Mizzou drops SEC Tournament opener

Mizzou drops SEC Tournament opener

Justin Bjorseth, 23 Sports Reporter

It was a short-lived run for the Missouri tennis team in the 2017 SEC Tournament. While Mizzou was very competitive in the tournament opener on Wednesday, they were unable to get over the hump and fell to Ole Miss 4-2.

The 15th-ranked pairing of Bea Machado Santos and Amina Ismail entered the tournament with a winning streak that stretches more than a month. Additionally, all six of their SEC wins have come against ranked opponents. They were not able to carry their late season success to the postseason, however, surrendering the point at the No. 1 doubles spot.

Missouri also suffered a loss at the No. 2 spot, and Ole Miss took the doubles point as well as the 1-0 lead for the match. The No. 3 spot went unfinished.

Senior Cassidy Spearman knotted things up for the Tigers early on in singles play. She won her final collegiate match at the No. 3 spot, scoring a 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Ole Miss regained the lead at the No. 2 spot, but Missouri did not go quietly. Down 2-1 in the overall match, Mackenzy Middlebrooks battled hard to get the point for Mizzou at the No. 4 singles spot. Two closely contested sets featured the freshman Middlebrooks with 7-5 and 6-4 wins, respectively. She is one of six Tigers returning next season.

With the match tied at two points apiece, Tate Schroeder found herself locked in a tight battle for the Tigers, with a third set lead at spot No. 2. That set went unfinished, however, as the Rebels picked up victories at the No. 1 and No. 6 spots to seal the 4-2 victory. At the No. 1 spot, it was Santos who dropped a pair of intense sets by scores of 7-5 and 7-6. In the No. 6 spot, Clare Raley managed to force a decisive third set but ran out of gas and fell 6-2.

Up next for the Tigers is the NCAA tournament. Missouri expects their top duo of Santos and Ismail to receive an invite when the doubles draw is released on May 3.

Tags: ,