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Tennis Stars Fare Well at Missouri Valley, Bethany College Invitationals


September 13, 2014

LINDSBORG, Kan. – The past two weekends the Stephens College tennis team has played in individual flight tournaments, a different set up than the typical college head-to-head matches. Regardless of the format, both tournaments were able to provide head tennis coach Lexie Payne with an idea of strengths and weaknesses for each student-athlete heading into the spring season.

One of the highlights from this weekend's Bethany College Invitational was the single's play of sophomore Gracie Strawn. The Columbia, Mo., native picked up a win in her first Flight G draw and followed that up with one of her best career performances against an opponent from Ottawa University.came in single’s play when sophomore Gracie Strawn picked up a win in her first Flight G draw.

In doubles action, the duo of Hannah Dorey and Courtney Huels provided a glimpse of what’s to come for the tandem. Playing in the top flight for doubles, Dorey and Huels held their own against NCAA Division II Washburn University, arguably one of the top teams at the tournament. In all, 18 schools participated in the Bethany College Invitational including several NCAA DII and NAIA schools.

Summing up the two-week stretch, Payne talked about the five student-athletes who have competed this fall for the Stars.

Hannah Dorey | Freshman | Queensland, Australia
“I’m seeing some glimpses of her potential and she is a much more developed player than I realized. She is going to be really strong for us. In her junior career, she had stopped playing and got back into the game last year. For her right now, she’s trying to find that optimal level of what she can do on the court.”

Courtney Huels | Sophomore | Fenton, Mo.
“Courtney is a terrific competitor. She makes things happen and gets on the scoreboard with her athleticism. In preparing for the spring, I need to work with her on things like footwork, balance and strategy to further develop her skillset.”

Gracie Strawn | Sophomore | Columbia, Mo.
“Gracie had one of the best performances of her career at Bethany. She doesn’t have as much experience at the junior level than Hannah and Courtney, but she has really been improving. With her performing well, it’s led to me relying on her more, particularly at playing the No. 3 spot for us.

Aleesa Wolf | Freshman | Moberly, Mo.
“This was Aleesa’s first collegiate competition, so it was great getting to see her out there. She hasn’t had a lot of technical training, but she is a competitor. She wants to get out there and win more than probably anyone on this team.”

Margaret Thomas | Sophomore | Leawood, Kan.
“At the Missouri Valley College Fall Tournament, Margaret did a good job of serving consistently. One thing we will work on in this offseason is tracking the ball and keeping up with the pace from her opponent’s play.”


 

Eight Stars Named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes During Spring Season

Tennis and softball teams lead the way with three apiece

NAIA Bridge logo 300dpi RGB
May 28, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Eight Stephens College student-athletes were recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) this spring for their academic achievements. Earlier this month, the Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Tennis and Women’s Golf Scholar-Athlete lists were announced, while softball released its Scholar-Athletes on Wednesday in Columbia, Ga.

Representing the Stars on the Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete list was Dina Kaissi (Sr., Columbia Mo.), Chelsea Cross (Sr., Belle Rive, Ill.) and Emily Mendoza (Jr., Iowa City, Iowa). Stephens College was one of 12 institutions to have three or more student-athletes on 101-person squad.

Kaissi, who was named to the all-conference team this season, picked up her second career Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award.

The tandem of Alexi Scharbach (Grad Student, Mount Vernon, Mo.) and Kelsea Whitten (Sr., Gentry, Ark.) account for the golf scholar-athletes. It marks the second year in a row that Scharbach and Whitten have received the academic achievement.

Headlining the Daktronics-NAIA Softball Scholar-Athletes for Stephens was Capital One Academic All-American Jessica McConnell (Grad Student, Edwardsville, Ill.) and Emily Park (Sr., Topeka, Kan.), who both collected the award for the second year in a row. Rounding out the Stars’ honorees was Hesston College transfer Emily Wagner-Davis (Sr., Roseville, Calif.).

The Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award is bestowed upon students who have been nominated by their institution’s head coach or sports information director. They must be a junior academically, a student at their current institution for a full year and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.


