Jessica Hinojosa wasn’t paying attention to how her teammates were doing on the other courts at the Hurd Tennis Center.
At that point, the freshman had won the first set over Marie Norris 6-3 and was leading in the second set 5-4.
Hinojosa finished off Norris soon after as her singles win sealed the 4-2 victory for No. 18 Baylor over No. 24 TCU.
“It was a very tough match,” Hinojosa said. “In the end I was really tired but I thought just keep fighting every point and it went well in the end.”
The win marks Baylor’s (18-5) fifth victory in a row as the Lady Bears are undefeated at home (12-0) with two home matches remaining in the regular season – Friday vs. Kansas State and Sunday vs. Kansas.
Baylor jumped out to a 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point with wins by Blair Shankle and Karina Traxler (6-1) along with Theresa Van Zyl and Elizabeth Profit (6-4).
“I’m proud of the way we competed,” Baylor coach Joey Scrivano said. “TCU is really good. They’re really confident right now. This was a big win for our group.”
The Lady Bears then jumped out to a 3-1 lead as Shankle topped Seda Arantekin 6-3, 6-4 and Rhiann Newborn defeated Sofiko Kadzhaya 6-1, 7-5.
“Rhiann plays with a lot of emotion,” Scrivano said. “In the first set she really had her game put together. But in the second set she just competed really well. Her opponent had the momentum and everything was TCU’s way. To Rhiann’s credit she broke TCU’s momentum and found a way to win.”
TCU cut the score to 3-1 when Caroline Wegner defeated Angie Shakhraichuk 6-3, 6-3.
That left Hinojosa, Profit and Van Zyl left playing.
Hinojosa was the lone Lady Bear of the trio to win her first set. In addition, Profit and Van Zyl trailed 1-4 and 0-5 in their second sets respectively.
“One half of our team was really tough, competed hard and gave it everything they had,” Scrivano said. “The other half didn’t give their best. We’ve got to improve that.”
But before either one of those Horned Frogs were able to add to TCU’s score, Hinojosa battled through and finished her match victoriously.
“Jessica, I mean, what a warrior,” Scrivano said. “She was our best player today. Jessica, just from start to finish, she’s so solid (in) singles and doubles. As a freshman to be that mentally tough, her future is very, very bright. Extremely proud of her. Glad to have her on our side.”
While the Lady Bears were victorious over the Horned Frogs, the fourth-ranked Baylor men’s team had their hands full with No. 9 TCU.
Baylor’s lone point came from senior Max Tchoutakian on senior night as the Bears fell 4-1 to the Horned Frogs.
“It’s always hard to lose,” Baylor coach Matt Knoll said. “It was a really good experience for our guys, I think. We’ll grow from that. I think you saw a lot of the youth of our team today. Being a big match, big situation in conference, that’s something we’ll really grow from and moving forward something we’ll benefit from.”
TCU won the doubles point as Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder beat Jimmy Bendeck and Johannes Schretter along with Trevor Johnson and Cameron Norrie defeating Constantin Frantzen and Tchoutakian 6-4 and 6-2 respectively.
The Horned Frogs then went up 3-1 as Alex Rybakov topped Schretter 6-2, 6-0. Trevor Johnston followed with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Frantzen.
“You saw a poise up and down their lineup that we lacked,” Knoll said. “I think it was one of those matches where we, in spurts, played really well but we weren’t able to sustain the level of intensity that we needed to play a team this good. They did a much better job.”
While Tchoutakian fought for his win over Guillermo Nunez, his teammates continued to fight until Norrie topped Benitez to give TCU the victory.
“I thought we competed hard,” Knoll said. “There’s nothing to be said about the way we competed. Will’s guy served for the match and he was able to come back and win that set and extend his match and do a great job. We had a lot of good performances in terms of battling back from adversity. I think we saw a lot of heart from our guys. We just have to mature a little bit and get a little more comfortable in these matches.”