ATHENS, Ga. — The 40th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team upset No. 26 Wake Forest, 4-2, in the opening round of the NCAA Championships Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The victory propelled BU (18-14) in to the second round of the national event for a 12th-straight season and the 14th time overall.
Holding a 3-2 advantage over the Demon Deacons (19-10), freshman Elizabeth Profit provided the clinching point with a triumph at the No. 5 singles position.
Profit jumped out to an early lead in the match with a 6-4 first-set victory over Samantha Asch, but then she was shutout out in the second set 6-0 to send the match to a deciding third set.
In that third set with the score tied 4-4, Profit held and then broke Asch to claim the match, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, to send the Bears into the second round.
Baylor had opened the match by winning the doubles point. However, it took a comeback from BU to snag the opening point. The 20th-ranked duo of Blair Shankle and Kiah Generette were upset by 62nd-ranked Kimmy Guerin and Anna Ulyashchenko, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot.
Elizabeth Profit and Theresa Van Zyl tied up the doubles point at match apiece with a 6-4 triumph over Luisa Fernandez and Andrea Retolaza on court three.
Rhiann Newborn and Karina Traxler were tied 4-4 with Emma Davis and Sam Asch at the No. 2 position when all the attention turned to that court. The BU duo prompted carded a break and then Newborn served it out for the 6-4 victory and the doubles point.
In singles action, Van Zyl raced past Fernandez, 6-2, 6-1, at the bottom of the lineup to stake the Bears to a 2-0 lead.
At that point, Wake Forest got back into the match with Newborn’s 6-2, 6-4 setback to Ulyashchenko on court three and Generette’s 6-2, 7-5 loss against 111th-ranked Davis at the No. 2 spot.
Shankle tipped the momentum back in BU’s direction by capturing a 7-6(5), 6-1 upset at the top of the lineup over Guerin. The BU junior had led the opening set 5-2, before falling down 5-6 and then forcing a tiebreaker, which she eventually claimed. That win put the Bears up 3-2 and set the stage for Profit’s heroics.
While Profit was winning the match, Traxler was battling Jonna Zalewskiat at the No. 4 spot and though that match went unfinished, the BU freshman was leading, 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-3.
Baylor is 14-5 in the first round of NCAA play all-time and 12-1 under head coach Joey Scrivano.