Texas nearing Big 12 regular season title after sweep of Baylor

Clark Dalton

Texas women’s tennis hasn’t lost a single regular season match to a Big 12 foe in just under two years. Not even winds exceeding 25 miles per hour were going to change that.

On Wednesday, Texas headed to Waco to take on Baylor. Already beginning to separate themselves in the Big 12, the Longhorns had won their six previous conference matches. A win over the Bears would only expand the gap between Texas and any challengers.

Although the Bears were shorthanded with just five players, the Longhorns had a difficult task as well.

“The wind was extremely frustrating since play is usually suspended,” Texas head coach Howard Joffe said. “However, I was proud that the team buckled down and kept competing.”

Despite the strong winds, Texas started on the right foot by winning the doubles point. The combination of Bojana Markovic and Fernanda Labraña swept Alexandra Ahearn and Dominika Sujova. Meanwhile, Anna and Bianca Turati clinched another point mere moments later by defeating Katelyn Parker and Angelina Shakhraichuk, 6-1, which marked the twins’ third straight win at the No. 1 doubles spot.

The Longhorns’ success carried on in singles with Fernanda Labraña winning in straight sets. Labraña dominated Alexandra Ahearn winning 6-1 and 6-0. Labraña’s effort placed Texas within one point of victory.

Markovic then sealed the dual match win in straight sets against Katelyn Parker. Although the Longhorns sealed the team win early, they showed no signs of satisfaction and kept a high level of intensity.

Anna, who entered Wednesday after earning Big 12 co-Player of the Week honors, was clearly feeling Texas’ momentum. Anna stretched her win streak to 13 against Sujova in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.

Petra Granic also contributed to Texas’ dominance by becoming the fifth Longhorn this season to reach the double digit mark in total wins. Granic improved to 10–1 after dismantling Stephanie Adames 6-0, 6-2. The match was the fifth win in the straight sets and helped the Longhorns move one step closer to a feat they had not accomplished all season — a seven point sweep.

Bianca earned the honors of completing the sweep, earning the Longhorns’ sixth victory in straight sets against Paula Baranano 6-3, 7-5.

Texas will continue its road trip on Friday in Ames against Iowa State. With a win, Texas will clinch a share of the Big 12 regular season title.

“We will not be fresh, but I think the team is staying sharp since they’re fully aware of the implications of every match at this point in the season,” Joffe said.