Clare Raley Shines as Tiger Tennis Turns it Aroun

Hank Noah, 23 Sports

The sixth annual Mizzou Invitational began on Thursday, kicking off the second tournament of the Missouri Tiger’s 2017-2018 tennis season. Mizzou, instructed by second-year head coach Colt Gaston, headed into this tournament looking to improve after recording just three doubles wins and one singles win in the Puerto Rico Fall Classic.

The Tiger’s, consisting of three freshmen, two sophomores, and three seniors, started off the tournament on Thursday hot. Senior Amina Ismail, freshman Ellie Wright, and senior Clare Raley all recorded singles wins against Memphis athletes in the afternoon singles matches. Coach Gaston praised his players after the wins, saying, “I was very proud of the way they turned it around. They had the mentality of making sure they’re starting better. They definitely performed better during the singles.”

Mizzou kept fueling the fire on Friday, the second day of the tournament, as they recorded two doubles wins, the first curtesy of Mackenzy Middlebrooks and Clare Raley, and the second coming from the deadly combination of sophomore Serena Nash and up-and-coming freshman Ellie Wright. The Tigers also recorded two singles wins coming from Serena Nash and Clare Raley.

The third and final day of the sixth annual Mizzou Invitational showed that the Tiger’s meant business. They won an incredible three doubles matches, and Ellie Wright and Clare Raley both won a singles match.

The Tiger’s came to play at the Mizzou Invitational and completely turned their game around from the Puerto Rico Fall Classic as they recorded an incredible five doubles wins and seven singles wins. Clare Casey tied with two Kansas State players for first place in singles as she went 3-0 over three days. Mizzou will definitely look to build on this amazing showing next time out at the ITA Central Regionals.