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Tigers fall to Oregon in tennis tourney final

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:40 a.m. CDT, Sunday, June 29, 2008

The No. 69 Missouri women’s tennis team lost 5-2 on Tuesday to No. 27 Oregon in the finals of the Minnesota Court Classic.

The Tigers are 1-1 this season.

Yelena Olshanskaya and Lubica Nadasska accounted for Missouri’s two wins, while No. 120 Katka Sevcikova lost 6-4, 6-2 to Oregon’s Daria Panova, who is No. 31.

“In singles, we battled pretty well. Oregon is one of the better teams in the country, so there are no negatives in this,” MU coach Blake Starkey said. “We wanted to win today, but we’ll have to settle for getting better by playing this kind of competition.”

MU SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Missouri senior Jennifer Bybee and freshman Kalen Grimes were named Lathrop & Gage student-athletes of the week.

Bybee, an English and communications major, has a 3.9 grade-point average. Bybee, a high jumper on the Missouri track and field team, finished first at the Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State triangular in Manhattan, Kan., on Jan. 22. Bybee also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House.

Grimes, a member of the Missouri men’s basketball team, has a 3.3 grade-point average. Grimes gives his time to the local Columbia Boys and Girls Club, the Coaches vs. Cancer foundation and serves as a Youth Clinic volunteer.

EMMITT SMITH RETIRING?: Running back Emmitt Smith is expected to announce his retirement Thursday, according to several media reports. Smith, a free agent, will make the announcement three days before the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., according to Tuesday reports by ESPN.com, The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram.

ESPN.com cited “confidants” of the star running back that it did not identify; the newspaper reports, posted on the papers’ Web sites Tuesday, cited unidentified sources.

Contacted by the Morning News, Smith, 35, said: “Did you see my year last year? Do you think I’m ready to retire?”

SPORTING NEWS AWARDS: Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw a record 49 touchdown passes this season, has been named NFL player of the year for the second straight season by the Sporting News.

The St. Louis-based publication also Tuesday named Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher coach of the year and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger rookie of the year.

SOSA TRADE NEARS COMPLETION: Sammy Sosa could don a Baltimore Orioles’ cap for the first time as soon as today, after he completes his physical and his trade from the Chicago Cubs is approved by baseball commissioner Bud Selig. The Orioles on Tuesday set up a time for the slugger’s physical and were making tentative plans for a news conference today.


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