 

12th-Ranked Yellow Jackets Fly Past Stephens Tennis in Conference Tournament

No. 1-seed Graceland cruised to a 9-0 victory; Stars finish the year 5-10 overall

May 28, 2014

JOPLIN, Mo. – The 2014 tennis season came to a close for Stephens College on Friday when it suffered a 9-0 setback to Graceland University. The Stars had their hands full with the NAIA’s 12th-ranked Yellow Jackets, who also earned the No. 1 seed for this weekend’s Unaffiliated Grouping - AMC/A.I.I./Frontier/HAAC/MCAC Tournament.

The winner of this weekend’s tourney (Joplin, Mo.) will clinch an automatic berth to the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship, May 13-17.

With the first-round loss, the Stephens tennis program finished the year with a 5-10 overall record, a drastic improvement from its winless campaign in 2013. This season, the Stars secured wins over Central Christian College, Webster University, Greenville College, Westminster College and Lincoln University.

On Friday morning, the Stars were forced to play catch up, falling behind 3-0 after doubles competition. At No. 1, GU defeated Stephens seniors Dina Kaissi and Chelsea Cross by a score of 8-3. The freshman duo of Courtney Huels and Gracie Strawn lost 8-2, while No. 3 doubles (Kelley/Mendoza) came up empty.

In singles play, the Stars prevented the Yellow Jackets from winning any matches in straight sets, but the closest they would get to a victory was at No. 2 singles where Chelsea Cross fell to Fatima Zahra El Otmany, 6-4, 6-1.

No. 12 Graceland - 9
Stephens - 0
Joplin, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 - Jessica Worring (GU) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) – 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 - Fatima Zahra El Otmany (GU) def. Chelsea Cross (SC) – 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 - Melynda Simmons (GU) def. Courtney Huels (SC) – 6-0, 6-1
No. 4 - Sofia Jaramillo (GU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) – 6-0, 6-2
No. 5 - Amy Haberthier (GU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 6-1, 6-0
No. 6 - Ilse Karina Cardiel (GU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-1, 6-0

Doubles
No. 1 - Faitma Zahra El Otmany/Amy Haberthier (GU) def. Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) – 8-3
No. 2 - Melynda Simmons/Sofia Jaramillo (GU) def. Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) – 8-2
No. 3 - Jessica Worring/Ilse Karina Cardiel (GU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 8-0


 

Stephens Tennis Defeats NCAA DII Lincoln 9-0 in Regular-Season Finale

Stars avenge earlier 5-4 loss with convincing sweep of Blue Tigers at home Wednesday

April 23, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Stephens College tennis team (5-9) closed out its regular season on Wednesday with its biggest victory to date. At home, the Stars swept NCAA Division II Lincoln University in both singles and doubles competition to win 9-0.

In the previous meeting (April 15), the Stars were without No. 2 player Chelsea Cross and were edged 5-4 in Jefferson City. Playing at full strength on Wednesday afternoon, Stephens showed its true potential by winning each flight in dominant fashion.

“It was an emotional day for me as a coach,” said Stephens College head tennis coach Lexie Payne. “The graduating seniors are the foundation of this team. Across the board, everyone had a top-notch performance. It was an excellent way to finish out the regular season.”

Seniors Dina Kaissi and Chelsea Cross moved to 4-0 as a No. 1 doubles pair, defeating Alina Katrevich and Ashley Roling by a score of 8-3. Playing in their final matches on the Stephens College tennis courts, both seniors cruised in singles competition. Kaissi won in straight sets over LU’s Katrevich, while Cross was near perfect against Abigail Gober with a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

Another highlight of Wednesday was the first win of the season at No. 3 doubles. Senior Dani Kelley and junior Emily Mendoza took care of business, winning 8-3. In singles, the upperclassmen both won 6-0 in the first sets and closed out with 6-1 and 6-4 wins, respectively.

Rounding out a perfect day for the Stars were freshmen Courtney Huels and Gracie Strawn. The freshman combo outlasted Kamaria Braye and Abigail Gober in No. 2 doubles, 8-5. Huels finished Wednesday with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles and Strawn followed suit with a 6-4, 6-1 victory at the No. 4 spot.

On Thursday, the Stars will travel to Joplin, Mo. in preparation for the conference/unaffiliated group tournament. Stephens drew No. 1-seed Graceland University for its first-round match on Friday. In the recent Top 25 poll, the Yellowjackets were ranked 12th nationally.

