May 2, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - Four members of the Baylor women's tennis team including three singles and one doubles tandem earned entry into the NCAA Individual Championships, officials announced on Wednesday.
In the 64-player singles draw, Baylor's senior trio of Diana Nakic, Sona Novakova and Nina Secerbegovic each earned an at-large selection. The doubles tandem of Secerbegovic and Ema Burgic earned the Big 12's automatic qualification into the 32-team doubles pool.
Nakic is Baylor's highest-ranked player at No. 15 and leads the team with a total of 31 singles wins, while Novakova is tied with Secerbegovic for the team lead in singles win percentage at .862 with their 25-4 records. Novakova ranks No. 48 in singles, while Secerbegovic is No. 22.
All three are returning entrants into the 64-player field from last season, while Secerbegovic is making her third consecutive appearance. Novakova and Nakic were each defeated in the first round in 2011, but Secerbegovic made it to the Round of 16 in 2010 and then one step further in the quarterfinals last season to earn her second consecutive All-America honor.
In doubles, the tandem of the senior Secerbegovic and the freshman Burgic has been Baylor's most formidable duo this season. The pair is ranked 13th, highest in the Big 12, with a 9-5 overall record that includes four wins over top-30 opponents. Each of the pair's matches have come at the No. 1 doubles position and have included defeats of Notre Dame's fifth-ranked Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews, Northwestern's fourth-ranked Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton, and Clemson's 17th-ranked Keri Wong and Josipa Bek.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will begin on May 23, after the conclusion of the team championships, in Athens, Ga. Baylor will be back on the court at home in the NCAA First and Second Rounds next weekend, hosting first-round opponent Oral Roberts, as well as Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin on May 11-12. Baylor and Oral Roberts will hit the courts at 2 p.m. on Friday.