MU tennis drops first match of SEC Tournament

Missouri’s season comes to an end after falling 4-1 to Arkansas in match No. 1 of the SEC Tournament.

After facing two losses against Auburn and Alabama last weekend, Mizzou tennis (14-15, 0-13) was looking for success in the first round of the SEC Tournament Wednesday against Arkansas (13-13, 4-9). The Tigers 4-1 fell to the Razorbacks to end their 2019 season. MU had previously lost 4-3 against Arkansas in March.

The match between No. 14 Missouri and No. 11 Arkansas started with the Razorbacks earning the doubles point when Mizzou dropped two out of three matches. No. 1 doubles was quick to finish with Mizzou sophomore Ellie Wright and freshman Lisa Fukutoku falling to junior Lauren Alter and sophomore Tatum Rice 6-1. The Razorbacks were also successful at No. 3 doubles with junior Jackie Carr and freshman Miruna Tudor defeating the Mizzou pair of junior Gabrielle Goldin and sophomore Taylor Gruber 6-2.

The No. 2 doubles match consisting of Mizzou’s junior Mackenzy Middlebrooks and sophomore Marta Oliveira against Razorbacks sophomore Martina Zerulo and freshman Thea Rice was not completed. Arkansas led MU 4-3 at that point.

Despite a 4-1 victory on the day for Arkansas, all six singles matches were played in some capacity. The first to finish was the No. 4 singles match between Tudor and Gruber with Tudor clinching the win in two sets 6-2, 6-1. No. 3 singles was soon to follow seeing Alter defeat MU’s Fukutoku 6-1, 6-2.

Mizzou’s only win of the day came at No. 5 singles with Oliveira sweeping freshman Laura Rijkers 7-3, 6-0. Even with this win, the Tigers fell to the Razorbacks when Middlebrooks was downed by Zerulo at No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-2.

Matches at No. 2 and No. 6 singles were left unfinished with Missouri’s junior Serena Nash tied 1-6, 6-4, 0-0 with Thea Rice at No. 2 and freshman Vivien Ábrahám losing to Carr 1-6, 5-3 at No. 6.

With its defeat of Missouri, Arkansas advances to play No. 6 Kentucky (17-7, 7-6) on Thursday, April 18. With no seniors on the team this year, the Tigers look to improve as a whole for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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