Missouri Western faced their first Division I team since 2015 in Creighton University on Feb. 26. The Griffons could not take down their D-I opponent, losing 5-2 at the Genesis Health Club. Head coach Shawn Becker wants his team to be tested and know that their are no easy wins in tennis.
“There will be no ‘gimme’ matches,” Becker said. “The better tested we are before conference play rolls around, the more prepared we will be.”
Doubles struggles seemed to continue for the women, losing three doubles to start off the games. Joanna Roman, sophomore, found a way to win at 7-6 and 6-4 sets in #2 singles matches. Sofia Aguilera, junior, also captured a win at #4 singles. She suffered a loss in her first set, to go on and manage herself a win through a 3rd set tiebreaker at 6-3 and 11-9.
“By working hard at every practice and stepping on court with positive attitudes, we will ensure our progression in skills and support of one another which will hopefully lead to another great season,” Emilee Dent said, freshman. “A personal goal of mine for this season is to have a successful doubles record with my partner, returner Sofia, because my favorite part of tennis is playing with her.”
Karolina Strom, senior, Yasmine El Ghazi, senior, and Kaylene Quirk, freshman, all suffered devastating losses in their sets.
“As a team we have been working on and off the court to better ourselves,” Quirk said. “We hope to be as strong as the team was last year, even with six new players and five of us being freshmen. Us being newbies have the expectation to step up and help the three returners bring home the W for MoWest.”
The Griffon women come back to Genesis Health Club Friday, March 3rd at noon in their last game at Genesis, seeking to revive and conquer their losses and get back on track when they go up against Rockhurst University.
“This team is every bit as hardworking, exciting, and goal oriented as last year’s team,” Becker said. “The one leg up this team has over last year is that we have such a high ceiling in terms of growth for each of the individual players on the team. With that said, we expect two things the rest of this season: Grow more discipline as we get more match tested, and two: Remain positive at all times. If we can make those to things happen, we’ll reach our primary goal of making a return trip to the MIAA playoffs and rewriting new goals from there.”