Griffon Tennis comes up short against Evangel University

Sports Tennis Unfiled

Missouri Western tennis showed promising signs in their hard fought battle against Evangel University, but fell 5-4 in their non-conference matchup on their home court at the St. Joseph Tennis and Swim Club. With this loss, the Griffons fall to 3-11 (0-6 MIAA) on the year and made it their 10 straight loss of the season.
Starting the day off slow, the Griffons pulled out one win from the doubles action by the pair Ceara Boldridge and Kelly Cochran, who defeated their opponents 8-4, but even after the win, the Griffons were still down 4-1 in match play.
In singles action, the Griffons hit a spark and won No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 but it was too late. The No. 3 matchup between Western’s Kayla Dysart and Evangel’s Ali Sivinski was a close one that made the one match difference between Western and Evangel as Dysart was defeated 6-4, 0-6 and 10-8. Dysart played great thoughout the entire match but just couldn’t get over the hump in the final set.
Boldridge won her match against Kelly Bush 6-2, 6-2 while Lindsay Beger defeated in a close matchup at the end. Phine Mulumba 6-2, 7-5 and Alyssa Dougan defeated Kailey Roland 6-1, 6-2.
The Griffons’ confidence has been growing throughout the entire season.
“This is one of my most talented teams I have had and you can sense that their confidence is growing,” Coach Ron Selkirk said. “They are playing matches now where they are saying ‘I can win this match.’”
Sophmore Ceara Boldridge came out of the day’s matchups undefeated.
“I came in today thinking we had a good chance coming in today and I knew it was going to be close,” Boldridge said. “I feel like we are still growing and my play has really improved from last season and today I was playing a lot more consistent, getting into a rhythm.”
Lindsay Beger left the match day 1-0.
“My stroke swing was starting to slow down as I got tired but at the end I was happy I ended up closing the match out at the end,” Beger said.
Western’s No. 1 Meara Smith fell in her singles match 6-0, 6-2 and No. 2 Denise Chiao was defeated 6-1, 6-0 in her match. “I was confident out there today but I just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Smith said.
In doubles competition, Denis Chiao and Meara Smith fell 8-1 in their matchup while Dysart and Alyssa Dougan fell in their match 8-4.
The Griffons have one of the youngest rosters in the MIAA with seven of its 10 on the roster being freshmen.
The Griffons next matchup is on Wednesday, March 27 at 3 p.m. against Emporia State University. Western still has nine matches before MIAA Tournament play begins April 19-20.

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