No. 1 Texas women’s tennis overcomes early deficit, beats No. 25 Baylor 4-2.

Hunter Dworaczyk, General Sports Reporter

No. 1 Texas women’s tennis faced No. 25 Baylor indoors Wednesday at the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center, a contest that served as a rematch of last year’s Big 12 Championship and the Longhorns’ first top 25 matchup of the year.

Similar to the 1993 film bearing the same name, the Longhorns’ Groundhog Day dual-match was anything but usual. Although Texas and Baylor are long-time Big 12 rivals, the contest was considered a non-conference match. 

The Longhorns also found themselves in unfamiliar territory on the young season, down 1-0 after dropping the doubles point. 

The Texas duo of sophomore Kylie Collins and freshman Sabina Zeynalova pushed the No. 4 Baylor senior pair of Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana early, but the experience of the Bears’ duo proved to be crucial as they took their match 6-3.

The Texas freshman pair of Allura Zamarippa and Vivian Ovrootsky fell 6-3 to the Baylor junior duo of Isabella Harvison and Paula Barañano, clinching the doubles point for the Bears.

Having lost the important doubles point, Texas needed to take four of the six singles matches to win the match. Sophomore Peyton Stearns provided the first singles point for the Longhorns by claiming a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Krywoj.

Ovrootsky overcame an early deficit to win the first set 6-4 against Baylor’s Barañano. The freshman used her momentum to earn a 6-0 shutout second set victory, giving Texas a 2-1 lead. 

After going down 4-1 in the first set of her singles match, it took a moment of frustration from No. 40 Collins for things to start going right against Baylor’s Harvison. The sophomore rattled off five games in a row to win the set 6-4. Collins impressed in the second set with a 6-1 victory, clinching the match and giving Texas a 3-1 lead.

The Bears cut the deficit to 3-2 when Texas sophomore Charlotte Chavatipon suffered a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Baylor’s No. 97 Alina Shcherbinina.

After losing the first set heavily to No. 77 Herrero Linana, Zeynalova needed to respond quickly in order to win her match. Despite the difficult task, the Ukraine product took the second set 6-4. Supported by echoing cheers from the Texas men’s tennis team and the Longhorn faithful, Zeynalova won the final set of the day 6-1, clinching the match with a final score of 4-2. 

Texas women’s tennis will return to the Weller Tennis Center on Sunday, when the Longhorns will look to improve on their current 28-match win streak in an indoor match against Missouri.