No. 7 Baylor downs Northwestern
Bears make it ninth victory in a row with road win at Wildcats
EVANSTON, Ill. -- In a top-15 battle that came down to a tiebreak in the final set, Baylor’s seventh-ranked women’s tennis team was able to earn 4-3 road win against No. 15 Northwestern on Thursday evening in Evanston, Ill. The win snaps Northwestern’s nine-match win streak, while improving Baylor’s win streak to nine matches.
“Every time we play Northwestern, its a great match with a ton of momentum shifts,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “I was proud of our whole team. To beat a team like Northwestern on the road, indoors, you need all of your players to show up. This team just kept battling through all of the up and downs, and found a way to win."
With the team score tied 3-3 and facing a 3-0 deficit in the third set, senior Jelena Stanivuk revived her game and stormed back to lead Baylor to the victory. Ranked 117th, Stanivuk squared the third set at 3-3, and then traded service games until winning the tiebreak for a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 win over Brittany Wowchuk.
“Jelena’s (Stanivuk) match was a constant tug-of-war,” Scrivano said. “She didn’t have her best tennis today, but she kept adjusting and made the right plays to get the victory.”
The doubles point had started the day for Northwestern, which earned victories on Court 2 and 3 over the Lady Bears. On Court 2, the Wildcats Maria Mosolova and Belinda Niu snapped a five-match win streak by Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk, 8-4. Baylor’s Sona Novakova and Diana Nakic had their three-match win streak snapped on Court with an 8-4 loss to Brittany Wowchuk and Elena Chernyakova.
Baylor’s lone doubles win came from Nina Secerbegovic and Karolina Filipiak on Court 1, picking up an 8-4 win over Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton. The Lady Bear combo moved their win streak to four matches with the victory.
In singles, the Wildcats pushed their team lead to 2-0 with the first victory on Court 1 from No. 52 Maria Mosolova. Entering the match with a perfect 15-0 dual-match record, Mosolova kept it perfect with a 7-6, 6-2 win over No. 14 Sona Novakova.
Baylor responded with two straight-set wins by their two hottest players on Courts 2 and 3. Each with double-digit win streaks, Secerbegovic and Nakic continued their solid play in singles. No. 40 Secerbegovic was the first to win, taking a 7-6, 6-3 win over Niu for her 17th consecutive singles victory. Nakic, ranked 46th, earned her 11th straight win with a victory over Northwestern’s Kate Turvy. Nakic faced a first-set, 5-0 deficit, but came back to win 13 of the next 16 games for a 7-6, 6-2 win.
“"Nina started us off in singles, she is just so rock solid." Scrivano said. “We count on her so much and she comes through with that big point on the board. And Diana’s match was a special one. For anybody who plays tennis, they know that being down 5-0 in a set is nearly impossible to come back from, but Diana turned it around.”
The teams then traded victories on Courts 4 and 6 to set up the final match on Court 5 with a 3-3 score. First, Baylor took the 3-2 lead on a solid comeback win by the senior Ormond. On Court 6, Ormond struggled through the first set, losing 6-2 to Mushrefova, but got on a roll to win the second set 6-1. In the third, Ormond out-dueled Mushrefova late in the set to take a 7-5 win.
Northwestern’s third victory came in another three set match on Court 4. Baylor’s Karolina Filipiak and the Wildcats’ Wowchuk traded 6-2 sets in the first and second frames, but Wowchuk got control in the third with a 6-3 win.
Baylor will travel to Colorado on April 17 for the second of a three-match road swing. The Lady Bears and Buffaloes will hit the first serve at 11 a.m. MT/Noon CT in Boulder, Colo.