Stephens - 9
Lincoln - 0
Columbia, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Alina Katrevich (LU) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Abigail Gober (LU) – 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Ashley Roling (LU)– 6-2, 6-1
No. 4 – Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Jasmine Daniel (LU) – 6-4, 6-1
No. 5 – Dani Kelley (SC) def. Kamaria Braye (LU) – 6-0, 6-1
No. 6 – Emily Mendoza (SC) def. Brittanee Wells (LU) – 6-0, 6-4

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Alina Katrevich/Ashley Roling (LU) - 8-3
No. 2 – Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Kamaria Braye/Abigail Gober (LU) – 8-5
No. 3 – Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) def. Jasmine Daniel/Brittanee Wells (LU) – 8-3


 

Stars’ Tennis Earns 6-3 Road Victory at Westminster College


April 22, 2014

Stephens - 6
Westminster - 3
Fulton, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Sarah Heeter (WC) – 6-2, 6-0
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Amy Osborn (WC) – 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Jessica Klutts (WC)– 6-0, 6-0
No. 4 – Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Kristen Fisher (WC) – 5-7, 7-5, (7)
No. 5 – Mariah Hernandez (WC) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 – Ellen Woolsey (WC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-0, 6-1

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Sarah Heeter/Mariah Hernandez (WC) - 8-4
No. 2 – Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Amy Osborn/Jessica Klutts (WC) – 8-5
No. 3 – Ellen Woolsey/Mary Nestor (WC) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 8-1


 

Stephens Tennis Swept by Missouri Valley College in Second Meeting


April 17, 2014

MARSHALL, Mo. – Playing without senior Chelsea Cross for the second straight match, the Stephens College tennis team lost 9-0 to Missouri Valley College on Thursday.

It marked the second time this season that the Vikings defeated the Stars. In the earlier matchup on March 19, Missouri Valley College won 7-2, with Dina Kaissi stealing a win at No. 1 singles. The No. 2 doubles team of Chelsea Cross and Gracie Strawn also recorded a victory in the first meeting.

With the victory, Missouri Valley College moved to 12-3 on the season, while the loss dropped the Stars to 3-9 overall.

Missouri Valley - 9
Stephens - 0

Marshall, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 - Lilian Blasque (MVC) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) - 9-7
No. 2 - Betsabe Vasquez (MVC) def. Courtney Huels (SC) - 8-2
No. 3 - Jelica Stamatovic (MVC) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) - 8-6
No. 4 - Christina Fergason (MVC) def. Dani Kelley (SC) - 8-1
No. 5 - Vanessa Urbschat (MVC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-6
No. 6 - Beatriz Sales (MVC) won by default

Doubles
No. 1 – Lilian Blasque/Adela Gil (MVC) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) – 8-4
No. 2 – Samantha Johnson/Beatriz Sales (MVC) def. Gracie Strawn/Dani Kelley (SC) – 8-3
No. 3 – Christina Fergason/Vanessa Urbschat (MVC) won by default


Stars’ Dina Kaissi Selected as AMC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week

It marks the second week in a row that Stephens College has collected the POW award

April 16, 2014

ST. LOUIS – On Tuesday, Stephens College senior Dina Kaissi was named American Midwest Conference (AMC) Women’s Tennis Player of the Week based on her performances from April 7-13.

Kaissi, a senior from Columbia, Mo., led the Stars to their third team win over the weekend (Greenville) and was victorious in a pair of team losses to conference members Missouri Baptist and Baker.

On the weekend, Kaissi notched a perfect 3-0 record at No. 1 singles to compliment another 3-0 slate at No. 1 doubles. In singles action, the senior defeated Nika Juricic (Missouri Baptist) and Megan Henry (Baker) to improve her conference record to 4-2 on the season.

At No. 1 doubles, Kaissi teamed up with last week’s AMC Tennis Player of the Week Chelsea Cross. They knocked off Missouri Baptist by a score of 8-5, followed by a pair of 8-0 sweeps against Greenville and Baker.

On Wednesday, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its rankings and Kaissi earned the No. 9 spot in the NAIA Women’s Central Region Rankings.


 

Short-Handed Stars Fall 5-4 to NCAA DII Lincoln

Senior Dina Kaissi and freshmen Courtney Huels and Gracie Strawn earned victories on Tuesday

April 15, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Down a key player on Tuesday evening, the Stephens College tennis team was forced to give up a pair of points at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 single. Ultimately, the two free points awarded to NCAA Division II Lincoln University were a difference maker in the Stars’ narrow 5-4 loss.

