Mizzou Tennis falls short, exits early at ITA Central Regionals

Tennis First

By Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Tuesday, October 21–

After coming off of a decent run in last week’s Bulldog Tennis Classic, the Mizzou tennis team summoned two new faces to compete in the ITA Central Regionals in Stillwater, Okla. Junior Kelli Hine and sophomore Brittany Lashaway represented the black and gold, but failed to advance beyond day two in either singles or doubles play.

Friday, the first day of action for the pair, went rather well as 11th seeded Hine scored back-to-back straight set wins against SIUE’s Lesi Aranda (6-2, 6-2) and Oklahom’s Christiana Brigante (6-4, 6-4).

Additionally, in doubles play, the Tigers swept aside South Dakota State’s Tacy Haws-Lay and Florencia Magni comfortably, 8-3.

The Missouri run stopped at three, however, as Lashaway was ousted by Tulsa’s Rongrong Leenabanchong falling in straight sets (6-3, 6-4). The sophomore could not get a break as the Thailand native served strong and consistent throughout.

Mizzou finished the day 3-1, still in contention in doubles play and the singles bracket with Hine’s two victories. However, Saturday’s draws posed problems on paper as the junior from Texas had to face No. 1 seed Victoriya Lushkova. The duo also would have their work cut out for them having to play against the high flying pair Gabriela Porubin and Julia Schiller from Wichita State.

Saturday began with Hine losing in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) to Lushkova, ending her tournament run. The Oklahoma State star would go on to win the entire tournament in remarkable fashion, winning all but one set en route to the crown.

It only went downhill from there as the Wichita State duo, coming off of an 8-0 annihilation in round one, narrowly closed out the Tigers 8-6 ending any chance of bringing home silverware for the Mizzou ladies.

Once again, Lushkova and her partner, Kelsey Laurente, would go on to hold the doubles trophy and more importantly, provide the sweep for Oklahoma State in both singles and doubles.

However, a positive note came from Lashaway in consolation play as she took down Arkansas’ Nastassia Rubel (6-2, 7-5) before edging Razorbacks’ Nicole Breaux (3-6, 6-4, 10-5) in three sets.

The Tigers performed well, but not only failed to execute in crucial moments, but also simply lost to incredibly difficult opponents.

Despite the early exit, Mizzou will look to continue where they left off from Saturday afternoon’s late victories at the Hoosier Invite on Oct. 24-26.