Posted: Jan 26, 2013 8:44 PM
ANN ARBOR, MI -- The No. 53 Mizzou tennis team (1-1) lost a narrow 4-3 match to the No. 31 South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0) in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Saturday, Jan. 26 in Ann Arbor Mich. The Tigers will face No. 63 Brown Sunday at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. CT) in the consolation match.
The doubles team of sophomore Alex Clark and freshman Madison Rhyner got the Tigers off on the right note with an 8-2 win over Adriana Pereira and Ximena Siles Luna at No. 3 action. However, South Carolina came back to win both the No. 1 and No. 2 matches to take the doubles point. The No. 46 Gamecock doubles team of Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova posted an 8-6 victory over junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach and sophomore Elisha Gabb at No. 1 and Mizzou's No. 2 team of senior Maria Christensen and junior Rachel Stuhlmann fell 8-3 to Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova.
Gabb knotted the match at 1-1 as the sophomore earned a 6-1, 6-3 win over Kanakova at No. 3 singles. A 6-3, 6-3 victory for South Carolina's Pereria over Clark at No. 5 action and a 6-3, 6-1 win for No. 96 Popova over Stuhlmann at No. 2 singles put South Carolina back ahead, 3-1.
The Tigers responded with wins at No. 1 and No. 4 play to tie the match at 3-3. Gaytan-Leach, ranked No. 71 nationally, improved to 4-0 on the spring with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 34 Alawi. Christensen followed that up with a straight-set, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Siles Luna.
South Carolina prevailed in the final match of the day, as Andersson slipped past Rhyner, 7-5, 7-5. Mizzou returns to the court Sunday to face Brown at 9 a.m. CT.