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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Northern Iowa’s bid to secure the program’s first Missouri Valley Conference women’s tennis team championship came up just short Sunday as the Panthers fell, 4-2, in a closely-contested league tournament final.

Host Missouri State ended an impressive postseason run in which the No. 6 seeded Panthers reached the MVC tournament finals for the first time since 2009.

The Bears won matches at No. 2 and 3 doubles to claim the doubles point, and added quick straight-set singles wins at No. 4 and 6 singles to go up 3-0. UNI’s No. 1 player Gisela Kemper helped her team rally with a 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) win over Alye Darter, and the Panthers pulled within one after Claudia Toledo’s three-set win over Phoebe Boeschen in the No. 3 match, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

With the final two matches each going the distance, Missouri State clinched the championship on Ellie Burger’s win over Valentina Caro in a back-and-forth No. 5 singles battle, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. UNI’s Reghan Lynch was trailing Anelissa Torrico in the No. 2 match, 1-6, 6-2, 5-4 when play concluded.

Missouri State 4, UNI 2

Singles

1. Gisela Kemper (UNI) def. Alye Darter, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8)

2. Anelisse Torrico (MSU) vs. Reghan Lynch, 1-6, 6-2, 5-4, unfinished

3. Claudia Toledo (UNI) def. Phoebe Boeschen, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2

4. Fati Khamissi (MSU) def. Harri Proudfoot, 6-0, 6-2

5. Ellie Burger (MSU) def. Valentina Caro, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5

6. Abbey Belote (MSU) def. Savanna Hunt, 6-2, 6-1

Doubles

1. Darter/Burger (MSU) vs. Kemper/Lynch, 4-5, unfinished

2. Torrico/Boeschen (MSU) def. Proudfoot/Caro, 6-2

3. Khamissi/Meyer (MSU) def. Toledo/Hunt, 6-4

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