Stephens tennis falls in conference tournament to end season

Saturday, April 27, 2013 | 7:10 p.m. CDT

The Stephens College tennis team ended its season with a 5-0 first round conference tournament loss Friday in Springfield. 

Stephens College, playing in a combined tournament made up of Heart of America Athletic Conference and American Midwest Conference teams, was swept by Evangel University at the Cooper Tennis Complex. Evangel won the tournament Saturday. 

"It was a quick tournament," Stephens coach Lexie Payne said. "We were rushed because of all the teams that needed court time, and we had to play indoors due to the weather." 

Despite the loss, Payne said her upperclassmen played well against a strong Evangel team. Payne specifically noted the contributions of Grace Pitman and Dina Kaissi. Kaissi made first team all-conference during the tournament. 

The loss leaves the Stars (0-9) winless on the season. Plagued by a lack of depth, Payne said she is working hard on bringing in more players for next season. 

"I'm starting to focus on recruiting more," Payne said. "We have some good girls coming in, and I'm really excited for next year."

Among those recruits is Courtney Huels, a four-year varsity player at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton. 

Payne said she is also targeting two players from Rock Bridge High School and an international player from Colombia. 

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