Mizzou Tennis Gets a New Coach Just in Time

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COLUMBIA - Coach Blake Starkey left the tennis program, and the MU Tennis team didn't have much time to find a replacement coach. Steven Stuckenschneider and former assistant coach Helena Bescovic were named interim coaches.

"Well it was definitely short notice. I think it was 9 days before our first tournament in Memphis that I took the role over. So, interesting, challenging, nerve-racking, all of the above. Exciting as well," said coach Stuckenschneider. 

The new team leaders have brought a new energy. Freshman Rachel Stuhlmann said, "Our coach Steve, he's really energetic and stuff we kind of feed of his energy. And same with Helena. They're just really energetic and encouraging and stuff, and help us win our matches."

And after several struggling seasons, the team is starting to turn things around. "The senior girls, they told us that they are very excited because it's much better than last year and they motivate us very much. They tell us this year, it's a great opportunity to do much better." said freshman Marlen Hacke.

With 3 wins over Big 10 schools, the tennis team already has two conference wins, which is double what they had last year. But, not out of the way is Big 12 rival KU. "It's always a big match going up against Kansas, no matter the sport...All the girls, they might not tell you, but everybody gets a little more geared up to play Kansas." said coach Stuckenschneider.

The Tigers play the Jayhawks Friday, April 8th in Lawrence.