Mizzou women’s tennis goes 1-2 over busy weekend

The team was handed its first home loss of the season in a 4-3 defeat of Wichita State on Friday.
Freshman Marta Oliveira returns a serve in a singles match on Feb. 10, 2018.

Missouri women’s tennis (11-3) played three matches over a busy weekend and was handed two home losses but came away with a win Sunday.

On Friday afternoon, the team faced off against No. 30 Wichita State and suffered its first home loss of the season. Mizzou ended up losing the match 4-3 after dropping its first doubles point of the season.

The Tigers began singles play Friday with two straight losses and found themselves down 3-0 heading into their third singles match. From there, Missouri made a game of it. Freshman Ellie Wright, sophomore Mackenzy Middlebrooks and senior Amina Ismail all won their individual matches and tied the match at 3-3. But Missouri couldn’t finish the comeback and lost its final set, dropping its first home game of the year.

Two days later, the Tigers were back in action when they split a doubleheader Sunday against No. 35 Kansas State and University of Missouri Kansas City.

The day didn’t start on a positive note for the Tigers, as the team fell 4-2 to Kansas State for its second straight loss.

The Tigers lost the doubles point for the second time in as many matches but fought back in singles, forcing five of the six singles matches to go to three sets.

While the team struggled as a whole, there were some positive takeaways. Middlebrooks won her 16th consecutive singles match, and the duo of she and Wright continued their strong doubles play with a win.

Head coach Colt Gaston discussed the team's poor start.

"It was another tough one for us against K-State; we didn't start well in doubles and really dug ourselves a hole early," Gaston said in a press release. "I left like we had a ton of chances in this match and didn't capitalize the way we wanted to. We need to do a better job of starting better in matches and finishing better in crunch time.”

The Tigers must have listened to what he said because later that evening, they swept UMKC 4-0.

Middlebrooks and Wright started off the match with a doubles win. Sophomore Serena Nash and senior Clare Raley secured the doubles point after winning their match 6-2 to give Mizzou a 1-0 lead.

Mizzou carried its doubles play into the singles sets and was rewarded with wins from freshman Marta Oliveira as well as Middlebrooks and Nash to close out the match and get back in the win column.

Missouri will begin play against Southeastern Conference opponents on March 2 at 4 p.m., when Arkansas comes to Columbia to take on the Tigers.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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