Smith-Cotton girl’s tennis were on pace for its third conference victory Thursday before a dark, bloated cloud rained on the Lady Tigers’ senior night match against St. Pius X at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Elizabeth Matz with Kali Heavener and Rachael Meyer with Allison Burton won their respective doubles matches, 8-1.
Mariya Slipych and Flo Aonzo lost their doubles match to Warriors pair Grace Vaughn and Nicolette Brogoto, 8-4.
Rain interrupted four singles matches.
Staff attempted to dry the Liberty Park courts with rollers. When it appeared skies had cleared, it rained again. Then, Smith-Cotton head coach Christine Ross said she expected the match to continue, and staff returned with rollers.
It rained one more time and the matches were postponed.
Matz, Meyer and Aonzo led their respective singles matches one game to none. Slipych trailed 0-2 to Brogoto.
“We were headed in the right direction,” Ross said about the match.
The Lady Tigers, already celebrating senior night — the team ate dinner at El Espolon on Thursday — are 5-4 overall and 2-1 in the West Central Conference in Ross’ second year as head coach.
She said the team has grown confident in her expectations during year two.
“They’re starting to believe in themselves,” Ross said. “They’re finally starting to believe that they’re capable of the wins … I expect them to come out and compete with everybody we play against, and not give up.”
Meyer, one of four seniors on the team, said she and her doubles partner, Burton, began the year strong and have yet to slow down. The pair won the only Lady Tigers matches — singles and doubles combined — in a 6-3 loss to School of the Osage in the Aug. season-opener.
The pair are have a combined 7-2 record.
“I was actually kind of surprised about how we started off the season,” Meyer said. “We went out to our first match, and we were pumped … We’re both there for each other. People don’t think (tennis) is a team sport, but it is. You always have your team backing you, and you know it.”
The Lady Tigers are scheduled to host the Smith-Cotton invitational Friday beginning at 10 a.m. at Liberty Park in Sedalia. Monday, Sept. 19, S-C faces Camdenton on the road.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2