Missouri tennis falls short twice in SEC opening weekend

he Tigers lost to both Mississippi State and LSU.

On Friday afternoon, Missouri tennis began the weekend with hopes of starting its SEC season by breaking its 26-game conference losing streak against Mississippi State on Friday or No. 36 LSU on Sunday. Two days later, on Sunday night, the team was still chasing that elusive conference win.

In what proved to be a tough weekend for them, the Tigers fell short of victory against both squads.

Mississippi State

Hoping for an ever-important conference win, Missouri came into this match hoping to start their season with a bang. Ultimately, the Tigers lost 4-1 to the Bulldogs.

Starting the match with doubles play, Missouri came back from an early deficit, sending the second two matches into tiebreakers.

After an early doubles loss at the third spot, the second spot pairing of Vivien Ábrahám and Marta Oliveira came from behind in impressive fashion and sent their match to a tiebreaker game, ultimately winning the match 7-6 (5) and tying the team doubles score at 1-1. Scoring more than a few important points up front, Oliveira was successful at the net throughout the match.

With Serena Nash and Gabrielle Goldin playing for the doubles point win, the pair sent their match into a tiebreaker game as well. After an extended period of back-and-forth scoring, Mississippi State’s Magda Adaloglou and Tamara Racine took the win over Missouri with a score of 7-6 (5).

Early in her doubles match, Nash showed the crowd why she plays in the No. 1 spot with two straight points off the backhand that elicited audible response from the crowd

In singles play, Missouri’s only point of the evening came from Oliveira, who won her match in straight sets.

Missouri’s Ellie Wright fell just short of a win against No. 122 Emma Antonaki, in the premier match of the evening.

With almost the entire crowd locked onto the match on Court 2, Wright battled back from an early deficit to take Antonaki into a 12-point tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Antonaki exhibited phenomenal line play and was eventually able to edge out Wright.

For Missouri, Oliveira, who was able to get the team’s only two wins of the evening in her singles and doubles match, looked especially strong in this match.

“We knew they were a solid team,” coach Colt Gaston said. “We simply have got to execute a little bit better. I thought we played [in] pressure situations better than last weekend.”

No. 36 LSU

After the loss on Friday, the Tigers made their way to Baton Rouge to play No. 36 LSU, who came straight off of a win against No. 20 Vanderbilt.

The result was less than stellar, seeing Missouri lose 4-0 against the LSU squad.

After losing the doubles point, Missouri was unable to finish any of its singles matches with a victory either.

In doubles play, Nash and Goldin started things off with a 6-1 loss followed by Oliveira and Ábrahám in a 6-3 loss.

In singles, Missouri lost at spots three, five, and six in straight sets. Of the nine total sets finished, Missouri was only able to win one. This win came from Wright, who won her first set 6-4.

LSU came into this match with a 8-2 record against multiple ranked teams so while the loss isn’t necessarily surprising, Missouri surely isn’t excited about it.

Missouri’s next match comes against Arkansas on Sunday in Columbia.

Edited by Eli Hoff | ehoff@themaneater.com

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