forney's school record for career singles wins, then won at Colorado on April 7 to set a new school record for career victories. Each win for Kovac now sets a new school mark, she currently has 96 career wins. Forney won 92 matches for the Bears from 1989-1993.
Climbing the Ladder
Several other current Baylor players are writing their names in the record books:
* Karin Andersson ranks third in school history in career singles wins (90), two wins behind second-place Rachel Forney. Andersson ranks second in career doubles wins (74), three behind record holder Sophie Goldschmidt.
* Katja Kovac's 32 wins this season are the third-highest total in school history, seven behind Jahnavi Parekh's record of 39 set in 1999-2000.
* Jahnavi Parekh ranks fourth in career singles wins (85), five wins behind teammate Karin Andersson in third place.
Racking Up the Wins
Katja Kovac became the first Bear to reach 20 wins this season (2/19). Jahnavi Parekh and Vida Mulec followed suit nearly a month later, as each won her 20th on the same day (3/17). Frida Borjesson was the fourth Bear to win 20 (4/1).
Kovac also became the first Baylor player to notch 30 wins on the season. Only five times in school history has a player won 30 matches, Kovac has done it in each of her three seasons at Baylor.
Baylor in the Rankings
The team's No. 13 national ranking (attained 2/28, 3/7 and 4/18) was the program's highest ever. The Bears have ranked no lower than No. 19 since March 29, 2000.
The Baylor men's and women's tennis teams were both in the top 25 for 53 straight weeks, a streak which ended March 21 when the men fell to No. 43. The stretch began March 15, 2000, when the women moved up to No. 18.
Two Bears have earned their highest career ranking this season. Katja Kovac earned her career-high singles ranking in February at No. 19 (2/12), and Vida Mulec received her highest mark (41) in December.
The Bears saw an eight-match win streak come to an end March 22 with their loss to then-No. 10 Texas. Each of Baylor's four losses this season has came against top-16 teams, including consecutive matches against then-No. 2 Georgia and then-No. 1 Stanford.
Katja Kovac won a career-high 11 straight matches (10/28-2/1) before losing to then-No. 1 Laura Granville of Stanford in the second round of the Rolex Indoors. The 11-match streak tied for sixth-best in school history. Kovac won another nine straight from Feb. 1 through March 30.
Vida Mulec won eight straight singles matches (2/16-3/17), a season high for her and two wins shy of her career high of 10.
Long-time doubles partners Karin Andersson and Frida Borjesson won their first five matches of the year, lost to No. 8 Granville/Lastra of Stanford, then won seven more in a row before losing March 17. The seven-match streak was a new career high for the duo and tied for the second-longest doubles win streak in school history.
The Baylor women earned three singles nominations and one doubles selection on the preseason all-Big 12 team. Senior all-American Jahnavi Parekh, junior Katja Kovac and sophomore Vida Mulec were each honored in singles, and the team of Kovac and Mulec was named to the doubles list.
Five current Bears were named to the Fall 2000 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll: Karin Andersson, Alison Bradley, Monica Gonzalez, Katja Kovac, and Vida Mulec. Former Bear Claudia Aguilar also made the list, which honors all varsity athletes who register a semester GPA of 3.0 or better.
Karin Andersson and Vida Mulec made the Academic All-Big 12 first team, while Jahnavi Parekh and Frida Borjesson were named to the second team. Andersson is a three-time first team selection. Parekh and Borjesson each earned her second academic all-conference selection, while Mulec earned her first such honor.
Baylor has won five straight season openers, dating back to 1996... The Bears' win over then-No. 8 UCLA (Feb. 16) was the first win over a top-10 team in program history.