Tigers start well in tournament

Sunday, September 14, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:22 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 30, 2008

Missouri has had a successful start to its tennis season.

The Tigers won nine of 14 matches Saturday and seven of nine Friday in the Mizzou Four-Way Tournament at the Green Tennis Center.

The Tigers have three singles players and a doubles team in today’s finals that start at 10 a.m.

The tournament has an A and B singles bracket. The top four players from each team went into the A bracket, and the bottom four went into the B. The doubles was one large draw.

Missouri dominated the B bracket. MU’s Yelena Olshanskaya, a freshman, and Mary Barry, a junior, will meet in the finals.

Olshanskaya has been the newcomer to stand out, Missouri coach Blake Starkey said.

“She hasn’t faced any really big competition, but it’s good to have a freshman make it to the finals,” Starkey said.

Kansas, Illinois State and Murray State also are participating.

Missouri’s Urska Juric and Katka Sevcikova, ranked ninth nationally, will play Illinois’ Lina Suuvarik and Katri Miller in the finals.

In the A-singles group, Juric will see Suuvarik again in the finals.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Juric defeated Emily Haylock, Kansas’ top player, 6-3, 6-1.

“They played very competitive,” Kansas coach Amy Hall said. “(Haylock) just made a few mistakes that will have to be improved this season.”

Suuvarik defeated Missouri’s third-seeded Katka Sevcikova 6-5, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Several of the coaches said the purpose this early in the season is to get the players experience.

“The object is just to play as much tennis as possible,” Starkey said. “We just want to clobber them with competition.”

Said Hall, “Considering it’s the first of the year, we are just looking to get in some quality matches.”

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