With the absence of senior Chelsea Cross, the Stars’ Nos. 3-6 players each moved up a spot in singles and doubles action.

Senior Dina Kaissi extended her current winning streak in both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles to four matches. Kaissi improved her No. 1 singles record to 7-4 on the season with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Lincoln No. 1 Alina Katrevich. At No. 1 doubles, Kaissi teamed up with freshman Courtney Huels for an 8-1 win.

“We are very much looking forward to playing our full lineup against Lincoln at home on Monday,” said head tennis coach Lexie Payne. “[Freshman] Courtney Huels had a stellar day. She dominated her opponents in both singles and doubles, who were all very skilled players.”

Huels and fellow freshman Gracie Strawn also captured Ws in singles competition. At No. 2 singles, Huels defeated Abigail Gober in straight sets. Strawn flourished in her first time playing at the No. 3 spot, beating Blue Tigers’ Ashley Roling 6-2, 6-3.

Lincoln - 5
Stephens - 4

Jefferson City, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Alina Katrevich (LU) - 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Abigail Gober (LU) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 – Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Ashley Roling (LU) – 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 – Jasmine Daniel (LU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 7-5, 6-0
No. 5 – Kamaria Braye (LU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 – Brittanee Wells (LU) won by default

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) def. Alina Katrevich/Ashley Roling (LU) – 8-1
No. 2 – Kamria Braye/Abigail Gober (LU) def. Gracie Strawn/Dani Kelley (SC) – 8-3
No. 3 – Jasmine Daniel/Brittanee Wells (LU) won by default


 

Stars Defeat Greenville, Edged By Baker On Saturday

Seniors Dina Kaissi and AMC Tennis Player of the Week Chelsea Cross finished perfect on the weekend

April 12, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Taking advantage of the wonderful weather on Saturday, the Stephens College tennis team spent the morning and afternoon out on the courts in a tri-match with Baker University and Greenville College. The Stars earned their third win of the season with a 5-4 victory over Greenville before falling to Baker in a closely-contested 5-3 decision.

Against Greenville, the match came down to the wire and it was Gracie Strawn at No. 4 singles that pulled through for the Stars. In nailbiting fashion, Strawn won a tiebreaker [10-6] to give Stephens its gamewinning point.

In addition to No. 1 doubles, the Stars recorded wins at the Nos. 1-4 spots versus the Greenville Panthers.

Against Baker, both Dina Kaissi and reigning AMC Tennis Player of the Week Chelsea Cross completed the weekend with flawless records at No. 1 doubles and in singles action.

Stephens - 7
Greenville - 2

Columbia, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Kristen Lynch (GC) - 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Lexi Baysinger (GC) - 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Lezlie Blaser (GC) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 – Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Anna Brannon (GC) – 7-6 (4), 3-6, (6)
No. 5 – Emily Rauch (GC) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 6-1, 7-5
No. 6 – Jenna Rients (GC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-2, 6-2

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Kristen Lynch/Lexi Baysinger (GC) – 8-0
No. 2 – Chelsie Evans/Lezlie Blaser (GC) def. Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) – 8-6
No. 3 – Anna Brannon/Abby Maurer def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 8-4

 

Baker 5
Stephens 3

Columbia, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Megan Henry (BU) – 6-1, 6-0
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Caitlyn Metseff (BU) – 6-2, 6-0
No. 3 – Lulu Ruding (BU) def. Courtney Huels (SC) – 7-6 (1), 6-1
No. 4 – Caroline Lockwood (BU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) – 6-2, 3-6, (2)
No. 5 – N/A
No. 6 – Bre Cunningham (BU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-1, 6-2

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Megan Henry/Jaimie Myers (BU) – 8-0
No. 2 – Caitlyn Metseff/Lulu Ruding (BU) def. Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) – 8-2
No. 3 – Caroline Lockwood/Bre Cunningham (BU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 0-1, retired


 

Stars Improve One Point In Second Meeting with Missouri Baptist

Stephens seniors Dina Kaissi and Chelsea Cross picked up key conference wins in 6-3 loss to Missouri Baptist

April 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Stephens College tennis suffered a 6-3 setback against the Missouri Baptist Spartans Friday evening at the SC Tennis Courts.

