Kraftova’s return bolsters Tigers

Monday, February 21, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:37 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

It was a good time to welcome back a missing player.

The Missouri women’s tennis team beat Iowa State 6-2 on Sunday to sweep its weekend homestand at Green Tennis Center. On Friday, the Tigers beat Murray State 7-0.

Missouri, on a three-match winning streak that began Feb. 12 at Creighton, moved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference.

The return of junior Hana Kraftova highlighted Sunday’s match. Kraftova missed the past four matches after an injury sidelined her Feb. 2 against Drake. She suffered what was thought to be a stress fracture in her right foot, but has been downgraded to soreness. She competed as the two-seed and won her match against Caitlin Loprinzi 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

Kraftova, icing her foot and enjoying a bagel after her match, said the first set went well but the second was more difficult. After competing in a doubles match and three sets of singles play, she looked tired.

“The second set was different because (Loprinzi) found out my backhand was not so good today,” Kraftova said. “So she started playing to that.”

Kraftova said she moved her feet more and concentrated harder in the third set.

“I just wanted to be done as soon as possible because my foot was hurting me,” Kraftoya said.

Carolyn Kramer, a senior transfer from Virginia Tech whose parents visited to watch her play, won a dominating doubles match alongside senior Katka Sevcikova.

Frustration was apparent in the face and body language of Sevcikova in herNo. 1 singles match against sophomore Jill Palen.

Sevcikova, who had faced Palen in doubles, tossed her racquet and took her time retrieving balls in between serves to regain her composure. Sevcikova lost the match 5-7, 4-6.

Starkey made it clear that he thought Sevcikova was the better player, but that as every athlete does, she had an off day. The loss was obviously an upset in the eyes of Sevcikova who sat with her head hung following the match.

Sevcikova beat No. 19 Gitte Ostermann of Nebraska last week and Starkey said he was disappointed with how she played this week after defeating the Cornhuskers’ ace.

“Katka’s one of those players who’s going to have fabulous play like last week and then turn around and lay an egg like today,” Starkey said. “She’ll be fine, she’s a great player.”

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