Tennis earns fifth-straight SEC loss at hands of Razorbacks

After dropping two SEC matches last weekend, the Tigers were unable to recover in a 4-3 loss to Arkansas.
Sophomore Ellie Wright prepares for the serve. Mizzou Tennis Complex, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Columbia, Missouri. Photo by Photographer Marco Storel

After spending last weekend at home and losing two SEC matches to Florida and South Carolina, the Missouri Tigers (11-6, 0-5) were hoping to redeem themselves with an SEC win against Arkansas (8-8, 1-4) on Friday. Unfortunately the Tigers were defeated 4-3 by the Razorbacks, marking their fifth SEC loss of the season.

Mizzou got off to a bad start when junior Serena Nash and sophomore Taylor Gruber fell in No. 2 doubles to Arkansas’ sophomore Martina Zerulo and freshman Thea Rice, 6-2. They were followed by sophomore Marta Oliveira and freshman Lisa Fukutoku, dropping at No. 3 doubles to freshman Laura Rijkers and junior Jackie Carr, 6-1.

With two consecutive match losses he doubles point went to Arkansas before the No. 1 doubles match between MU junior Mackenzy Middlebrooks and sophomore Ellie Wright and Arkansas junior Lauren Alter and sophomore Tatum Rice was completed.

The Razorbacks gained a two-point lead when Rice beat Nash at No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-1. However, Wright – fresh off a singles win against Florida last weekend – put the Tigers back in it with a victory at No. 4 singles 6-2, 7-6 against Alter. The Tigers were back-and-forth with the Razorbacks throughout the remainder of the afternoon with Arkansas freshman Miruna Tudor defeating MU freshman Vivien Ábrahám at No. 6 singles 6-2, 7-5, countered shortly after by Gruber beating Carr in three sets at No. 5 singles 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Despite Fukutoku later beating Rijkers at No. 3 singles 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, the match ended when Middlebrooks fell to Zerulo at No. 1 singles 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, making the final score 4-3 in favor of the Razorbacks.

Mizzou will be looking to make its way back in SEC play after five consecutive conference losses, starting with two home matches next weekend against Texas A&M on Friday, March 22 and LSU Sunday, March 24.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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