Stephens began the afternoon with a doubles victory at the No. 1 spot. Switching up partners from earlier this season, the Stars went with Dina Kaissi and Chelsea Cross at No. 1 doubles and it paid off. The senior duo defeated MBU’s Nika Juricic and Shelby Mund, 8-5.

In No. 2 doubles, the freshman tandem of Courtney Huels and Gracie Strawn fought until the end, but was edged out by Kathryn Randolph and Haley Grueber, 8-6. Before singles competition, the Spartans grabbed a 2-1 advantage with a win over Dani Kelley and Emily Mendoza.

The momentum continued for Kaissi and Cross as both earned points in their No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches. Kaissi’s opponent retired from competition, while Cross won with ease over Shelby Mund [6-0, 6-1].

At No. 3 singles, Huels had a back and forth match with Kathryn Randolph, but eventually fell in the tiebreaker set [5-7, 6-2, (5)].

To seal the deal, Missouri Baptist won in straight sets at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.

Missouri Baptist - 6
Stephens - 3

Columbia, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Nika Juricic – 5-7, retired
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Shelby Mund (MBU) – 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 – Kathryn Randolph (MBU) def. Courtney Huels (SC) – 7-5, 2-6, (5)
No. 4 – Haley Grueber (MBU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) – 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 – Sheena Payton (MBU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 – Nicole Savant (MBU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-0, 6-0

Doubles
No. 1 – Dina Kaissi/Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Nika Juricic/Shelby Mund (MBU) – 8-5
No. 2 – Kathryn Randolph/Haley Grueber (MBU) def. Courtney Huels/Gracie Strawn (SC) – 8-6
No. 3 – Sheena Payton/Nicole Savant def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 8-1


Stars' Chelsea Cross Named AMC Tennis Player of the Week

Facing conference opponent Missouri Baptist and NCAA Division III Webster, Cross went 3-1 at No. 2 singles and doubles

April 9, 2014

ST. LOUIS – Stephens College senior Chelsea Cross was named the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Women’s Tennis Player of the Week for play from March 31-April 6, the league office announced Tuesday. Cross was key in helping the Stephens College tennis team to its second win of the season.

The Belle Rive, Ill. native had a productive weekend in St. Louis, finishing the trip with a 3-1 record at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles.

In singles action, the senior cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win at Missouri Baptist and a 6-1, 6-3 win against NCAA Division III Webster University. At No. 2 doubles, Cross partnered up with freshman Gracie Strawn to pick up the Stars’ only doubles victory of the weekend. The No. 2 doubles tandem won in a 4-3 decision against WU’s Kennedy and Espinoza.

As the Player of the Week winner at the conference level, Cross is now eligible for the NAIA National Player of the Week award, which is announced on Wednesday at noon.


Tennis Stars Split in St. Louis, Edge Webster 5-4

Chelsea Cross (No. 2) and Courtney Huels (No. 3) both secured two individual wins apiece on Saturday

April 5, 2014

ST. LOUIS – The Stephens College tennis team returned to action after a two-week hiatus and came away with one win and one loss on Saturday. The Stars fell to conference foe Missouri Baptist, 7-2, but then rebounded nicely with a 5-4 win over NCAA Division III opponent Webster University.

Stephens came away 2-for-2 in both No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Senior Chelsea Cross handled both her competitors with ease, defeating Missouri Baptist’s Shelby Mund (6-0, 6-3) and Webster’s Kaylen Kress (6-1, 6-3). At No. 3, freshman Courtney Huels had similar success and won 6-2, 6-0 over MBU’s Kat Randolph and 6-3, 6-1 over Kathleen Kennedy. The pair represented the lone wins against the Spartans in the first match of the day.

In the Stars’ 5-4 victory versus the Gorloks, Gracie Strawn also picked up a win at No. 4 singles, to go along with a default win at No. 6 for junior Emily Mendoza.

The Stars will have a chance for redemption as their next tennis match is Friday, April 11 at home against Missouri Baptist at 4 p.m.

