Missouri doubles focus for weekend

Friday, April 8, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:48 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Missouri women’s tennis team will try to get back on track this weekend when they play host to Kansas State at 2 p.m. today and Kansas at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Tigers (12-5, 2-4), ranked No. 47 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings, have lost their past three matches, all Big 12 Conference contests. The most recent was a tough 5-2 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday. The Tigers were swept in doubles, which led them to emphasize that this week in practice.

“Earlier in the year we weren’t losing doubles,” coach Blake Starkey said. “The level of competition is no different now than it was then, we just aren’t playing aggressively enough, and we are working on that.”

The Tigers hope the work pays off against two teams that the Tigers will be favored against.

Kansas State (6-6, 1-3) is coming off a 7-0 victory against Wichita State, but lost to the Tigers 4-3 last year. They are 0-3 against ranked competition this season.

Kansas (4-11, 3-4) is coming off a 4-3 loss to Texas Tech. Coach Starkey said the Jayhawks are much better than their record, though, and he knows his team will get the Jayhawks’ best effort.

“We’ve won the last three contests against them so I know they’ll come in here hungry and aggressive,” he said. “This rivalry is intense, like it is in every sport. The funny thing, though, is that we really like their girls a lot … We just have a lot of respect for them.”

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