The Rolla tennis team opened up their season against West Plains on Friday, Mar. 17. The Bulldogs dominated at both the varsity and JV levels, cruising to 7-2 and 8-1 wins respectively.
The JV started things off on a high note with strong wins in both singles and doubles. Their lone loss of the evening game in a hard-fought doubles match between the Rolla duo of Jacob Lenox and Mohammed Sawad and the West Plains pair of Kyle Jolliff and Jordan Berhshire. The match was pushed to extra points, but Jolliff and Berhshire were able to sneak away with a 7-5 victory. The Bulldogs swept the rest of the doubles matches in dominant fashion, with Blake Riedle and Sam Wilsdorf winning 6-2 and Micah Martin Charles Victor winning 6-3. West Plains ended up not finishing the singles matches at the JV level, defaulting after the Bulldogs got out to an early lead.
The varsity squad also took a loss in doubles, while dominating the other two matches. Drew Jones and Pranal Madria were blanked 8-0 by Peyton Lefevers and Zach Cook, before two wins by the remaining Rolla duos. Nick Roshan paired with Haris Zahoor took down Chris Stehn and Matthew McCall 8-3. Ethan Walker and Joel Schott then beat Jace Henry and Ryan Jones 8-4.
All six of the singles matches started off close, but Rolla ended up running away with five of them. Roshan took the lone loss in an 8-3 loss to Lefevers. Jones got revenge against Cook for their doubles match, winning 8-4. Madria took down Stehn by the same score of 8-4. The final three matches were blowouts, with Walker winning 8-0, Zahoor winning 8-1 and Schott winning 8-2.
"It was a great home opener. The team took a solid step forward," said head coach Joe Schisler. "This is the same result posted for last year, but we lost four of our top seven players while West Plains lost none. Several players also made key adjustments within their match that made a difference in the outcome. Now the big question is whether we will be able to pick up from here for our next match or if we have to learn the same lessons all over again."
The Bulldogs followed their matchup with West Plains up with another home match against Willow Springs on Monday, Mar. 20, but results were not available at press time. Their packed first week continues with yet another match at home, this time against the School of the Osage.