Gamecocks Squeaks by Mizzou Tennis

Sunday, March 3-

The Missouri women’s tennis team fell short in its second conference match, falling to the South Carolina Gamecocks 4-3. The loss drops the Tigers to 6-3 on the season and 0-2 in league play, while South Carolina went to 8-4(1-1). In a back and forth contest, the Gamecocks took the final match to down Mizzou.

South Carolina got on the board first by taking the doubles point. Top doubles team Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova topped Mizzou pair Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Elisha Gabb 8-3 in the No. 1 match. The Tigers faced a similar setback in the No. 3 match, with sophomore Alex Clark and freshman Madison Ryher fell 8-5 to Elixane Lechemia and Ximena Siles Luna.

In the first singles match at No. 3, Gabb retired after falling behind 5-0 to Lechemia, doubling South Carolina’s advantage. At the No. 4 spot, Maria Christensen got Missouri on the board with her straight set win over Kanakova. The senior is now 9-0 in her matches this season.

Katerina Popova extended the Gamecock lead to 3-1 with her straight set victory over junior Rachel Stuhlmann. This was the last victory for South Carolina before the decisive contest.

In the No. 1 and No. 5 singles matches, Gaytan-Leach and Clark triumphed in straight sets, with the latter winning her second frame 7-6(7-5) after falling behind early. Gaytan-Leach got her second win over Alawi this season, and Clark won her seventh contest of the spring.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Ryher’s struggles continued, losing the No. 6 singles match in straight sets to give South Carolina the win. The freshman is 4-6 in the spring season and is currently on a two-match skid.

Missouri will now travel to continue SEC play against the Kentucky Wildcats. That contest takes place at 3 p.m. Friday in Lexington, Ky.

-Chinmay Vaidya
23 Sports
Staff Writer