Tiger tennis evens up record with 6-1 win over Illinois State

The Tigers improved to 3-3 while raising breast cancer awareness at the team's Pink Out event.

On her birthday, Missouri tennis coach Sasha Schmid received a nice present from her team in the form of a 6-1 victory over Illinois State on Friday at Green Tennis Center.

The win brings the Tigers even in the win-loss column at 3-3.

The match also played host to the team’s Pink Out event, which featured donations to the Susan G. Komen foundation, as well as Tiger players donning pink uniforms.

In No. 1 singles, Missouri senior Nina Pantic came out victorious in a close battle against Illinois State’s Aniko Kiss (7-5, 6-7 and 10-5).

Illinois State’s lone victory of the night occurred in the No. 2 singles position. Missouri junior Maria Christensen suffered an injury early in the match and was forced to retire, giving Phyllis Tigges the win (2-1, retired).

In the third slot, Missouri sophomore Rachel Stuhlmann, who was recently ranked No. 77, quickly won the first set, and began the second set by winning four of its first five games. Though her opponent Emmie Marx staged a late comeback, Stuhlmann prevailed (6-1 and 6-4).

In the No. 4 slot, Missouri senior Jamie Mera topped Ariane Maack (6-4 and 6-2).

Missouri freshman Alex Clark, playing in the No. 5 spot, defeated Carolina Abello in a tight two-set match (6-4 and 6-4).

And in No. 6 singles, junior Annemijn Koenen defeated Illinois State’s Hannah Esker (6-3 and 8-3).

Schmid was happy with the way the team played in its singles matches.

“The matches were competitive, and it’s always good to win those," Schmid said. "Having success will help grow our confidence, and were always looking to improve that."

The Tigers also received the doubles point, as they swept all three matches.

In the No. 1 doubles position, Missouri’s pairing of Pantic and Mera cruised by Illinois State’s Tigges and Marks, 8-3.

Missouri would also earn a win in the second doubles slot, as its duo of Christensen and Koenen defeated Kiss and Maack, 8-4.

And in No. 3 doubles, Stuhlmann and Clark edged out a close win against Illinois State’s Esker and Youngberg, 8-6.

While the final scores indicate the Tigers played very well in its doubles matches, the players were less than thrilled with their collective performance.

“We need to improve in doubles," Pantic said. "We have to close out points, and be aggressive."

Schmid didn’t seem to think Pantic was far off in her assessment.

“I think we could have been a little sharper in doubles and played cleaner,” Schmid said. “We are hoping to improve on that in practice and play more aggressive in matches.”

Overall, the Tigers seemed proud of their performance.

“I think we played pretty well," Mera said. "We stayed mentally tough, committed the whole time, and we got the job done."

Schmid agreed.

“We get a lot out of days like this, and we hope we can get some momentum going,” she said.

The Tigers will try to ride their momentum to another victory when they host Saint Louis University on Sunday.

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