The Missouri State tennis team ended the fall semester with two Bears earning individual Missouri Valley Conference titles and a trip to the regional tournament.
Senior Fati Khamissi and freshman Clara Gandara Gonzalez each won individual titles last fall in the MVC. Khamissi ended the 2018 spring season 5-0 against MVC opponents, but this was her first MVC Individual title.
“I was very happy with how we competed in MVC Individuals in October,” head coach Mallory Weber said. “We had two MVC Individual Conference Champions in Fati Khamissi and Clara Gandara Gonzalez which was a first for our program since being reinstated in 2014.”
Gandara Gonzalez is one of four freshmen to join the Bears’ roster for the 2018-19 season. The Bears hold a roster of 10 with five returners and five new faces.
“This is the deepest team we have ever had,” Weber said. “We return five players who played in every match for us last year, including all four MVC All Conference winners in (junior) Alye Darter, Fati Khamissi, (sophomore) Ellie Burger and (junior) Alexia Meyer.”
The Bears also hosted the MSU Fall Invitational on Oct. 26-28 to close out the fall season. MSU played host to Central Arkansas, Southeast Missouri State, Mizzou, Southwest Baptist, Tennessee State, Louisiana Monroe and Western Illinois.
The tennis Bears are set to start the spring season on Jan. 27 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The Bears will host four matches in February before traveling to Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri for matches against UMKC and Mizzou.
Trips to Alabama A&M, Murray State and Tennessee State will follow before the Bears return home for a match against Louisiana Tech.
Two matches in Texas against Texas State and Texas San Antonio are set for mid-March before MVC play starts at Northern Iowa on April 6.
Four conference matches will follow as well as a match at Oral Roberts before UNI hosts the MVC Championships April 26-28.
“The MVC in tennis is very equal from top to bottom,” Weber said. “The experience this team had last year from winning should give them the confidence going into MVC play in April. Even though we graduated two seniors we have freshmen who have come in and have risen to the challenge.
“I know this group believes they can repeat as MVC Champions so if we can carry that confidence throughout the season, we are talented enough to have a very special 2019 season.”