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No. 18 Florida beats Baylor women’s tennis 6-1

No.  18 Florida beats Baylor women’s tennis 6-1


Sophomore Anita Sahdiieva waits for the opponent to serve during a non-conference game against No. University of Florida on Sunday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. Grace Everett | Photographer

By Michael Haag | Sports editor

Baylor women’s tennis head coach Joey Scrivano planned No. 18 University of Florida because he knew the Gators are traditionally successful and it would be a good challenge for his squad. As Florida beat the Bears 6-1 at the Hawkins Indoor Center on Sunday afternoon, Scrivano said he’s thankful his group was tested by one of the best teams in the country.

“We put them on the schedule because we knew they would push us and that certainly happened today,” said Scrivano. “We were pushed. But we have responded well to many jobs. We have made some positive steps forward, but of course we would like the results to be different. We must learn from it. That’s all we can do.”

It was a tough day for Baylor (6-2) as he struggled to get going much. Florida (3-1) took the double and ran away with singles until the final game, when senior Isabella Harrison shrugged off a first-set loss to prevail 1-6, 6-1, 7-5.

“[Harvison’s] really made good strides and I’m proud of her because [with] the way that first set went, her spirit could have been broken,” Scrivano said. “Instead, she braced herself and got tougher, more focused, and she got rewarded for that.”

The second pair Brooke Thompson and Alina Shcherbinina dropped their doubles first, 3-6. Then Harvison and sophomore Anita Sahdiieva fell by a score of 4-6, giving the Gators the double point.

In singles, senior Paula Barañano had a heavy draw on court three as she fell 0–6 in back-to-back sets. Thompson lost to her opponent 1-6, 0-6 minutes later to give Florida a 3-0 overall lead.

Freshman Danielle Tuhten fought hard on court five, but was eventually beaten 4-6, 4-6. Tuhten nearly rallied in the second set to even the count, but her loss officially gave Florida the overall win.

“The identity of the team is being formed,” Scrivano said. “And we see that we have some really tough kids on our team and we have some fighters. But there is still a long way to go and the team needs to come together more and we will learn from today and we will get better.”

Freshman Daniella Dimitrov presses on a serve to her opponent in a non-conference game against No.  University of Florida, Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.  Grace Everett |  Photographer
Freshman Daniella Dimitrov follows through on a serve to her opponent during a non-conference game against No. University of Florida Sunday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. Grace Everett | Photographer

Both programs agreed to complete the remaining three singles games and Harvison was the lone athlete to win. Sahdiieva along with freshman Daniella Dimitrov went the distance, but dropped their games.

Baylor now looks forward to a road game against Harvard University on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Scrivano expects the Bears to gain more experience playing Waco against the Crimson (3-3).

“They’re a really good team, a super talented team,” Scrivano said. “We put them on the schedule because we wanted a tough road race. And I think we’re going to get that. I think we’ll have our hands full with it, but that’s how you get better. Our mentality there is go there, learn from today and try to come out with a win.




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