MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Playing its second Big 12 contest of the weekend, the West Virginia University women’s tennis team was defeated by No. 36 Baylor, 6-1, at the Ridgeview Racquet Club.
“Looking at Baylor’s schedule prior to the match and their ranking, it is certain that this team will finish higher than their current ranking,” said coach Tina Samara. “They played a style of tennis that we do not see very often. They were bigger, stronger and tougher than our girls today. We didn’t do everything that we could have done to neutralize their strengths.”
The Bears began the match by quickly taking the doubles point. At No. 1 doubles, No. 25 Ema Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva were 8-2 victors, while the duo of Alex Leatu and Alex Clay were 8-2 winners at No. 2 doubles.
The lone bright spot for WVU in doubles play was an 8-1 victory by Emily Mathis
and Audrey Wooland
. The win was the combo’s team-leading eighth doubles win of the season.
“Emily and Audrey did a great job at No. 2 doubles,” Samara said. “They are two seniors that have played a lot of collegiate tennis. They were not intimidated by their opponents, and they made sure that they avoid mistakes. The times that they have lost this season are because they have almost beaten themselves. They are just two players that have found a way to win.”
After securing the doubles point, Baylor quickly turned its attention to carrying its momentum into singles play.
The Bears received straight-set victories from each of their three ranked singles players, as No. 12 Ema Burgic, No. 124 Megan Horter and No. 121 Victoria Kisialeva won at No 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
“We need to continue to understand that you don’t just have to rip winners all over the place,” Samara said. “The top players limit their mistakes. College tennis is all about unforced errors. When we are not playing well, we try to do more and more. We have to understand that will not help us win matches.”
The wins also secured the team victory for Baylor, as it extended the lead to 4-0.
Following a win by Baylor’s Kiah Generette at No. 4 singles, the Mountaineers’ Vivian Tsui
earned the team’s lone win of the day. Tsui defeated Alex Clay, 6-3, 6-2, for her sixth singles win of the season, which is good for a tie for the team lead.
“Vivian has turned a lot of things around over the past few weeks,” Samara said. “Because of that, we are seeing an improvement in her play. She is playing with more intensity in terms of her competitiveness, and she has become a more vocal player. We knew that she had that type of energy in her, but we just had to find a way to bring it out.”
WVU (4-9, 0-2 Big 12) returns to the court next weekend, as it travels to Texas Tech on March 22 and Texas on March 24.ResultsSingles
No. 1: No. 12 Ema Burgic (BU) def. Audrey Wooland
(WVU), 6-1, 6-1
No. 2: No. 124 Megan Horter (BU) def. Hailey Barrett
(WVU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: No. 121 Victoria Kisialeva (BU) def. Ikttesh Chahal
(WVU), 6-1, 6-1
No. 4: Kiah Generette (BU) def. Emily Mathis
(WVU), 6-1, 6-3
No. 5: Vivian Tsui
(WVU) def. Alex Clay (BU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 6: Maria Barakova (BU) def. Irinka Toidze
(WVU), 6-1, 7-6 (6-3)Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6Doubles
No. 1: No. 25 Burgic/Kisialeva (BU) def. Barrett/Chahal (WVU), 8-2
No. 2: Mathis/Wooland (WVU) def. Generette/Horter (BU), 8-1
No. 3: Leatu/Clay (BU) def. Tsui/Toidze (WVU), 8-2Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3