Missouri Baptist – 7
Stephens – 2

St. Louis, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Nika Juricic (MBU) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Shelby Mund (MBU) – 6-0, 6-3
No. 3 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Kat Randolph (MBU) – 6-2, 6-0
No. 4 – Haley Greuber (MBU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) – 6-4, 3-6 (8)
No. 5 – Sheena Payton (MBU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 – Nicole Savant (MBU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) – 6-0, 6-0

Doubles
No. 1 – Nika Juricic/Shelby Mund (MBU) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) – 8-6
No. 2 – Kat Randolph/Haley Greuber (MBU) def. Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) – 8-3
No. 3 – Sheena Payton/Nicole Savant (MBU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) – 8-1

Stephens – 5
Webster – 4

St. Louis, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 – Marissa Lewis (WU) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) – 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Kaylen Kress (WU) – 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 – Courtney Huels (SC) def. Kathlenn Kennedy (WU) – 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 – Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Chelsea Fester (WU) – 7-6 (5), 6-3
No. 5 – Erin Boop (WU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) – 1-6, 6-4, (5)
No. 6 – Emily Mendoza (SC) won by default

Doubles
No. 1 – Marissa Lewis/Kaylen Kress (WU) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) – 8-3
No. 2 – Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Kathleen Kennedy/Isabella Espinoza (WU) – 4-3 (retired)
No. 3 – Chelsea Fester/Erin Boop (WU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC), 8-1


Missouri Valley College Claims 7-2 Win Over Tennis Stars

Stephens executes well, earns victories at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles

March 19, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – At home for the first time this season, the Stephens College tennis team played a hard-fought match with Missouri Valley College on Wednesday afternoon. The Stars collected wins at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles, but dropped the match to the Vikings, 7-2.

"Across the board, we implemented a lot of tactics, shots and strategy that we've worked on in practice," said head tennis coach Lexie Payne. "I was proud to see the team take this a step further and use these tools during play."

Senior Dina Kaissi improved to 3-2 on the year with a win over Lilian Blasque at No. 1 singles. Kaissi won the first set 6-1, was edged 7-6 (4) in set two and triumphed 10-8 in the tiebreaker set.

The Stars' other win on the day came by way of senior Chelsea Cross and freshman Gracie Strawn at No. 2 doubles. The veteran and newcomer teamed up to defeat Vikings' Sami Johnson and Jelica Stamatovic, 8-5.

Missouri Valley College registered one straight-set victory at No. 2 singles to go along with a perfect 8-0 tally in No. 3 doubles.

Following Spring Break, Stephens College tennis (1-4) will return to action with three road matches at Lincoln University on April 2, and Missouri Baptist University and Webster University on April 5.

Missouri Valley - 7
Stephens - 2

Columbia, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 - Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Lilian Blasque (MVC) - 6-1, 6-7 (4), (8)
No. 2 - Adela Gill (MVC) def. Chelsea Cross (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 - Betsabe Vasquez (MVC) def. Courtney Huels (SC) - 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 - Daniela Cheda (MVC) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) - 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 - Christina Fergason (MVC) def. Dani Kelley (SC) - 6-2, 6-1
No. 6 - Beatriz Sales (MVC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 6-1, 6-0

Doubles
No. 1 - Lilian Blasque/Adela Gill (MVC) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) - 8-4
No. 2 - Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Sami Johnson/Jelica Stamatovic (MVC) - 8-5
No. 3 - Vanessa Urbschat/Magi House (MVC) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-0


Stars Swept by McPherson College in Weekend Finale

Freshman Courtney Huels stepped up on Saturday with exciting performances at No. 1 doubles, No. 3 singles

February 22, 2014

SALINA, Kan. – Competing outdoors for the first time this season, the Stephens College tennis team failed to pick up a win against McPherson College on Saturday. By the time the Stars adjusted to the sunny, yet windy conditions, the Bulldogs of the KIAC had earned the 9-0 sweep.

"McPherson was the most technically sound team we've played this year," head tennis coach Lexie Payne said. "Considering we hadn't played outside until today, I thought we came out much better than I expected."

The No. 1 doubles competition provided excitement right out of the gate as Dina Kaissi and Courtney Huels took McPherson's sister combo of Brooke and Nichole Vorhess down to the wire. The Vorhess duo held off the Stars in an 8-6 decision.

Later on, freshman Courtney Huels was involved in another close call, forcing a tiebreaker with Bulldogs' Nichole Vorhess. The newcomer from Fenton, Mo. won the first set [7-5], fell in the second [6-0] and came up short in the final set [10-8].

