Missouri tennis drops two away matches before SEC opener

In two close matches, Missouri lost 3-4 to both Memphis and Minnesota.

In what could’ve been a promising close to non-conference play for the Missouri tennis team, the Tigers lost to both Memphis and Minnesota with a score of 3-4 last weekend.

In their last two matches before the SEC opener, Missouri looked lackluster at best.

Against Memphis, Missouri took the doubles point in a 2-0 sweep of doubles matches but struggled in singles. In singles, Missouri took wins in the one and two singles spots only to lose the next four sports and ultimately lose the match.

The close nature of the match, while comforting on the surface, signals hard times ahead for Missouri. Earlier this spring, Memphis lost to No. 48 Auburn, a formidable SEC opponent. In this loss, Memphis was unable to win a single point against the 10th ranked team in the SEC.

Against Minnesota, the Tigers inverted their ways. Missouri lost both doubles matches and tried to claw their way back in singles. In singles, Missouri was able to win three matches, but ultimately was unable to win the team match.

Though Minnesota is not a ranked team they are in spectacular form, having gone unbeaten at home with an 8-0 record in Minneapolis.

Regarding the close nature of their wins, Tiger coach Colt Gaston wasn’t concerned.

“Although it was a tough weekend for us, I felt like we are doing a good job of giving ourselves opportunities to win matches,” he said. “We got down to the wire in both matches and that is very important to keep doing moving into conference.”

In a bright spot for Missouri, junior Ellie Wright won both of her singles bouts in straight sets, her first win in the two spot and her second in the one spot. Additionally, Wright won her only finished doubles match alongside her partner, freshman Elys Ventura. After this weekend, Wright has won just over 68% of her sets in singles matches, second on the Tigers squad only to Ventura.

Another bright point for Missouri: Three SEC teams fell out of the top 50 rankings this week, including Mississippi State. Missouri’s next match comes against the Bulldogs in the 2020 SEC opener in Columbia, Missouri.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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