Bea Barton’s new strategy worked to perfection; Lindsy Hively’s came close.
Barton played more aggressive tennis and Hively took a nap before her match. Stephens lost 7-2 against Missouri Valley on Monday at Stephens.
Barton, a senior who missed last season with a strained left rotary cup, beat Anita Timpani 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. It was Barton’s first win of the season.
“I have a new strategy: wait for the winner,” Barton said. “Don’t try to hit them all powerful, hit them consistently and then if the moment arises where you can put it away, put it away. I’m trying that out and I think it works.”
Stars coach Lori Towle said Barton played her game rather than playing to her opponent’s game.
“I feel like I played really well,” Barton said. “I was trying to be aggressive, which is different for me. I’m also working on being consistent. I try to overpower them when it’s really not necessary, but if I just wait they’ll probably make a mistake where I can hit a good shot for a winner.”
After losing the first set to Leesa Morton at No. 4 singles, Hively was unable to maintain a 5-3 lead in the second set, losing 7-6 (7-2).
Hively, a senior, played consistently and with more confidence, which Towle said results from playing more matches.
“This is the best game ever for me,” Hively said. “We both wanted to win so bad. I told the coach of Missouri Valley that I really wanted to call my dad for the first time in my 22 years of living and tell him I won a match.”
The Stars (0-5) also received a win at No. 6 singles. Sarah Burris beat Sylvia Young 5-7, 6-1, 10-3.
Burris and Pamela Kelly played Stephens’ closest doubles match, losing 9-7 to Young and Timpani at the No. 3 spot.
“We showed major improvement from the first time we faced Missouri Valley,” Towle said. “I was very pleased with the improvements the players have made. We didn’t even come close to winning any last meeting. It shows that we are making progress as we go.”
The Vikings (2-5) won the other two doubles matches 8-0.