The No. 45 Missouri women’s tennis made it five consecutive victories when it defeated archrival Kansas 4-3 on Friday at Green Tennis Center.
While the Tigers (10-8, 2-4 Big 12 Conference) won the overall match, they did drop the doubles point. Coach Sasha Schmid viewed this from a positive standpoint.
“You know, we would have liked to win the doubles point, and that’s something we need to work on," Schmid said. "But it was great to see the team not let it get to them, focus on singles, and win the match."
At No. 1 singles, in a dominating performance, Missouri senior Nina Pantic defeated Kansas’ Monica Pezzotti (6-1 and 6-0).
At No. 2, Missouri sophomore Rachel Stuhlmann was also victorious, topping Paulina Los (6-4 and 6-3).
Missouri junior Maria Christensen easily handled Maria Belen Luduena at No. 3 (6-2 and 6-3).
Despite Missouri senior Jamie Mera’s attempt to complete a furious comeback after dropping the first set, Dylan Windom gave Kansas its first singles victory on the day at No. 4 (6-3, 2-6 and 6-4).
In an incredibly hard-fought match, Claire Dryer defeated Missouri freshman Alex Clark at No. 5 (7-6, 9-7 and 6-4). The fierce competitive nature of both players was on full-display, as both tried to pump themselves up after almost every point.
Rounding out singles play, Missouri junior Annemijn Koenen notched another Tiger victory at No. 6, defeating Victoria Khanevskaya (7-5 and 6-1).
At No. 1 doubles, Kansas’ duo of Windom and Pezzotti proved to be too much for Missouri’s senior combination of Pantic and Mera, 8-4.
In a close match that came down to a tiebreaker, Kansas’ Los and Luduena prevailed over Christensen and Koenen (9-8 and 7-5).
Missouri’s lone doubles victory on the day came when Stuhlmann and Clark topped Khanevskaya and Dryer, 8-4.
Overall, Pantic was pleased with the Tigers’ performance, although agreed with Schmid regarding improvements in doubles.
“I think we played really good," Pantic said. "We still need to get better in doubles, but I liked the way the team fought tonight."
The win helps the Tigers move closer to one of their preseason goals, Koennen said.
“We’ve always said we wanted to be a top-40 team, and to come in at No. 45 and get another win is great,” she said.
The Tigers will host their final home match of the season Sunday against Kansas St.