Mizzou tennis faces back-to-back losses after falling 4-1 to Kentucky

Mizzou tennis picks up two conference losses against Vanderbilt and Kentucky in first SEC matches of the season.

Missouri (10-3, 0-2) came into their match against Kentucky (12-1, 2-0) looking for redemption after falling to Vanderbilt (6-3, 1-0) in its first conference match earlier in the road trip.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, the match resulted in their second conference and first back-to-back loss of the season.

Kentucky asserted dominance early in the match by clinching the No. 1 doubles point. The Wildcats’ Justina Mikulskyte and Akvilė Paražinskaitė defeated Mizzou’s pair Mackenzy Middlebrooks and Ellie Wright 6-0.

Although Middlebrooks suffered a defeat in the earlier doubles match, she quickly rebounded in a No.1 singles match against Mikulskyte coming out on top 6-0, 6-2. The win was Middlebrooks’ 11th singles victory of the spring season and the only win MU would pick up in the entire match.

The Wildcats regained the lead 2-1 after Wright lost to Tiphanie Fiquet 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Not much later, Kentucky saw success at No. 2 and No. 3 singles with Mizzou junior Serena Nash falling to Paražinskaitė 6-2, 6-4 and freshman Lisa Fukutoku defeated by Kentucky’s Lesedi Jacobs 7-6, 6-0.

With only one win from Middlebrooks at No.1 singles, the Tigers lost to the Wildcats 4-1.

“Overall there was a lot of fight out there today, we just need to continue to build on how to play the big points and understand our type of tennis in those pressure situations,” coach Colt Gaston said in a press release. “We definitely learned a lot this weekend and will put in some hard work next week to prepare for South Carolina."

The Tigers have a chance to even the playing field with two SEC matches next weekend at home. Missouri will take on South Carolina (7-2, 2-0) Friday, March 8 and Florida (4-4, 1-0) Sunday, March 10.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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