Aside from No. 5 singles, each of the Stars' individuals picked up at least one game to prevent straight-set victories.

The Stephens tennis team will have plenty of time to go back to the drawing board after this weekend with the next match set for March 19 against Missouri Valley College. The 3:30 p.m. match will serve as the home opener for the Stars.

McPherson - 9
Stephens - 0

Salina, Kan.

Singles
No. 1 - Emma Sheehan (MC) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 - Brooke Vorhess (MC) def. Chelsea Cross (SC) - 6-0, 6-3
No. 3 - Nichole Vorhess (MC) def. Courtney Huels (SC) - 5-7, 6-0, (8)
No. 4 - Brittany Gourlay (MC) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) - 6-2, 6-0
No. 5 - Claire Crossman (MC) def. Dani Kelley (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 - Kara Wright (MC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 6-1, 6-1

Doubles
No. 1 - Brooke Vorhess/Nichole Vorhess (MC) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) - 8-6
No. 2 - Emma Sheehan/Brittany Gourlay (MC) def. Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) - 8-3
No. 3 - Kara Wright/Ashley Allmon (MC) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-2


Stephens Tennis Beats Central Christian College for First Win of Season

Momentum carries over into Friday evening match as Stars defeat the Tigers, 7-2

February 21, 2014

SALINA, Kan. – The Stephens College tennis program grabbed its first team win of the spring on Friday (Feb. 21) against Central Christian College, taking down the team from McPherson, Kan., 7-2. With the victory, the Stars improved their overall record to 1-2 on the season.

To kickstart the evening, the Stars claimed two of three doubles matches. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 pairs won with ease and gave the team a 2-1 lead heading into singles competition. Senior Dina Kaissi and freshman Courtney Huels teamed up for an 8-0 win over the Tigers' top two individuals, while the duo of Chelsea Cross and Gracie Strawn defeated Stevie Ellis and Megan Carter (CCC) by a score of 8-2.

At No. 1 singles, Kaissi picked up her second win in a row and managed an 8-0 sweep of Tori McCord. Her doubles partner, Courtney Huels was the only other player to win 8-0.

Both Chelsea Cross and Gracie Strawn defeated their opponents, 8-2, while Stars' Dani Kelley edged Em Barnett of CCC, 8-6. She reached a milestone along the way earning her first career singles win at the collegiate level.

Rounding out the competition was junior Emily Mendoza, who was competitive at the No. 6 spot, but fell short in an 8-5 loss.

Stephens has a chance to come out of the weekend .500 with a win over McPherson College on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow's tennis action is set to start at 2:45 p.m.

Stephens - 7
Central Christian - 2

Salina, Kan.

Singles
No. 1 - Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Tori McCord (CCC) - 8-0
No. 2 - Chelsea Cross (SC) def. Shelby Mathis (CCC) - 8-2
No. 3 - Courtney Huels (SC) def. Stevie Ellis (CCC)- 8-0
No. 4 - Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Megan Carter (CCC) - 8-2
No. 5 - Dani Kelley (SC) def. Em Barnett (CCC) - 8-6
No. 6 - Elyse Merritt (CCC) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-5

Doubles
No. 1 - Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) def. Tori McCord/Shelby Mathis (CCC) - 8-0
No. 2 - Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) def. Stevie Ellis/Megan Carter (CCC) - 8-2
No. 3 - Em Barnett/Elyse Merritt (CCC) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) - 9-8 (1)


Kaissi Wins at No. 1 Singles in 8-1 Loss to (RV) Graceland

Stars shake off rust, improve against second straight opponent receiving votes in NAIA Top 25 poll

February 21, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Senior standout Dina Kaissi registered her first win of the 2014 season at No. 1 singles, highlighting Friday's tennis match between Stephens College and (RV) Graceland University. Kaissi's victory represented the team's lone win as the Stars fell to the Yellowjackets, 8-1, in the early morning duel.

"Today was really exciting," head tennis coach Lexie Payne said. "We played much better and looked like a completely different team. As always, the first match is a little rusty, but this morning they looked like the team I've seen play in the past. Hopefully they'll carry that higher level of play with them into the next two matches."

