After a strong improvement from last season, the Missouri Western tennis team’s season ended on Monday as they once again fell to Northeastern State, the best team in the MIAA Conference.
The Griffons left the MIAA Tournament in Nebraska, Kearney, with nothing to show for their efforts. Western lost 5-0 to the RiverHawks. Despite having their season end on a sour note, senior Sofia Aguilera Tovar is proud of her team. The Griffons doubled their win count from last season — 5-17 — as they went 10-12 this season.
“I think the team will be even more successful next season,” Aguilera Tovar said. “There are some promising recruits coming in. With coaches’ leadership, the new captain and current team, I believe that the only outcome is more success. This semester, we learned how believing in ourselves can make us a threat for other teams, and after this season, I know the girls will continue to improve on that.”
Sophomore Federica Salmaso looks forward to improving even more as a team next season.
“The team has improved a lot from a mental point of view,” Salmaso said. “We are all stronger and we know we are better than last year. What helped us a lot was believing in ourselves and trusting our coach.”
Western had a total singles record of 58-61. In MIAA play, it was 17-37. Their total doubles record was 28-35, while going 7-20 in the MIAA. The Griffons overall conference record was 2-7. They went 3-6 at home, 5-3 on the road and 2-3 on neutral ground. Western wasn’t able to pull out a win in their last six games of the season.
Bojana Vuksan was 7-4 in singles play as well as doubles play. While the team was playing in Florida during early March, Vuksan tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee. She plans on coming back stronger next season.
“I’ve had a serious injury before that resulted in surgery, so I feel having been there before helps me a bit to prepare for what is yet to come,” Vuksan said. “I know it’ll be hard, I know there will be times I want to quit but I won’t. I won’t because I’ve worked 13 years to get where I am today and I’ll fight back to be on top.”
Karolina Strom led the team with 15-5 singles record, as well as a 13-8 doubles record with Joanna Abreu Roman.