For the second Central Ozark Conference dual in a row, the Neosho Lady Wildcats fell one victory shy of picking up their first dual triumph in conference play this season.
Branson came out ahead 5-4 Thursday at the Neosho Tennis Courts, winning three singles and two doubles matches.
In singles, Neosho No. 1 Sarah Werner defeated Elaina Knipple 8-5, No. 3 Michelle Lindsay defeated Macy Scott 8-1, and No. 5 Samantha Ortiz defeated Madison Gilliland 9-8 (9-7), but No. 2 Emily Mitchell lost 8-4 to Chloe Lampe, No. 4 Gabrielle McCauley lost 8-5 to Madelyn Faria, and No. 6 Rylee Marion lost 8-3 to Brooklyn Buxton.
On the doubles side, No. 1 Werner-Mitchell defeated Knipple-Lampe, but No. 2 Lindsay-McCauley lost 8-2 to Scott-Faria and No. 3 Ortiz-Marion lost 9-8 (7-5) to Chase Carlin and Chelsea Carter.
Neosho returned to the courts Friday in tournament action in Republic. The Lady Wildcats had three players — No. 1 singles Werner and No. 1 doubles Mitchell-Lindsay — still alive before play was halted due to rain.
Werner lost 8-2 to Republic’s Elsie Crawford — an opponent Werner lost 8-3 to during the schools’ earlier dual this season — and then defeated Nixa’s Arabella Cosgrove 6-1 in the consolation quarterfinals.
Mitchell-Lindsay won their first match 8-1 against Waynesville, before losses 8-1 against Springfield Catholic in the quarters and 6-4 against Nixa in the consolation quarters.
No. 2 singles Ortiz and No. 2 doubles McCauley-Marion lost both their matches and were eliminated.
Neosho, 2-7 overall and 0-5 COC, returned to action Monday on the road against Nixa, play their final home dual of the regular season Tuesday against conference and district rival Webb City, and close out the week Thursday on the road against College Heights.