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James Hill | | May 16, 2015

Geared up for Sunday

Baylor 5-15 Burgic, Baylor to take on Southern California in Sunday's quarterfinals.

WACO, Texas -- The host and eighth-seeded Baylor Bears ousted the No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers 4-3 in a nail-biting barn-burner late Friday night in the round of 16 at the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship.

Baylor (28-6) will face the top-seeded Southern California Trojans on Sunday in the quarterfinals at Hurd Tennis Center. USC (24-2) blanked No. 16 Texas Tech 4-0 in Friday's opening round of the women's tournament.

The Bears might have a day off Saturday -- except for practice -- but senior Ema Burgic has an important appointment. She will go through Baylor's commencement ceremony and earn a degree in accounting.

"I'm really excited about graduating," said Burgic, who hails from Lukavac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. "But, I'm actually more excited about the match on Sunday. I want to bounce back from my matches today, and learn from it."

Burgic, ranked No. 22 in collegiate singles, lost a straight-set match on the No. 1 line to sixth-ranked Julia Elbaba. Earlier, Burgic and her doubles partner, Rachael James-Baker, lost in the No. 1 matchup. Burgic has received a bid to the NCAA Singles Tournament, and the Bears tandem will also play doubles. The individual events will be held May 20-25.

The nearly five-hour dual match was decided at No. 4 singles, as James-Baker outlasted Skylar Morton 6-7, 7-5, 6-1. Last year, Virginia beat Baylor 4-1 in the same round at Athens, Georgia.

"The team has improved a lot," Burgic said. "We have an awesome team this year, and there are a lot of new additions."

Burgic had some special supporters in the grandstands Friday night -- her parents. Denis and Elvira Burgic came from Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina to watch their daughter play for the first time in collegiate competition. Burgic does have one more item of business on June 13: She will marry former Baylor men's player Attila Bucko.

In other action, defending women's champion UCLA, seeded seventh, defeated No. 10 Texas A&M 4-1. The Bruins will have a rematch Sunday with the team they edged 4-3 in the 2014 championship: second-seeded North Carolina. The Tar Heels beat No. 15 Miami 4-1 in the round of 16. Fourteenth-seeded Stanford upset its perennial rival across the bay, No. 3 California, by the tight score of 4-3. The Cardinal will play No. 6 Georgia, which beat No. 11 Michigan 4-2. Fifth-seeded Florida was a 4-0 winner against No. 12 Oklahoma State, and is paired with No. 4 Vanderbilt, which blanked Clemson.

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