Chance Sticklen, 23 Sports

Heading into their final stretch of non-conference matchups on Sunday, the Missouri Tigers tennis team looked to rebound off Friday’s loss against No. 30 Wichita State, 4-3.

The Tigers closed out non-conference play with a split, falling to No. 35 Kansas State earlier in the day, 4-2, and rebounding later on, smoking UMKC, 4-0.

Mizzou only managed to top Kansas State once in doubles, suffering losses in the other two matches. Mackenzy Middlebrooks and Ellie Wright, who have been dominant all season, collected a win for the Tigers by a score 7-6 (3), to finish out doubles.

The singles matches proved to be competitive, with five of the six matches going to three sets. For the Tigers, Serena Nash got the win over No. 104 Margot Decker, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Mizzou’s only other win in singles came from Mackenzy Middlebrooks who snagged her 16th of 17th consecutive singles win against Carolina Costamagna, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. Middlebrook’s win tied the match up at two, giving both teams a shot to win the final three doubles matches.

Kansas State’s Anna Turco defeat over Amina Ismail, 6-4, 5-7, 6-6, suspended and Ines Mesquita great showing over Taylor Gruber, 7-6, (4), 1-6, 6-4, handed the win to the Wildcats.

Although the weather was decent enough to play outdoors earlier in the afternoon, mother nature brought about chilly temperatures, forcing Mizzou’s match against UMKC, back inside.

The Tigers quickly ran away with the doubles point. Middlebrooks and Wright continued sparking the stat book, recording their third 6-0 doubles win of the season, shutting out Thanushree Vale and Ioanna Lathouri.

An impressive performance from Mizzou’s Nash and Clare Raley allowed the duo to defeat Aliona Ladutska and Grace Ball by a score 6-2, and collected the doubles point for the Tigers.

To round out the day, Mizzou posted three singles wins all ending 6-2, 6-1, while the other two singles matches ended in suspension. The Kangaroo’s only garnished one singles win.

Coach Gaston believes that there is still room for improvement, “We need to do a better job of starting better in matches, and finishing better in crunch time. I was very proud of how the girls fought back on a tough day, though, and we will put in some hard this week getting ready for Arkansas and the rest of SEC play”.

Mizzou will open up SEC play against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, March 2 at 4 p.m.