Success in marathon matches leaves Tigers 8-1

The Tigers returned home with two wins after a long weekend of tennis in Memphis, Tennessee.

Missouri tennis (8-1) finished two days of matches in Memphis, Tennessee to add two wins to its season.

On Friday, the team competed against the University of Memphis in a long four hour and 35 minute match. The Tigers saw the match tied at 3-3 before junior Mackenzy Middlebrooks came from behind to secure the final win against Memphis sophomore Alisha Reayer. It was a back-and-forth game between Middlebrooks and Reayer, eventually resulting in Missouri’s set win and a personal record for Middlebrooks of 7-1 for the spring.

"It was a hard fought match today against a solid Memphis team,” Missouri coach Colt Gaston said. “We knew from the very start it was going to be a battle, and I was proud of the grit the team showed to pull out the victory.”

Friday momentum carried into Saturday against the University of Minnesota where, despite suffering from an early 3-0 deficit in the match, the Tigers rallied all the way back to clinch a 4-3 win.

Though Missouri again saw success from Middlebrooks, the team’s fate ultimately fell into the hands of sophomore Taylor Gruber. Gruber, after falling to Memphis junior Katherine Cao the day before, fought to redeem herself against Minnesota sophomore Juliet Zhang. Zhang won the first set, but Gruber struck back with wins in the next two sets to claim the win for Missouri.

The win against Minnesota marks Missouri’s fifth straight team victory having not suffered a loss since they faced Old Dominion University on Jan. 30.

"The amount of heart this group showed to come back from 3-0 down and win against a very good Minnesota team says a lot about these Tigers,” Gaston said. “I feel we are growing every day as a team. We look forward to getting back to work next week and building on these wins.”

Missouri will return home next weekend on Saturday, Feb, 23 for dual matches against the University of Central Arkansas (5-4) and Missouri State University (4-1).

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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