NORMAN – The Oklahoma women’s tennis team kicks off conference play Friday when it hosts Baylor in the final contest of the nine-match homestand.
First serve is set for 5 p.m. CT, and the match will be played on the outdoor courts at Headington Family Tennis Center, weather permitting. Friday's match will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma and Fox College Sports Central.
Oklahoma (8-2) moved up three spots in this week’s ITA rankings to No. 47 after breaking into the rankings on Feb. 28.
Through eight consecutive matches at home, OU has compiled a 7-1 record. The Sooners come into Friday’s contest on a five-match winning streak, winning five straight matches since falling to Tulsa on Feb. 18. Baylor is the first ranked team OU will face the season as the Lady Bears enter league play ranked No. 10.
In their last match, the Sooners defeated Wichita State, 5-2. Junior Christie Brigante clinched the match for OU, while No. 22 Lily Miyazaki picked up her sixth straight victory from the No. 1 line. The junior has now won her last six singles contests in straight sets.
Freshmen Julie Byrne and Ann Selim also continued their win streaks, with Byrne collecting her fourth consecutive victory on court five and Selim notching her fifth in the No. 6 spot in the lineup.
Oklahoma is just one win shy of matching its number of victories last season.
Scouting the Lady Bears
Baylor (10-3) comes into the matchup ranked No. 10 in the ITA poll, following a four-match week beginning March 2, when it defeated Incarnate Word, Old Dominion and then-No. 21 UCLA in Waco, but falling to No. 44 Tulsa, 4-3, on the road.
In singles play, the Bears are led by senior and No. 11 Blair Shankle, who owns a 6-1 record in the top flight. Shankle has defeated three nationally-ranked opponents. Shankle and Elizabeth Profit are also ranked No. 22 in doubles action.
Fellow senior Rhiann Newborn clocks in at No. 110 nationally and has compiled a 9-3 record on courts one, two and three.
Baylor’s Teresa Van Zyl received Big 12 Player of the Week honors following Baylor’s four-match week, when she posted a 4-0 mark in singles play and was 2-1 in doubles. The junior is 8-3 this season.
The Lady Bears will visit Oklahoma State Thursday night to take on the No. 7 Cowgirls before traveling south to Norman. Baylor leads the all-time series, 17-1.
Friday's match will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma and Fox College Sports Central.
Admission to the Headington Family Tennis Center is free. Live stats for the match will be available here.
For updates, follow @OU_WTennis on Twitter.