The Stars will be back in action later this evening with a match against Central Christian College in Salina, Kan.

In doubles play, GU's Jessica Working and Zahra El Otmany outlasted the Stars' No. 1 duo of Kaissi and freshman Courtney Huels, 8-4. At the No. 2 doubles spot, the Stephens' team of Chelsea Cross and freshman Gracie Strawn gave the Yellowjackets all they could handle in an 8-5 decision. With a deep lineup, Graceland captured the No. 3 doubles in straight sets against returners Dani Kelley and Emily Mendoza.

In singles competition, Kaissi came out firing on all cylinders and earned a sweep in set No. 1. Although Graceland's Zahra El Otmany won four games in the second set, the Star senior held off a late surge to collect a 6-0, 6-4 victory.

At No. 2 and No. 3 singles, senior Chelsea Cross and newcomer Courtney Huels were both evenly matched with their Graceland competitors. Competing against GU's Jessica Working, who is ranked in the ITA-NAIA individual rankings, Cross came up short in an upset bid, falling 6-3, 6-3. No. 3 Courtney Huels took her match down to the wire with Sofia Jaramillo, but fell 6-4, 6-4.

Graceland increased its lead with a straight set win at the No. 4 position. The Yellowjackets finished out singles play with 6-4, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-1 wins at Nos. 5 and 6.

(RV) Graceland - 8
Stephens - 1

Springfield, Mo.

Singles
No. 1 - Dina Kaissi (SC) def. Zahra El Otmany (GU) - 6-0, 6-4
No. 2 - Jessica Worring (GU) def. Chelsea Cross (SC) - 6-3, 6-3
No. 3 - Sofia Jaramillo (GU) def. Courtney Huels (SC) - 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 - Melynda Simmons (GU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 5 - Karina Cardiel (GU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 - Amy Haberthier (GU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 6-0, 6-1

Doubles
No. 1 - Jessica Worring/Zahra El Otmany (GU) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) - 8-4
No. 2 - Sofia Jaramillo/Karina Cardiel (GU) def. Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) - 8-5
No. 3 - Melynda Simmons/Amy Haberthier (GU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-0


Stars Open Season with 9-0 Loss to (RV) Evangel University

Team stayed competitve in road match with 26th-ranked Crusaders

February 20, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Kicking off its 2014 campaign on Thursday, the Stephens College tennis team suffered a 9-0 defeat at the hands of (RV) Evangel University at the Cooper Tennis Complex. The stop in Springfield, Mo. doesn't get any easier for the Stars as they take on another opponent receiving votes in this week's NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll. On Friday morning, the team will face (RV) Graceland University bright and early at 8 a.m.

Despite the 9-0 sweep on Thursday, Stars' head coach Lexie Payne felt the team played exceptionally well against the elite competition. In addition, the Stars were able to mix and match with some new doubles combinations.

Payne also singled out the play of senior Dani Kelley, who had one of the best all-around performances of her career against the Crusaders' Phine Mulumba at No. 5 singles.

Evangel won in straight sets in No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles as well as No. 2 doubles. All three seniors (Dina Kaissi, Chelsea Cross and Dani Kelley) grabbed at least one game a piece in singles competition.

Following tomorrow's morning match with Graceland, the Stars will head west to Salina, Kan. for a 6:30 p.m. meeting with Central Christian College.

(RV) Evangel - 9
Stephens - 0


Singles
No. 1 - Amy Fritz (EU) def. Dina Kaissi (SC) - 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 - Jenna Elliott (EU) def. Chelsea Cross (SC) - 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 - Breanna Feemster (EU) def. Courtney Huels (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 4 - Morgan Reilly (EU) def. Gracie Strawn (SC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 5 - Phine Mulumba (EU) def. Dani Kelley (SC) - 6-4, 6-1
No. 6 - Emily Cook (EU) def. Emily Mendoza (SC) - 6-0, 6-0

Doubles
No. 1 - Amy Fritz/Jenna Elliott (EU) def. Dina Kaissi/Courtney Huels (SC) - 8-2
No. 2 - Breanna Feemster/Morgan Reilly (EU) def. Chelsea Cross/Gracie Strawn (SC) - 8-0
No. 3 - Phin Mulumba/Emily Cook (EU) def. Dani Kelley/Emily Mendoza (SC) - 8-1