The Truman State University tennis team began its spring season on Jan. 31 at the Missouri Western Invitational where it went 0-3 against three non-conference opponents.
In the fall the tennis team split its six games 3-3 including a win over William Jewell College, another member of the GLVC. Going into the Missouri Western Invitational the team had high hopes for the second half of its season. Freshman Kennidy Shirey, who joined the team this fall, said that this season’s team is close, and that the players’ relationships could help on the court.
“We’re just a humongous family,” Shirey said. “We’re always there for each other and I think that really helps with our game, too, because we all trust each other. In doubles play we’re always there for each other. We always try to keep a positive mindset.”
In the first of its three matchups, the Bulldog family was pitted against Newman University. The Bulldogs were unable to secure a singles victory, giving the Jets all six points available in the singles round. After falling to a 6-0 deficit, the Bulldogs were unable to lessen the defeat by winning in the doubles matches and eventually fell to the Jets by a total score of 7-0.
The following day the Bulldogs were back in action for their second match of the weekend tournament, this time against Arkansas Tech University. The Golden Suns also lost their first match of the invitational and entered the day 0-1 overall. The ’Dogs junior Alex Rogers started the day off by winning two games against fifth year senior Michelle Khoo of Arkansas Tech, but ultimately fell 6-2, 6-0. This proved to be the best performance by Truman on Saturday as no other Bulldog was able to grab more than one win on the day. The Bulldogs eventually fell to the Golden Suns 7-0.
On the final day of the invitational the Bulldogs lined up against host Missouri Western State University. The Griffons were 1-2 over the weekend of play, and were coming off of a loss to Arkansas Tech earlier that morning. The Bulldogs started strong again as junior Morgan Eby had the best performance by a Bulldog in the invitational, winning six total games, though she was still unable to get Truman on the scoreboard. Sunday proved to be the best day of the weekend for the Bulldogs as they claimed 13 total games in the singles round including six from Eby, three from freshman Julia Fangman, two from Rogers, and one from both freshmen Caprice Huitron and Shirey, but the Bulldogs were unable to use the extra rest to their advantage, eventually falling to the Griffons 6-0.
Shirey believes that while the team might have struggled to capture points, its play was more competitive than the score reflected.
“It was very tough competition but we all played very well,” Shirey said. “Pretty much all of the games went to duece and it was just a one point difference. They just kicked it on at that point and outplayed us at the end of games.”
The tennis team will be back on the court looking for its first win of the young season Feb. 23 against Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.