Seth Pollock, 23 Sports

The Missouri tennis team lost their SEC opener on Friday, dropping the doubles point and three of the four completed singles matches to the No. 27 Arkansas Razorbacks at the Mizzou Tennis Complex.

In the first doubles match, Serena Nash and Marta Oliveira put up a tremendous battle but ended up falling to No. 36 Ana Oparenovic and Tatum Rice 6-4. Mia Jurasic and Giulia Pairone clinched the point for the Hogs, beating Amina Ismail and Clare Raley 6-2. In the suspended third match, Natsuho Arakawa and Agne Cepelyte led Mackenzy MIddlebrooks and Ellie Wright 5-4.

In the first singles match of the day, Giulia Pairone dominated Serena Nash, beating her in straight sets 6-0, 6-2. Mackenzie Middlebrooks, who was the lone bright spot for the Tigers on the afternoon then dispatched Mia Jurasic 6-2, 6-0, to bring the Tigers within 2-1.

Taylor Gruber put up a fight, but ended up falling to Tatum Rice 6-4, 6-4, to bring the Razorbacks within one match victory of clinching the win. They got that victory in the next set when No. 76 Ana Oparenovic beat Ellie Wright 6-3, 6-3. One of the suspended matches, Natsuho Arakawa and Amina Ismail, had just gotten started and was 0-0, while the other match, Agne Cepelyte vs. Clare Raley, hadn’t even begun yet.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 11-4 on the season while the Razorbacks, who were also playing their SEC opener, improved to 5-5. Mizzou gets a second chance for their first SEC victory on March 9th as the Tigers play Vanderbilt, again at home. The Commodores are 8-2 overall and 2-0 in conference.