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Navarro cruises to runner-up finish in Rolex Regional

Nov. 11, 1997

By Elizabeth Harris

Sports Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Junior Barbara Navarro was forced to finish second at the Regional Rolex Tournament in Austin this weekend, as the Baylor women's tennis team finished out its fall season. The bracket tournament began on Thursday with 128 singles players competing in two matches a day. The tournament, in which all Division 1 schools in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas were eligible to participate, ran through Sunday.

In the first and second rounds, Navarro and teammates Hortensia Hernandez and Claudia Aguilar successfully defeated all of their opponents from University of Texas in El Paso, McNeese State, University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, Rice and Lamar, in singles play. Hernandez, a senior, and Aguilar, a sophomore, also teamed up to overthrow their competition, including a duo from University of Arkansas at Little Rock, in both the first and second rounds of doubles play.

Friday's tournament results reported an off-day for Hernandez and Aguilar as they both fell in singles third round play. The duo also lost in doubles third round play to a pair from University of Texas in El Paso. These Baylor losses left Navarro the only Lady Bear in the tournament, as she defeated her opponents in third and fourth round play.

In quarterfinal play on Saturday, Navarro defeated Zana Zlebnik of Texas Tech, 6-2, 6-1. Navarro then went on to defeat University of Texas in El Paso's Tonja Magoc, 6-1, 6-0, in semifinal play.

'It was a long tournament, which made it very tiring,' Navarro said. 'I just played every match with the idea that it was the only one that mattered and I was relaxed.'

By reaching the finals, Navarro has qualified to play at the ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held in February in Dallas, and will feature the top 32 players in the country. Navarro went further into the tournament than any other player in Baylor history.

On Sunday, Navarro faced top-seeded Romana Tedjakasuma of Nicholls State for the tournament championship. Tedjakasuma was too much for Navarro as she dominated and won the match, 6-1, 6-0. According to Baylor Head Coach Dave Luedtke, Tedjakasuma is one of college tennis' best players.

'She is so efficient and has tremendous hands, awesome anticipation,' Luedtke said. 'She has no weaknesses and never lets you get your balance.'

Luedtke said although the score wasn't close, Navarro played well. She had three unforced errors and had to hit the line to get a ball by Tedjakasuma. The Nicholls State coach told Luedtke that Tedjakasuma had never played better.

'Barbara had a great tournament and beat some great players to reach the finals,' Luedtke said.

Navarro said when the fall season started, she had expected to go far. She said that she is very happy with the tournament results.

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