Mizzou Tennis Pulls Off Impressive Upsets in the Longhorn State

Saturday, March 31-

The Missouri tennis team (6-8) had a hard weekend of matches stacked against them when they headed to Texas for the weekend to face No. 43 Stephen F. Austin and No. 30 Rice in consecutive days.

The SFA Ladyjacks were riding a 14-match winning streak coming into the duel. Mizzou has struggled to claim the doubles point this season and they continued the trend, going down 1-0 heading into singles play.

The Tigers stormed back with Alex Clark, Jamie Mera, Annemijn Koenen and Maria Christensen claiming the next four matches to get the victory for the Tigers. SFA took the last two matches but it was too late and the Tigers won a tight one 4-3.

The next day Missouri went further south to Houston where they faced an even tougher Rice University team.

Once again, Mizzou dropped the doubles point to get into an early hole. Nationally ranked player Rachel Stuhlmann got blown out of the water in her match, falling badly to Dominique Harmath 6-0, 6-1.

With the Owls up 2-0, it was up to the rest of the team to try and salvage a comeback.

Koenen made quick work of her opponent, winning in two sets. Mera followed suit to tie it up at 2-2. Clark, after dropping the first set, roared back and won her match to put Mizzou up 3-2.

Pantic gave a valiant effort as well, but lost in three sets to Rice’s No. 44 ranked player Natalie Beazant.

Christensen won the day for the Tigers after three sets in her match. Mizzou earned the upset 4-3.

While the team’s best player, Rachel Stuhlmann, was beaten in both of her matches over the weekend, the rest of the tennis squad responded in tremendous ways. The No. 68 Tigers beat two teams ranked significantly higher than they were, and improved Mizzou’s record to 8-8 on the season.

The women will take on Iowa State and resume Big 12 play on April 6 in Ames.

-Peter Misurell
23 Sports
Staff Writer